On Monday, over 100 protesters were arrested as they marched through New York City’s Financial District and staged a sit-in in opposition to corporations polluting the environment. The arrests came after demonstrators did not follow police orders to disperse.
The protest, entitled Flood Wall Street, was attended by roughly 1,000, many of whom wore blue to symbolize rising sea levels and carried signs denouncing banks and large corporations for pollution.
Protesters marched throughout downtown chanting, “The people are rising, no more compromising,” and “We can’t take this climate heat; we’ve got to shut down Wall Street.” Protesters also tossed around a massive beach ball with the word “Carbon” written on it, until it was deflated by the police.
Cops, under the supervision of Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, set up barricades at the intersection of Broadway and Wall Street to stop demonstrators from reaching the New York Stock Exchange. When protesters attempted to dismantle these barricades, police held the barricades in place before using pepper spray against the protesters.
Activists then linked arms and staged a sit-in in the middle of Broadway, blocking traffic. At around 7 p.m., police warned protesters to disperse or face arrest. Police then handcuffed 102 protesters, who had remained as an act of civil disobedience, and put them into police buses.
The day prior to the Flood Wall Street demonstration, approximately 300,000 people in New York City participated in the “People’s Climate March.” The officially sponsored event was endorsed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and many Democratic Party politicians, along with the unions.
While Flood Wall Street was unregistered, the organizers of the protests shared the same perspective of exerting pressure on the Democratic Party, coupled with staging acts of civil disobedience.
Prior to the march, demonstrators heard speeches by leaders of the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA)—a coalition of community groups—as well as three writers from the Democratic Party-oriented news publication, The Nation: Naomi Klein, Rebecca Solnit, and Chris Hedges. Jumaane Williams, Democratic Party City Councilman from Brooklyn, participated in the Flood Wall Street march as part of a publicity stunt.