NEW YORK CITY (WABC) — Demonstrations continued on Wall Street on Monday, a day after protesters took to the Upper East Side to march against fossil fuels, resulting in more than 100 arrests.
A total of 114 protesters were arrested and detained during a climate change protest in Lower Manhattan on Monday. Most are expected to be processed and released.
Protesters first gathered in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan before marching to targeted locations in the Financial District. Some tried to make their way to the New York Stock Exchange but were stopped by police on the way.
Those arrested were charged with civil disobedience.
Despite the arrests, the group pledged to take more action at this week’s United Nations General Assembly.
“This is our last resort,” said Alice Nascimento of New York Communities for Change. “We’re bringing the crisis to their doorstep, that’s what it looks like.”
The protesters aimed to demand an end to fossil fuel financing outside the largest financial institutions and the New York Stock Exchange.
“Despite scientific consensus that the burning of fossil fuels is a major driver of global warming, the world’s 60 largest banks have poured more than $5.5 trillion into the fossil fuel industry since the Paris Agreement, exacerbating climate chaos,” and had a fatal impact on the local community,” New York Communities for Change said in a news release.
Activists say they are willing to risk arrest for their cause.
“This is non-violent civil disobedience,” said Renata Pumarol of Climate Champions. “To make big changes and send big messages to powerful people.”
Tens of thousands of protesters chanted on Sunday that the future and their lives depended on an end to fossil fuels, kicking off a week of events that will see leaders renew their efforts to curb climate change caused largely by coal, oil and natural gas.
But protesters say that’s not enough. They are directing their ire at U.S. President Joe Biden, urging him to stop approving new oil and gas projects, phase out existing projects and declare a climate emergency with greater executive powers.
“We have the power of the people, the power we need to win this election,” said Emma Buretta, 17, of Fridays for Future, a youth protest group in Brooklyn. “If you want to win in 2024, if you don’t want the blood of our generation on your hands, end fossil fuels.”
The March to End Fossil Fuels features Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and actors Susan Sarandon and Ethan Hawke , Edward Norton, Kyra Sedgewick and Kevin Bacon. But the real action on Broadway came as protesters gathered in the streets, praying for a better but less popular future. It’s the kick-off to Climate Week in New York, where the world’s leaders in business, politics and the arts are coming together to try to save the planet, a point underlined by a new special United Nations summit on Wednesday.
Organizers estimated that 75,000 people would march on Sunday.
“People around the world are taking to the streets to demand that the things that are killing us stop,” Ocasio-Cortez told the cheering crowd. “We have to send a message that some of us will be in our 30s, 40s. , continue to live on this planet in 50 years. We won’t take no for an answer.”
Dana Fisher explained what the protesters hope to achieve on the 10 Eyewitness News morning show:
This protest focused more on fossil fuels and the industry than previous marches. Dana Fisher, a sociologist at American University who studies environmental movements and surveyed march participants, said Sunday’s rally attracted a large number of first-time protesters, 15 percent, the vast majority of whom were women.
Of the people Fisher spoke to, 86% had recently experienced extreme heat, 21% had experienced flooding and 18% had experienced severe drought, she said. Most of them reported feeling sad and angry. The Earth just experienced its hottest summer on record.
But oil and gas industry officials say their products are vital to the economy.
U.S. oil companies said: “We share the urgency to fight climate change together without delay; however, doing so by eliminating America’s energy options is the wrong approach and leaves American families and businesses vulnerable to instability. “foreign regions bear the responsibility for higher costs and more unreliable energy.” Megan Bloomgren, senior vice president at the Institute.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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