The Flood Wall Street action will probably get cable news coverage, because hippies! Breaking the law! Once again, I am in awe of the spirit and commitment of so many of our young people, who are probably getting arrested as you read this.
NEW YORK – Monday morning, thousands of protesters are expected to descend on Wall Street and conduct mass civil disobedience to protest what organizers describe as the economic engine behind climate change. This demonstration, called Flood Wall Street, will consist of a mass sit-in near the New York Stock Exchange, emulating the tactics and some of the rhetoric of Occupy Wall Street.
Flood Wall Street takes place just one day after the People’s Climate March occurred several dozen blocks north in Midtown Manhattan. That march was by far the single largest environmental rally to occur in history, drawing an estimated 310,000 people from all over the world, according to organizers. Police did not confirm or deny the turnout. Whereas that march was designed to appeal to the broadest slice of potential supporters possible, Flood Wall Street is more overtly radical in both its rhetoric and tactics.
“Stop Capitalism. End the Climate Crisis,” is Flood Wall Street’s official slogan, and participants are expected to include many longtime activists and luminaries on the radical left. Former Occupiers are among those to be risking arrest, and journalist Naomi Klein, author of the recent book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate, will speak before the sit-in.
“Flood Wall Street is about trying to take this energy and take the people, the activists that have come to town, and try to put them in the way of business as usual for Wall Street,” said Eric Verlo, an Occupy Denver activist who came from Colorado to participate in both Sunday and Monday’s actions. For Verlo and other participants in Flood Wall Street, Monday’s sit-in is all about targeting the major financial institutions that allegedly pour money into carbon polluting industries.
“Runaway climate change and extreme weather events, such as the extreme flooding that we saw here in New York City with Hurricane Sandy, are fueled by the fossil fuel industry,” said one of Flood Wall Street’s organizers, Michael Premo, in a statement. “We are flooding Wall Street because we know that there’s no greater cause of runaway climate change than an economic system that puts profit before people – and before the planet.”