Happy third birthday, Occupy Wall Street. This time last year, some former Occupiers embarked on a small-scale, nostalgic march through the Financial District — one that, for a change, ended in zero arrests. But this year, many of their minds are on next week, when a massive civil-disobedience action is planned for the steps of the New York Stock Exchange. “Flood Wall Street” is being billed as a sit-in and blockade to “shut down the institutions that are profiting from the climate crisis.” Blue-clad protesters are expected to meet in Battery Park and then descend on the Financial District sometime on September 22; people affiliated with the event have told us to expect mass arrests.
The event is part of Climate Week; it’s taking place one day after the People’s Climate March, which aims to be the largest climate march in history and which is backed by a mixture of large labor unions and environmental organizations and more radical groups. For a day, outfits like the Sierra Club and SEIU 32BJ will coexist with groups like the Black Rose Anarchist Federation.
Flood Wall Street, though, is an entirely activist party, with a large base of support from the remainders of Occupy. The event organizers write that it’s meant to “confront the root cause of the climate crisis — an economic system based on exploiting frontline communities, workers, and natural resources.” At noon, they add, the protesters will take to the steps of the Stock Exchange, in what they call “a collective act of nonviolent civil disobedience — to confront the system that both causes and profits from the crisis that is threatening humanity.”
About 2,000 people have RSVP’d for the event on Facebook (although that’s admittedly a shaky indicator of how many will actually attend). Yesterday, one group announced on Twitter that it’s looking for 200 people to help carry a massive banner through the Financial District.
Before the march and the inevitable unpleasantness between the protesters and the NYPD, several speakers will address the crowd in Battery Park, including leaders from the Climate Justice Alliance, as well as authors Naomi Klein, Rebecca Solnit, and Chris Hedges. The organizers are already preparing a bail fund for everyone who will leave Wall Street that morning in plastic zip-tie handcuffs.
Thousands of climate activists including, author-activists Naomi Klein, Chris Hedges, and Rebecca Solnit.
Flood Wall Street, demonstration and mass sit-in. Thousands of people are expected to converge in Battery Park for a demonstration beginning at 9 a.m., featuring speeches by author-activists Naomi Klein, Chris Hedges and Rebecca Solnit. Beginning at around noon, participants will march to the heart of the Financial District and conduct a mass sit-in, risking arrest.
Monday, September 22, 2014:
9:00 a.m. – Gathering at Battery Park for breakfast and music from the Rude Mechanical Orchestra
9:30 a.m. – Speakers including frontline community leaders of the Climate Justice Alliance, Naomi Klein, Rebecca Solnit and Chris Hedges
11:30 a.m. – March begins
12:00 p.m. – Flood Wall Street and mass sit-in near New York Stock Exchange
Battery Park, NY
• Flood Wall Street participants will all be wearing blue. There will be marching bands, large puppets, a 300-foot Flood Wall Street banner and other large-scale art pieces throughout the demonstration. Hundreds will be risking arrest at the mass sit-in.
• Viral-ready images are available through the Flood Wall Street Tumblr and Instagram pages. They are being shared on the hashtag #FloodWallStreet.
###Flood Wall Street: A response to non-violent direct action
“Flood Wall Street” is a response to a call for non-violent direct action made by the Climate Justice Alliance, a coalition of people of color and working-class organizations. “Join us as we meet the scale and urgency of the crisis,” says the call, “by standing in solidarity with all frontlines of resistance and resilience around the world, and taking non-violent direct action against the corporations driving the extractive economy.” Organizers include Occupy Wall Street veterans, student divestment activists, housing activists, artists and more.
“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,” says Michael Premo, an organizer of the action who was also a driving force in the Occupy Sandy recovery effort. “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.”
###Flood Wall Street: An opportunity to call for an end to the abusive economic systems
The action represents a significant escalation from the People’s Climate March, which is not expected to include civil disobedience. “As so many people come to New York to express their concern about climate change, this sit-in is an opportunity to call for an end to the abusive economic systems that enable corporate polluters,” says Sandy Nurse, an environmental activist based in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. “It’s time to stop funding fossil fuels and to hold the institutions fueling this crisis accountable.”
The Flood Wall Street action is also meant to highlight the leadership of people most impacted by climate change — indigenous peoples, communities of color and low-income neighborhoods. “Communities that are first and most impacted by storms, floods and droughts are also on the frontlines of fighting the dig, burn, dump economy causing climate change,” said Michael Leon Guerrero of the Climate Justice Alliance. “We are flooding Wall Street to stop its financing of planetary destruction, and make way for living economies that benefit people and planet.”
Learn more here http://floodwallstreet.net