Image credit: Jo Freeman
Banks are big news these days, though not for the best of reasons. Climate activists rode that wave on March 21 when they rallied to STOP DIRTY BANKS throughout the country. By “dirty” they meant funding the search for fossil fuels.
Four banks were identified as the biggest sources of funds for oil and gas exploitation: JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America.
Different groups did different things in 102 places in 30 states plus DC. In New York City, several hundred people rallied at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in the morning.
Largely organized by Third Act, a young organization that mobilizes seniors on environmental issues, the Manhattan rally aimed its ire at Chase bank. In Brooklyn, a Citibank branch was the target in the afternoon.
In between speeches, Rev. Billy Talen and Batalá entertained the crowd. Rev. Billy is a performance artist. Batalá is a female samba reggae percussion band.
Props included large scissors to symbolize cutting up bank credit cards,
and a Climate Clock.
After an hour, they marched to J.P. Morgan Chase’s New York headquarters in midtown.
The NYPD stopped traffic while Batalá led the marchers west on E. 47th St. They chanted “STOP FUNDING FOSSIL FUELS – CHASE”.
As they gathered on Vanderbilt Ave. at the Chase headquarters, the NYPD used barricades to keep the street partially open.
Chase security wouldn’t let anyone into the lobby without an employee ID.
Since protestors couldn’t take their signs inside, they leaned them against the windows in expectation that they would be seen from the inside—just in case anyone on the inside missed the message on the outside.
Jo Freeman is a feminist scholar and author.
Jo has finished her book Tell It Like It Is: Living History in the Southern Civil Rights Movement, 1965-66, and is looking for a publisher.
Copyright ©2023 Jo Freeman.