Climate change is a geo-political hot topic that is garnering much attention as it is becoming increasingly apparent that the situation poses a global threat. Response to the issue has included several acts of civil disobedience, such as demonstrations, sit-ins, and protests across the globe. Case in point: more than 100 demonstrators were arrested in lower Manhattan on September 22, after blocking traffic along Broadway for hours as part of a climate change rally. The protest, which was called Flood Wall Street, included a brief march and a sit-in around the Charging Bull statue in the Financial District of New York City.
Climate change demonstrators lined up in Battery Park to march mid-morning on Monday. According to police, despite warnings given to divert to side streets, the protesters occupied the main thoroughfare of Broadway and obstructed vehicular traffic. Police scrambled to flank the protesters for public safety reasons. If arrested, the group was told in advance by organizers to tell police, “I am going to remain silent and I want to speak to a lawyer.”
According to authorities, most of the arrests took place on Monday around 6:45 p.m. EST, when NYPD officers ordered several hundred people blocking the roadway at Broadway and Wall Street to disperse and clear the blocked traffic routes. The protesters were informed if they dispersed and cleared the roadways, no charges would be filed. In defiance, approximately 100 protesters remained in the roadway with arms linked. Most of the protesters offered little resistance as they were arrested, put in plastic handcuffs, searched, and directed to waiting police vans. However, it was also revealed that officers used pepper spray on those deemed unruly.
Hours before the mass arrests occurred, two people were arrested for disorderly conduct, according to authorities. One of the first arrests came around 1:30 p.m. EST on Monday, when a St. Paul, Minn. protest organizer scaled a telephone booth in order to rally the crowd. Police were waiting for the protester when he descended the phone booth.
As climate change takes New York City by storm, police arrested more than 100 protesters on charges of disorderly conduct, nearly all of whom were detained during the organized sit-in. Organizers of the Flood Wall Street event, much like the People’s Climate March, which occurred on September 21 and drew hundreds of thousands of attendees in the name of climate change, was timed to coincide with the United Nations’ Climate Change Summit, which was set to begin on September 23.
The protesters occupied the streets of New York City chanting and proclaiming their desire for a better world. They carried signs and displayed banners with similar slogans, as well as additional signage that blamed capitalism for climate change. During the demonstration, inflatable balls, which the organizers dubbed “carbon bubbles,” were passed around the crowd. When one of the balls bounced near police officers patrolling the event, it was promptly deflated. This action elicited an echo section of boos from the crowd. Another demonstrator tried to toss a lasso around the Charging Bull statue in the NYC Financial District, as the crowd cheered. However, it fell short of the statue and was confiscated by police.
As climate change takes New York City by storm, the NYPD found themselves inundated with climate change protesters, who flooded the NYC streets in an effort to spread their message for a better world. Climate change is a geo-political hot topic that is garnering much attention as it is becoming increasingly apparent that the situation poses a global threat. Response to the issue has included several acts of civil disobedience, such as demonstrations, sit-ins, and protests across the globe. This was most certainly the case when more than 100 demonstrators were arrested in the Financial District of lower Manhattan on September 22, after blocking traffic along Broadway for hours as part of a climate change rally. The protest included a brief march as well as a sit-in and was timed to coincide with the well-attended People’s Climate March on September 21, as well as the United Nations’ Climate Change Summit, which was set to begin on September 23.
By Leigh Haugh
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