XR-NYC Demands Local Government Declare Climate Emergency, Drops Two Banners; 62 People Arrested


Press Release For Immediate Release

April 17, 2019 Contacts: Jack Baldwin: 212-686-3649;
Eve Mosher: 347-850-3830;
Both: xrnyc.press@protonmail.com

XR-NYC Demands Local Government Declare Climate Emergency,
Drops Two Banners; 62 People Arrested

This morning, outside New York's City Hall, a group of several hundred protesters, representing XR-NYC, part of the global Extinction Rebellion movement -- which has now virtually taken over London, and has engaged in many other protests this week all around the world -- demanded that local government immediately declare a climate emergency. In the course of the action, two large banners were dropped and 62 people were arrested. In addition, mock citizen's assembly were held in which participants brainstormed their proposed solutions to the climate change issue and drew them in chalk upon the sidewalk outside City Hall Park.

The arrests occurred when protesters climbed traffic lights in front of the Brooklyn Bridge exit to drop the banners and while others engaged in a "die-in" upon, and a roadblock of, the road leading to and from the bridge entrance. The protesters, many of whom have never participated in protest before, are engaging in these tactics to protest inaction on the climate crisis.

"We need climate action now!" said Cindy Clark of XR-NYC. "Our protest is not to condemn or support any particular piece of legislation. However, we insist that the response of lawmakers be commensurate with the enormous, life-threatening scale of this emergency. Historically, during times of national and world crisis, such as World War II, all the resources of government and industry have been mobilized in the interests of survival. We need that level of commitment to deal effectively with this dire situation."

Video footage of the action can be found here: https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1ynKORgegRqxR.  

Background: Founded in the UK in late 2018, XR is an international movement that carries out nonviolent direct action (NVDA) and civil disobedience campaigns with worldwide impact. In November, XR in London occupied the five main bridges over the River Thames for six hours, described as “one of the biggest acts of peaceful civil disobedience in the UK in decades.” The demands of XR-NYC are as follows:

  • Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.

  • Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

  • Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

  • We demand a just transition that prioritizes the most vulnerable people and repairs the effects of the ongoing ecocide.