Anti-Coal Movement on the Rise; National Day of Action in Over 50 Cities

posted by scott parkin

Today is the day, actions against mining companies, utility companies, and coal financier’s Citi and Bank of America are planned all over the U.S. and in parts of Canada.

And of course, it’s not too late to organize a quick and easy action. Just check out the resources at www.dirtymoney.org and let us know what you are doing.

Actions already reporting back:

Miami– RAN and Everglades Earth First! activists crashed Bank of America’s Energy Conference at the Key Biscayne Ritz-Carleton. “We used a megaphone to make the presentation that we had planned for the boat, outlining the reasons that Bank of America needs to move away from dirty energy and toward better energy solutions. Two of us held a banner reading “Captains of Industry: Rise Above Dirty Energy!” and we had a few others on hand to help negotiate with security officers and take pictures.”
UPDATE: Two activists were detained in the Ritz-Carleton kitchen by hotel employees and later police when they returned to flyer this morning.
Raleigh– Earth First! and Rising Tide activists unfurled three banners across the Raleigh area. “Duke Energy and Bank of America were among the climate criminals identified in the messages. Banners demanded Bank of America stop financing the coal industry and said ‘COAL AIN’T CLEAN’.”
San Francisco– Clandestine rebel advertisers hung banners reading “COAL IS OVER” and “DON’T FORECLOSE ON THE CLIMATE” at strategic points throughout SF’s financial district. Wheatpasting, postering and stickering were put up as well.

Knoxville, TN: Activists dropped a banner that said “No Clean Coal! Save our Money Mountains Air and Future! Invest in Renewable Energy!” and closed down many Bank of America and Citi ATMs.
Amherst, MA: Students rallying and petitioning on campus. “we are kicking coal’s ass in amherst!”
San Francisco II: This morning RAN and Greenpeace activists took to the streets of San Francisco and shutdown dozens of Bank of America and Citi ATMs under the noses of private security.
Citibank HQ; New York: RAN NYC engaged in “aggressive street theater” by infiltrating Citi’s mid-town headquarters dressed as Citi employees. Lots of police and media on the scene.

Seattle University:Dozens of students rallied and petitioned and are going to close their bank accounts.
Bank of America Headquarters; Charlotte, NC:Activists with Rising Tide released a balloon banner inside Bank of America headquarters in downtown Charlotte reading “Stop Banking on Climate Change. No New Coal.” The banner was floated to the ceiling of the headquarters with dozens of helium balloons in order to make it difficult to remove.
Washington D.C.: “We separated into around 8 or so teams. About three teams of around 4 people took Bank of America and the rest took Citi. We hit around 40 atm’s in d.c. Mostly in the heart of downtown. We had caution tape taped to the atm, with a temporarily out of order sign taped around it and the screen sheet covering the actual atm. Some people got pissed at some groups (as expected). We were doing this in the middle of the lunch rush. The good news is that we hit a ton of ATMs and some of them are still up and intact. Some folks had some dialogue with people that had their money in Bank of America and Citi and told them what this was all about. All and all, everything went well. ”
UNC-Wilmington, Wilmington, NC:”A dozen students gathering from 2-5 here outside of the BofA on a very visible road along campus. We were doing a Honk and Wave, but also did some theatre (dying by couging), had some sanitary masks and ash smudging, and have lots of signs and painted the banner you all sent us. We had over 300 honks when I left, and chatted with some patrons.”
Aiken, SC:”We had 6 volunteers at one point, mostly it was just 2 of us…not many people stopped and asked…we handed out fliers as we could…I closed my account!!!! The Aiken newspaper came and took photos, which was sweet!!!”
San Francisco III: On the “No Coal Tour of Shame,” over 30 RAN and Greenpeace activists marched through San Francisco’s Financial District occupying Bank of America and Citi bank branches chanting singing and coughing-in. The tour ended with a protest outside of California based utility company PG&E.
Boston: Rising Tide Boston satirically tabled outside of various Citi banks in downtown Boston, passing out pieces of “Green Coal.
Check out Boston’s video.

Watch this space for more updates and pictures!

Today’s Press Release:

Thousands to Protest Citi and Bank of America’s Coal Investments

National Coal Day of Action to include demonstrations in more than 50 cities

SAN FRANCISCO – Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has recruited thousands of activists in more than 50 cities across the U.S. to protest Citi and Bank of America’s coal investments in a mass demonstration against coal and coal finance that will take place Nov. 14-15.

RAN and the thousands of citizens who plan to participate in the Day of Action are demanding that the top financiers of the coal industry, Citi and Bank of America, lead the transition to a 21st-century clean energy economy that will put people to work and avert catastrophic climate change.

“The science is clear: a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants, and phase-out of existing coal plants, is essential if we want to preserve creation, the life on our planet, for young people and future generations,” said James Hansen, the nation’s leading climate scientist in promoting the Day of Action.

The National Day of Action – organized by RAN, Rising Tide North America, Greenpeace and others – will feature marches, flyering at local bank branches, creative street theater, and non-violent direct actions at bank offices. Cities where actions will take place include Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and St. Louis.

“Investments made today by the world’s leading financial institutions will shape our climate and economy for decades to come,” said Rebecca Tarbotton, director of RAN’s Global Finance Campaign. “Just as risky bank investments mortgaged the economic future of millions of American families, gambling on coal will mortgage our climate unless banks immediately start funding renewable energies rather than dirty fossil fuels.”

Coal is responsible for nearly 40 percent of America’s global warming emissions. Citi is the nation’s largest coal financier, providing financial support to 45 companies that have proposed new coal power plants. Currently, 110 coal plants are still slated for development in the United States.

Bank of America is involved with eight of the U.S.’s top mountaintop removal coal-mining operators, which collectively produce more than 250 million tons of coal each year. Mountaintop removal flattens mountain ranges and transforms healthy mountain woodlands into toxic sludge that has clogged more than 700 miles of rivers and streams. The practice is a major threat to the existence of many Appalachian communities.

“Citi and Bank of America are the ATMs of the coal industry,” said Lauren Valle, an organizer of the New York actions. “I am participating in this Day of Action to tell Citi and Bank of America that their destructive investments are threatening our homes, our savings, and our climate. These banks must take responsibility for the social and environmental impacts of their financing.”

Four years ago, environmentalists in the U.S. raised concerns over plans to build 150 coal-fired power stations nationwide. Today, the growing national coal movement has defeated dozens of these plans and is actively opposing the rest. While Al Gore has called for young people to participate in civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal-fired power plants, urban and rural communities are demonstrating that it is a moral imperative to stop climate-killing coal plants in their tracks.

For more information, visit www.dirtymoney.org .