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Rebellion or Extinction: NYC Climate Activists Shutdown the FDR

NYC climate activists, led by Extinction Rebellion NYC and Sunrise Movement NYC, put their bodies on the line as they shut down the FDR on the morning of October 25, 2021. 

Press release via Extinction Rebellion NYC:

“New York, NY – Extinction Rebellion and Sunrise Movement activists were arrested for disrupting this morning’s rush hour traffic on FDR Drive and West Side Highway. They vowed to cause further disruption until President Biden takes executive action to fulfill his climate pledge to cut U.S. emissions in half by 2030. The protest lasted for approximately 2.5 hours. The NYPD arrested 43 people.

From a tweet put out by Extinction Rebellion NYC this morning: “To the commuters who were inconvenienced by these simultaneous disruptions, we’re sorry. We believe civil disruption is necessary to force awareness of the urgent need for climate action by the government. This action follows in the footsteps of many historical movements for change that used non-violent civil disobedience to instigate large-scale political change.”

“This is disruption with a purpose since we will all encounter far greater disruption in the future if we don’t radically change our society. Over 70% of Americans are now worried about global warming. So although the public may not agree with our tactics, they certainly agree with our cause. We’re sorry for the disruption we have caused for individuals but this is a matter of life and death,” said Greg Bratone, a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion NYC.

President Biden had vowed to slash US greenhouse gas emissions in half, based on 2005 levels, by 2030. But with his climate agenda at risk of collapse in Congress, realistically achieving the 2030 target becomes much more challenging. The United States should not show up empty-handed at the upcoming 26th United Nations climate conference (COP26), which is widely seen as the last best chance for the world to agree on the steps necessary to avoid climate catastrophe. President Biden has called climate change the existential threat of our time. In order for the United States to be part of the climate solution, Biden must use all the tools at his disposal to ensure the clean electricity provision is included in the Build Back Better Act. The future of our planet is at stake.

Christina See, another spokesperson for the group said, “If the bill gets watered-down, we are witnessing catastrophic government failure. This system is tainted with powerful political and economic interests that prevent change, and the current situation shows how it is incapable of solving the most complex issue known to humanity.”

Today’s act of civil disobedience was a collaboration between Extinction Rebellion NYC and Sunrise Movement NYC. Extinction Rebellion NYC stands in solidarity with all of the young people taking action in cities and towns around the country pressuring President Biden at this crucial moment. We are with you!”

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