Aiming at Roots of Climate Chaos, 'Flood Wall Street' Targets Capitalism Itself
Aiming at Roots of Climate Chaos, 'Flood Wall Street' Targets Capitalism Itself
By Sarah Lazare / commondreams.org

Ahead of UN summit, organizers of direct action say the planetary crisis of global warming 'is a result of an economic system that is based on endless extraction, endless growth, and ceaseless exploitation of the earth and people.'

What does climate change have to do with capitalism? According to "Flood Wall Street" organizers, who are part of a mass people's response to the upcoming United Nations Climate Summit in New York City, the answer is simple: Everything.

To illustrate this, thousands of people on Monday, September 22 will bring the climate crisis to the doorsteps of the financial institutions underpinning the capitalist economic system by "flooding" New York's Wall Street district with a mass sit-in of people donning blue and bearing a 300-foot banner that reads "Capitalism = Climate Chaos. Flood Wall Street."

Organizers of the protest told Common Dreams that 400 people from across the country have already committed to risking arrest in the direct action and they expect that number to grow. Many more, they say, will attend the protest as supporters of the civil disobedience. "It's going to be a sea of blue evocative of Hurricane Sandy that's going to flood the financial district," organizer Michael Premo told Common Dreams.

This action is targeting capitalism itself because "the climate crisis fundamentally is a result of an economic system that is based on endless extraction, endless growth, and ceaseless exploitation of the earth and people," explained Premo. "A lot of the small incremental changes that have been touted over the last decade as addressing the situation are just band-aids. If there is any hope of building  a more ecologically sustainable and socially equitable economy, we have to start at the root."

Monday's direct action will kick off with a 9:00 am demonstration in Battery Park, which will include music from New York City radical marching band the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, to be followed by speakers including Naomi Klein, Rebecca Solnit, and leaders from the Climate Justice Alliance. Protesters will then march to the New York Stock Exchange, where the direct action will take place at noon. The organizers of the protest do not hail from a single group but constitute a network of "Occupy Wall Street veterans, student divestment activists, housing activists, artists and more," according to a press statement.

The protest is a response to a recent call to action from Climate Justice Alliance, a global coalition of indigenous peoples, people of color, and poor and working class communities bearing the brunt of the climate crisis. "From Mesa to Mountaintop, from Hood to Holler—join us as we meet the scale and urgency of the crisis by standing in solidarity with all frontlines of resistance and resilience around the world, and taking non-violent direct action against the corporations driving the extractive economy," reads the statement from the group.

 “We are flooding Wall Street to stop its financing of planetary destruction, and make way for living economies that benefit people and planet,” said Michael Leon Guerrero of the Climate Justice Alliance. “Communities that are first and most impacted by storms, floods and droughts are also on the frontlines of fighting the dig, burn, dump economy causing climate change."

But these communities are not invited to the UN summit of government representatives, corporations, financial institutions, and select civil society organizations that will take place at the UN headquarters in New York City on September 23rd. Last week a global coalition of social movement organizations, including La Via Campesina and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, slammed the "corporate takeover" and "false promises" of the meeting.

Grassroots creative actions and events will take place outside UN meeting's closed doors. Flood Wall Street will come the day after the People's Climate March, which is expected to bring out historic numbers. A People's Climate Justice Summit is one of many activities planned as part of a week of action in New York. While a multitude of organizations, bringing a vast array of political visions, will participate in the week of actions, Flood Wall Street organizers say groups and people among them are seeking to push the conversation towards a critique of capitalism. Meanwhile, people across the world, from Mexico to Egypt to South Africa, plan simultaneous demonstrations and actions.

"The world is at stake," said Vida James, a social worker and one of the many organizers behind Flood Wall Street, in an interview with Common Dreams. "This action is part of a larger global community that is taking direct action against climate change. We are part of a tapestry of communities all over the world fighting for change, risking arrest and security."

3.3 ·
1
What's Next
Trending Today
10 Provocative Quotes from Ivan Illich's "Deschooling Society"
Daniel Lattier · 13,096 views today · Ivan Illich’s groundbreaking book Deschooling Society (1971) offers a radical critique of the institutionalization of education within modern societies. Illich believed that we...
11 Traits of People With High Emotional Intelligence
Raven Fon · 9,540 views today · Lately, new ways to describe human interactions, social behaviours, and many facets of psychology have emerged on the social network scene. One of those descriptions is “high...
Welcome to Marinaleda: The Spanish Anti-Capitalist Town With Equal Wage Full Employment and $19 Housing
Jade Small · 7,431 views today · With virtually no police, crime or unemployment, meet the Spanish town described as a democratic, socialist utopia. Unemployment is non-existent in Marinaleda, an Andalusian...
When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren't Called 'Hitler'
Liam O'Ceallaigh · 6,192 views today · Take a look at this picture. Do you know who it is? Most people haven’t heard of him. But you should have. When you see his face or hear his name you should get as sick in...
Who Are You? Watching This Breathtaking Video Could Be the Moment You Change Your Life
2 min · 5,664 views today · "Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can...
Superblocks: How Barcelona Is Taking City Streets Back From Cars
5 min · 5,613 views today · Modern cities are designed for cars. But the city of Barcelona is testing out an urban design trick that can give cities back to pedestrians.
Fighting Trump - Residents Opposing Donald Trump's Scottish Golf Resort
14 min · 4,439 views today · Documentary on the residents protesting against Donald Trump's golf development on the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Directed and Presented by James Trosh.
Real Change in Democracy Comes Not in the Voting Booth but Activism at the Grass-Roots
Ilze Peterson · 4,325 views today · Many years ago, the late Judy Guay, a low-income woman from Bangor, founded the Maine Association of Interdependent Neighborhoods in order to advocate for the neediest in our...
How a Trump Presidency Would Unleash a Torrent of Racist Violence-And Devastate the Left
Arun Gupta · 4,259 views today · The Left should take the Trump threat very seriously.
Doctors Response to Daily Mail Bigotry is Beautiful
Neil Tiwari · 3,825 views today · A poetic open letter to the Daily Mail newspaper from Dr. Neil Tiwari, in response to a bigoted attack on his colleagues, is going viral and it's beautiful.
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 3,395 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Maya Angelou's 3-Word Secret to Living Your Best Life
3 min · 3,062 views today · Dr. Maya Angelou says that in order to be the best human being you can be, you must follow one simple directive: "Just do right." Watch as Dr. Angelou reveals how you can never...
Forest Man
16 min · 2,994 views today · Since the 1970's Majuli islander Jadav Payeng has been planting trees in order to save his island. To date he has single handedly planted a forest larger than Central Park NYC...
Throw (2016)
10 min · 2,761 views today · The first installment of Invisible Thread, an ongoing ELM passion project series, Throw tells the story of an outsider from East Baltimore, an area challenged by gang violence...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 2,129 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
How to Criticize with Kindness: Philosopher Daniel Dennett on the Four Steps to Arguing Intelligently
Maria Popova · 1,888 views today · “Just how charitable are you supposed to be when criticizing the views of an opponent?”
93 Documentaries to Expand Your Consciousness
Films For Action · 1,805 views today · There are over 800 documentaries now cataloged in our library of social change films. That's probably way too many for any mortal to ever watch in a lifetime, let alone a few...
Alan Watts: What If Money Was No Object?
3 min · 1,554 views today · How do you like to spend your life? What do you desire? What if money didn't matter? What if money was no object? What would you like to do if money were no object? Spoken...
What It Really Means to Hold Space for Someone
Heather Plett · 1,545 views today · How to be there for the people who need you most
Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
Jan Hunt · 1,280 views today · 1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready. We ask an infant to keep quiet. We ask a 2-year-old to sit still. We ask a 3-year-old to clean his room...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Aiming at Roots of Climate Chaos, 'Flood Wall Street' Targets Capitalism Itself