Fifth day of New York protests as Park Avenue shut down amid calls to ‘tax the rich’

Protestors shut down Park Avenue again on Friday as they continue a week of demonstrations on the climate crisis.

Activists could be seen on giant tripods blocking off all lanes of the street near the headquarters of JPMorgan Chase, one of the world’s largest banks.

The protests are criticizing the company’s financing of fossil fuels.

This shutdown is the fifth consecutive day of climate protests in New York, led by activist groups like New York Communities for Change (NYCC) and local branches of the Sunrise Movement and Extinction Rebellion.

Protestors blocking traffic were holding banners that read things like “How dare you plunder the Earth” and “Your greed = climate chaos”.

By early afternoon, the protest had dispersed and 16 people had been arrested, a representative from the New York Police Department told The Independent.

Many of the actions this week have targeted the financial industry. On Wednesday, protestors occupied the New York headquarters of BlackRock, one of the world’s largest investment firms, to criticize their involvement in fossil fuels.

Protests on Thursday targeted the home of Stephen Schwarzman, the CEO of Blackstone, another investment firm that has invested in fossil fuels.

A 2021 report from non-profits such as the Rainforest Action Network and the Sierra Club found that JPMorgan Chase had financed over $316bn in fossil fuels between 2016 and 2020, the most of any of the banks in the report.

The Independent has contacted a representative for JPMorgan Chase for comment.

“We’re taking the fight where the rich live and work, so that they can see it and feel it,” Alice Hu, a climate campaigner with NYCC, told The Independent in a statement on Tuesday.

“Seeing as the 1% and corporate greed are destroying our planet and impoverishing our people, we need them to pay to fix what they’ve broken.”

On Monday, another protest led by activists from these groups interrupted a taping of The View with Senator Ted Cruz to protest the Texas Republican’s appearance and criticize ABC’s coverage of the climate crisis.

On Saturday, these groups and other non-profits are planning to march down Park Avenue in recognition of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Sandy’s landfall. The march will end “in a moment of silence and die-in to call out the filthy rich as they perpetuate climate destruction and demand that [New York Governor Kathy] Hochul enact a tax on the rich for a Green New Deal. “