Protests Urging Gaza Cease-Fire Block NYC Tunnel, Bridges

Spread the love

Original article by OLIVIA ROSANE republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

Protesters block the Holland Tunnel on Monday, January 8, in New York City to call for a cease-fire in Gaza.  (Photo credit: Alexa Wilkinson)

“We are trying to show how it feels to be trapped in a city you can’t leave,” one participant said.

Protesters blocked the Holland Tunnel and three major New York City bridges during Monday’s rush hour to call for a cease-fire in Gaza as Israel’s deadly assault on the besieged enclave enters its fourth month.

Organizers said that they chose to block traffic in order to create a “physical analogue” to the experience of people in Gaza, “where there is no getting out.”

“We are trying to show how it feels to be trapped in a city you can’t leave,” 30-year-old participant Mon Mohapatra told The New York Times.

“We salute the brave individuals and organizations who across the country and the world are taking action to disrupt the flow of capital, by blocking ports and traffic arteries.”

Organizers said in a statement that a thousand people blocked traffic Monday morning for more than two hours at the Holland Tunnel and Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Williamsburg bridges. The action was coordinated by a coalition of groups including the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), Al-Awda: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), Critical Resistance, and Writers Against the War on Gaza (WAWOG).

The action at the Holland Tunnel began around 9:30 am ET, the Port Authority Police Department toldCBS News. The department arrested 120 people for blocking the outbound lane. The New York Police Department’s chief of patrol toldWABC that 325 people were arrested across all four locations.

The organizers said that their actions snarled traffic in SoHo, Tribeca, Hudson Square, the Financial District, and the Lower East Side. Traffic began moving again around the Holland Tunnel by 10:30 am, over the Brooklyn Bridge a little before 11:00 am, and over the Williamsburg and Manhattan bridges a little before 11:30 am, WABC reported.

“In Gaza, of course, people have limited mobility, no freedom of movement, they cannot leave, even if they want to, they move place to place, then those places are bombed,” Rachel Himes, who was arrested at the Holland Tunnel, told The New York Times. “We wanted to create that condition temporarily in Manhattan.”

The action was planned to coincide with the start of the fourth month of Israel’s attack on Gaza, which has killed more than 23,000 people and injured nearly 59,000 since October 7, according to Monday figures from the Gaza Health Ministry.

Demonstrators at all four Manhattan locations dropped banners listing the five demands of the Palestinian Youth Movement:

  1. An immediate cease-fire;
  2. An end to the siege on Gaza;
  3. The release of all Palestinian prisoners;
  4. An end to the occupation of Palestine; and
  5. An end to U.S. aid to Israel.

Demonstrators at the Williamsburg and Manhattan bridges used piping and chains to bolster their blockades, which police had to saw through to clear the protesters, according to The New York Times and CBS. Police “violently assaulted” one participant at the Williamsburg Bridge, according to a video shared by WAWOG on social media.

Monday’s protest builds on months of direct actions both in New York and across the country as protesters have blocked traffic, sat in at train stations, disrupted political events, and blocked ports to call on President Joe Biden to end U.S. support for Israel’s bombardment and invasion of Gaza.

On Saturday, a group of protesters blocked traffic on Seattle’s I-5 highway for more than four hours.

“These direct actions that we are seeing now are tools of protest that intend to disrupt the flow of capital and hit the political and economic elites where it hurts, in order to force an end to the ongoing genocide of Palestinians and siege on Gaza,” Bissan Barghouti of Samidoun Seattle, who helped organize a rally in solidarity with the highway blockade, told Common Dreams. “As Palestinians and those in solidarity with our struggle, we condemn the government and corporate complicity in the massacre of our loved ones in Gaza and across occupied Palestine.”

Barghouti added, “We salute the brave individuals and organizations who across the country and the world are taking action to disrupt the flow of capital, by blocking ports and traffic arteries.”

https://www.instagram.com/jvpseattle/p/C10XVjBPcqe/

In addition to more recent protests, Monday’s New York action took its inspiration from a 1995 ACT UP protest that was the first to block two bridges and two tunnels in New York at the same time.

“We urge other coalitions, collectives, and autonomous organizations to take meaningful action against the genocidal state, its collaborators, its benefactors, and profiteers,” the group behind Monday’s New York protest said in a statement. “Protests and demonstrations across the so-called U.S. must escalate in their willingness to shut down business as usual and arrest the flow of capital in order to end this occupation once and for all. Our skills and goals must be aligned towards an immediate and permanent cease-fire, the end of Zionism, and a free Palestine in our lifetimes.”

Original article by OLIVIA ROSANE republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

Continue ReadingProtests Urging Gaza Cease-Fire Block NYC Tunnel, Bridges

Protesters March on NYC Transit Hubs Demanding Gaza Cease-Fire

Spread the love

Original article by BRETT WILKINS republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

Demonstrators demanding a Gaza cease-fire protest outside Penn Station in New York City on December 18, 2023. (Photo: caren/X)

“We must stand up and not be silent to this injustice,” said one rabbi taking part in the demonstration.

A coordinated wave of demonstrations against what activists called Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza targeted New York City transit hubs Monday afternoon, with protesters demanding an immediate cease-fire as heavy Israeli bombardment of the besieged strip pushed the death toll from 73 days of attacks to nearly 20,000.

Protesters marched from Grand Central Station to the Port Authority Bus Terminal and then on to Penn Station, where at least hundreds of activists gave police the slip and occupied Moynihan Hall. Many participants prayed for peace before leaving the station.

“We must stand up and not be silent to this injustice,” Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss toldamNewYork Metro outside Grand Central Station. “We hurt and cry with the people who are dying and suffering under the stranglehold of the Zionist occupation. We want the world to know that we hurt because we are Jews, we will not be silent because we are Jews.”

Independent photojournalist Katie Smith followed the entire demonstration—which was coordinated by the group Within Our Lifetime—documenting incidents including police “violently engaging with protesters” and a confrontation between the actor Alec Baldwin and activists.

According to Smith, activists later marched to a building in Greenwich Village where a fundraiser for the Israel Defense Forces was reportedly being held.

Monday’s actions followed recent protests in New York, including a Manhattan march led by artists remembering the life and work of Refaat Alareer—a Gaza poet and professor killed last week in an Israeli airstrike—and calling on Israel to free political prisoners including the members of Freedom Theater recently arrested in Jenin in the illegally occupied West Bank.

In recent days, large protests for Gaza have also taken place in U.S. cities including HoustonLos Angeles, and Washington, D.C., as well as in cities in countries including the U.K., Canada, France, Belgium, Norway, and Germany.

In California, workers at Google and allies held a Thursday die-in at the tech giant’s San Francisco office “to demand the company stop powering Israel’s genocide of Palestinians in Gaza” through the $1.2 billion Project Nimbus cloud computing contract.

More protests are planned for this week, including a nationwide action by Mennonites on Tuesday and a rally by over 80 groups on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. that same day.

Sponsored by the Action Center on Race and Economy, Adalah Justice Project, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, and the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Tuesday’s D.C. event is being held to “demand a permanent cease-fire in Gaza and oppose the Biden administration’s proposed military aid package sending billions of taxpayer dollars to Israel, U.S. southern border militarization, and immigration enforcement.”

Original article by BRETT WILKINS republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

Zionist president Joe Biden. 27 July 2021 image by Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz. Original public domain image from Flickr
Zionist president Joe Biden. 27 July 2021 image by Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz. Original public domain image from Flickr
Continue ReadingProtesters March on NYC Transit Hubs Demanding Gaza Cease-Fire

Climate Emergency in Action: NYC ‘Essentially Shut Down’ by Flash Flooding

Spread the love
Climate Emergency in Action: NYC 'Essentially Shut Down' by Flash Flooding
Climate Emergency in Action: NYC ‘Essentially Shut Down’ by Flash Flooding

Original article by JULIA CONLEY republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

“One week ago, 75,000 people inundated New York City streets to demand the president end fossil fuels,” said one campaigner. “Now, climate-fueled rains are submerging those same streets.”

“This is the climate crisis,” said youth-led grassroots organization Sunrise Movement on Friday as photos and videos of flooded streets and subway stations in the largest city in the United States went viral across social media.

The group shared a video of cars struggling to drive through water that was up to pedestrians’ knees in Brooklyn, saying the image starkly illustrated the need to both prepare U.S. cities and infrastructure for fossil-fueled extreme weather events and to rapidly draw down planet-heating greenhouse gas emissions that have been linked to stronger hurricanes, rising sea levels, and other destructive changes.

“We need an all-out mobilization of our government and society to stop [the climate crisis] right now,” said the group.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul called the rainstorm that caused the flash flooding a “life-threatening rainfall event” and noted that there have been reports of some school buildings flooding, prompting administrators to move children to higher floors or close the buildings.

“No children are in danger as far as we know,” said Hochul, adding that many New York City children use public transportation to get home from school. “We want to make sure we get the subways, the trains, our communication system, our transportation system working.”

According to Richard Davis, president of Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union, some bus passengers on Friday were forced to stand on their seats as drivers navigated through high flood waters that seeped into buses.

Maintenance workers were using pumps to remove water from subway stations, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced “extremely limited subway service,” with many lines suspended or rerouted.

New York City Councilmember Chi Ossé criticized Mayor Eric Adams for failing to address the public until the crisis was well underway and said the flooding shows the city is “severely underprepared for the climate crisis.”

Earlier this month Adams announced a new initiative aimed at mobilizing business owners to comply with Local Law 97, which will take effect in 2024 and would reduce carbon emissions from buildings.

According toGothamist, “environmental experts say the new plan will weaken the law’s enforcement powers by giving qualified building owners an extra three years to meet carbon reduction deadlines.”

Jean Su, energy justice director at the Center for Biological Diversity, took aim at the offshore drilling plan proposed by President Joe Biden on Friday over the objections of scientists and climate advocates. The five-year plan includes three new offshore gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico despite Biden’s campaign promise to end offshore gas and oil drilling.

“We are in the climate emergency,” said Su. “Yet the president is continuing to drill for oil and gas. He has to stop to give us a chance at a livable planet.”

Earlier this month, noted Su, some of the same streets that were inundated with rainwater on Friday had been filled with tens of thousands of people demanding that Biden declare a climate emergency and take decisive action to speed the transition toward renewable energy.

“A week ago, we were hitting the streets of New York for Climate Week NYC,” said grassroots group Rising Tide North America. “We shut down Citibank’s headquarters and blockaded the New York Federal Reserve.”

“[The New York Police Department] arrested lots of our friends,” the group added. “Maybe they should have been arresting those bankers and bureaucrats who are responsible for this disaster.”

Original article by JULIA CONLEY republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

Continue ReadingClimate Emergency in Action: NYC ‘Essentially Shut Down’ by Flash Flooding

AOC Says Climate Movement Must Become ‘Too Big and Too Radical to Ignore’

Spread the love
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks in front of the U.S. Capitol on July 28th, 2022. (Photo by Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks in front of the U.S. Capitol on July 28th, 2022. (Photo by Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Original article by JON QUEALLY republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

“We have to send the message that some of us are going to be living on this planet 30, 40, 50 years from now and we will not take no for an answer.”

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez issued a fiery speech to the tens of thousands of climate marchers who took to the streets of New York City on Sunday, telling the crowd that “it means something” when people show up in force because now is the time for elected leaders in the United States and around the world to finally show “urgency” on the issue of soaring global temperatures that are driven by the burning of fossil fuels.

“The way that we create urgency on the issue of climate,” declared Ocasio-Cortez, “is when we have people all across the world in the streets—in the streets!—showing up, demanding change, and demanding a cessation of what is killing us. We have to send the message that some of us are going to be living on this planet 30, 40, 50 years from now and we will not take no for an answer.”

Over 75,000 are estimated to have marched Sunday ahead of the rally that capped off days of organized action in New York and elsewhere in the country and around the world. All of the coordinated activities came ahead of this week’s United Nation’s General Assembly, including a Climate Ambition Summit initiated by U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres slated for Wednesday.

Calling the climate crisis “the biggest issue of our time,” the New York Democrat said the organized movement demanding bold change “must be too big and too radical to ignore.”

Ocasio-Cortez touted her 2019 Green New Deal legislation that called for a 10-year time period for rapid decarbonization alongside a shift to renewable energy that also includes a just transition for workers impacted by the shift away from good-paying and reliable jobs in the oil, gas, and coal industries.

“We are demanding a change,” she said, “so that working people get better jobs and lower bills under a renewable energy economy—that is what we are here to make sure we achieve!”

Further, Ocasio-Cortez slammed the U.S. government under the Biden administration for approving a record number of oil and gas drilling leases and told the crowd “that has got to end today” as she applauded the climate movement for starting to “crack the grip” which the fossil fuel industry holds on the nation’s political economy.

“That’s because of you,” she said to those in the crowd. “Don’t let the cynics win. The cynics want us to think that this isn’t worth it. The cynics want us to believe that we can’t win. The cynics want us to believe that organizing doesn’t matter; that our political system doesn’t matter; that our economy doesn’t matter. But we’re here to say that we organize out of hope! We organize out of commitment! We organize out of love! We organize out of the beauty of our future! And we will not give up. We will not let go! We will not let cynicism to prevail!”

Original article by JON QUEALLY republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

Continue ReadingAOC Says Climate Movement Must Become ‘Too Big and Too Radical to Ignore’

Climate protests worldwide start a week of demonstrations

Spread the love
Scientists protest at UK Parliament 5 September 2023.
Scientists protest at UK Parliament 5 September 2023.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/live/2023/sep/17/nyc-march-end-fossil-fuels-alexandria-ocasio-cortez

Tens of thousands march in New York City to protest fossil fuels

Dharna Noor

Tens of thousands of people in New York City have kicked off a week of demonstrations seeking to end the use of coal, oil and natural gas blamed for climate change.

“This is an incredible moment,” said Jean Su of Center for Biological Diversity, who helped organize the mobilization.

Tens of thousands of people are marching in the streets of New York because they want climate action, and they understand Biden’s expansion of fossil fuels is squandering our last chance to avoid climate catastrophe.

Su said the action was the largest climate protest in the US since the start of the pandemic, with organizers estimating around 75,000 protestors taking to the streets in New York City.

She added:

This also shows the tremendous grit and fight of the people, especially youth and communities living at the frontlines of fossil fuel violence, to fight back and demand change for the future they have every right to lead.

In addition to celebrities and lawmakers, kids from across the country as well as elderly people showed up at the protests, waving climate signs and chanting alongside event organizers.

New York’s Democratic representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who previously championed the Green New Deal alongside Senator Bernie Sanders, is also expected to address the crowd later this afternoon.

Sunday’s demonstration comes ahead of the the United Nations Climate Ambition Summit, which the UN secretary general, António Guterres, says will focus on on bold new climate pledges.

Continue ReadingClimate protests worldwide start a week of demonstrations

The United States and Canada Are Among the World’s Top 5 ‘Planet Wreckers,’ New Fossil Fuel Report Contends

Spread the love

Original article by Dana Drugmand republished from DeSmog.

Just ahead of U.N. climate summit in New York City, analysis calls on governments to halt planned gas and oil projects

Climate activists assembled at the White House during the People vs Fossil Fuels week of direct action in Oct. 2021. Credit: Dana Drugmand
Climate activists assembled at the White House during the People vs Fossil Fuels week of direct action in Oct. 2021. Credit: Dana Drugmand

United Nations chief António Guterres has called on nations to arrive at September 20’s high-level climate summit in New York City with firm commitments for ending fossil fuel production.

So far, however, the world’s top 20 oil and gas extractors have enough production planned to generate 173 billion tons of carbon pollution by 2050 — more than enough to blow past their Paris Agreement commitments and heat the world well beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius above historical temperatures. The greatest polluter among them will be the United States.

Those are some of the findings in a new report from the group Oil Change International, which has found that these 20 countries — dubbed the “planet wreckers” — are going to be responsible for almost 90 percent of the expected carbon emissions from planned oil and gas projects between 2023 and 2050.

“A handful of the world’s richest nations are gambling our global future by failing to act and ignoring the scientific calls and evidence that we need to rapidly phase out fossil fuels,” said Kelly Trout, co-director of research at Oil Change International, who co-authored the report with colleague Romain Ioualalen.

“Most countries are unfortunately still moving in the wrong direction,” she said.

Oil and gas projects already planned by these nations will generate climate-heating CO2 emissions equivalent to 1,082 new coal plants, according to the report.  

Based on their current plans, just five countries — the U.S. Canada, Norway, Australia, and the UK — will account for 51 percent of all new oil and gas projects through 2050, Trout found in her research.

“Among all of the countries that we call out in the report, these are the five that have the greatest economic means and capacity to actually be phasing out their oil and gas production the fastest,” Trout said.

The U.S. is both the largest historical carbon emitter and the world’s top oil and gas producer. Dubbed “planet wrecker in chief” in the report, it is on course to drive the most carbon pollution from planned oil and gas expansion by far. New oil and gas extraction in the U.S. will account for more than one-third of all planned projects over the next 25 years, creating 72.5 billion tons of CO2 emissions through 2050. 

Canada, which is on track for 18.6 billion tons of cumulative carbon pollution through 2050, came in second. 

Russia, the world’s second largest gas extractor and third largest oil producer, ranked third with 17.3 billion tons of CO2 expected from new production through 2050. Iran ranked fourth with 9.7 billion tons, and China rounded out the top five at 8.9 billion tons of expected carbon pollution.   

Trout was not surprised by the outsized role of the U.S. “It’s a reflection of the reality that the oil and gas industry’s expansion has been unchecked for many years now in the United States,” she said. “President Biden has put very few limits on the oil and gas industry, and has even enabled the sort of expansion that we’re warning about in this report.”

Since the beginning of 2023, the Biden administration has approved construction of multiple liquid natural gas export facilities. 

Among the moves that have further outraged environmentalists, in March, the administration approved the Willow Project, a major ConocoPhilips oil drilling venture in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, a federal wilderness on Alaska’s North Shore. Estimates put up to 600 million barrels of oil in the area where the project will be located.

Just two weeks later, at the end of March, the Department of Interior held a large oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico, leasing 313 tracts across 1.6 million acres.

In June, as part of the debt ceiling deal negotiated between congressional Republicans and the White House, federal agencies fast-tracked Mountain Valley Pipeline, which will carry fracked gas about 300 miles from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia.   

President Biden has also resisted calls from climate advocates to formally declare a climate emergency, even as the annual number of billion-dollar climate disasters continues to mount. Among them: Phoenix, Arizona set a new record for enduring 31 consecutive days over 110 degrees Fahrenheit, Vermont suffered its worst flooding in nearly a century, and the Hawaiian city of Lahaina was destroyed by one of the deadliest wildfires in U.S. history

In an August interview on the Weather Channel, Biden said he had “practically” declared a climate emergency, a statement that angered climate activists seeking more concrete action. 

Against this backdrop, tens of thousands are expected to take to the streets of New York on September 17 for a “March to End Fossil Fuels,” some with the explicit demand that President Biden stop U.S. expansion of oil and gas development. Mid-September actions and protests are also being planned in cities and towns worldwide.

“Thousands of folks will be marching, not just in New York City but across the world to just say our future is on the line,” Trout said, “and a livable future for us all is completely incompatible with the expansion and continuation of the fossil fuel industry.”

Original article by Dana Drugmand republished from DeSmog.

Continue ReadingThe United States and Canada Are Among the World’s Top 5 ‘Planet Wreckers,’ New Fossil Fuel Report Contends

Climate protest news 21 April 2022

Spread the love

Just Stop Oil calls one-week halt to protests in hope of action from No 10

Just Stop Oil has said it will suspend its direct actions against fuel distribution for a week, but has told the prime minister its members will escalate their disruptive protests “if you do not fulfil your duty to the people”.

For two and a half weeks, the climate activists have been targeting oil terminals and oil tankers in the Midlands and the south-east of England with blockades and mass trespass.

The government and petrol retailers have attempted to downplay the scale of the disruption to fuel deliveries. But there have been widespread reports of petrol station forecourts running dry in various parts of the country.

Just Stop Oil’s activists have vowed to continue their campaign until the government agrees to a ban on new oil and gas extraction projects, or until they are all jailed.

Extinction Rebellion and Palestine Action activists blockade entrance of Israeli arms firm’s London HQ (Yesterday)

CLIMATE activists today targeted the London HQ of Israel’s largest private arms firm in protest at “brutal” attacks on al-Aqsa mosque by Israeli forces in recent days.

Members of the youth branch of Extinction Rebellion teamed up with the Palestine Action group to blockade the entrance of Elbit Systems’ offices in Holborn on Wednesday morning.

The groups said the action, which saw activists lock on to the entrance of the building at 77 Kingsway Road and hurl red paint across the facade, forced the offices to shut for the day.

Palestine Action said the activists wanted to show solidarity with Palestinian worshippers during Ramadan after Israeli forces launched a series of raids on the al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem, injuring dozens of Palestinians.

‘No Wars, No Warming’: Extinction Rebellion Marches on NYC 18 April 2022

Members of Extinction Rebellion (XR) marked Tax Day with the “No Wars, No Warming” demonstration outside a federal building in NYC where various agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), have offices.

Demonstrators perched on top of and locked themselves to two 15-foot tripods installed near the Charging Bull sculpture to block traffic on Broadway, according to organizers. Nine activists were arrested.

“We recognize that the people who are most often placed in harm’s way from armed conflict are also the people who have and will continue to face the brunt of the climate crisis,” says the XR event webpage. “In this moment, after two years of Covid-19, our tax money should be funding social services that benefit the communities most impacted by the climate crisis and most affected by decades of systemic underfunding.”

Continue ReadingClimate protest news 21 April 2022