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Summer of Heat: Campaign Newsletter #1

We organized civil disobedience actions at Citibank’s global headquarters four days in a row


This is a re-publication of a newsletter email from Stop The Money Pipeline about the Summer of Heat campaign. Learn more about the campaign by visiting its website here.

This week we launched the Summer of Heat campaign ― and this is the first of our Summer of Heat campaign newsletters that we’ll send out over the next few months.

It’s been quite the first week here in New York. We organized civil disobedience actions at Citibank’s global headquarters four days in a row: On Monday we blockaded every entrance with 150+ people. On Tuesday, we did it with a giant pod of orcas. On Wednesday, it was the turn of the scientists, including Dr. Sandra Steingraber and Dr. Peter Kalmus. And on Thursday we blockaded the headquarters with 200+ elders and 50+ rocking chairs.

On Friday, we held a block party in the plaza outside the HQ and in the midst of it all, we also found the time to disrupt a speech by Citibank’s Head of Wealth Management, Andy Seig. In total, 144 people were arrested this week, demanding an end to the financing of fossil fuels.

In some ways, it’s been a grueling week. I was in jail twice. My voice is hoarse; my throat strained from chanting at actions all week long. If my voice already sounds this gravely after just one week, I worry about what it will sound like at the end of the summer. As much as it has been a taxing week however, it has also been inspiring.

The stakes of the climate fight cannot be overestimated. Already, at less than 1.5°C of warming, half of the world’s coral reefs have collapsed and millions of children are being displaced by climate-driven extreme weather events every yearIf we don’t stop burning fossil fuels in the coming years, it will get so much worse.

Given these stakes, it feels good to be a part of a campaign that at least feels close to being commensurate with the scale of the crisis.

I take heart, too, in knowing that history shows how effective sustained campaigns of civil disobedience can be. Indeed, many of most significant advances in social justice of the past 150 years ― from women’s suffrage to desegregation to the many gains won by organized labor ― owe less to subtle, “respectable” maneuvering than to the disruptive campaigns and groups that first made the issues impossible to ignore, and then forced decision-makers to act.

I believe that will be true of the fight to end fossil fuels, too―and that civil disobedience will play a key role in turning Wall Street against the fossil fuel industry.

As we take a breath and prepare for another week of civil disobedience actions, there are several ways that you can support the Summer of Heat campaign, wherever you are.

You can take a few minutes to call Citi’s CEOemail a dozen of their top executives, or call them out on social media. If you have the means to do so, you can also make a donation to the Summer of Heat campaign here. We’ll put every cent to good use.

And, of course, if you’re really eager to jump in, you can also look up where the closest Citi branch is to you and plan an action; or you could even start to plan your trip to New York. June 28th would be a very good day to be in town…

In Solidarity
– Alec Connon, Stop the Money Pipeline coalition co-director

PS: Interested in checking out the media from the first week of Summer of Heat? The pick of the bunch is here: Newsweek, the HillSalonDemocracy Now – WednesdayDemocracy Now – ThursdayBloombergABC7AM NYNPRCommon Dreams, and the NY Post

Learn more about the Summer of Heat campaign here.

Check it out

Visit Stop The Money Pipeline’s website.

Check it out