One day after the largest climate march in history in New York City, protesters rallied near Wall Street on Monday to highlight the financial industry’s role in fueling industries responsible for the air pollution that is causing global warming and climate change. The action came ahead of the one-day United Nations Climate Summit today, where leaders from 125 countries will take part in the first high-level climate talks since Copenhagen nearly five years ago. Dubbed "Flood Wall Street," hundreds of protesters dressed in blue held a rowdy sit-in on Broadway just blocks from the U.S. Stock Exchange. The demonstrators occupied the street for more than eight hours until police began arresting some 100 people. Democracy Now! was in the streets to cover the action. Watch our video report to hear some of the voices of people in the demonstration.
The United States has launched airstrikes in Syria targeting the Islamic State, as well as members of a separate militant organization known as the Khorasan group. The Pentagon says U.S. forces launched 47 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles from warships in the Red Sea and North Arabian Gulf. In addition, U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fighters, bombers and drones took part in the airstrikes. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 20 Islamic State fighters were killed in strikes that hit at least 50 targets in Raqqa and Deir al-Zor provinces in Syria’s east. The United States says Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had either participated or supported the strikes against the Islamic State, which has seized swaths of Syria and Iraq. The United States acted alone against the Khorasan group, saying it "took action to disrupt the imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests." The Syrian government claims the United States had informed it of the pending attacks hours before the strikes began. Meanwhile, the United States has expanded its bombing of Iraq, launching new strikes around Kirkuk. To discuss this development, we are joined by two guests: Vijay Prashad, professor of international studies at Trinity College who has written extensively about the Islamic State, and Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the peace group CodePink and author of "Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control."
- U.S. Launches Strikes on Militant Groups in Syria
- Scores of Iraqi Soldiers Killed by Islamic State
- French Hostage Held by ISIS-Linked Group in Algeria
- Over 100 Arrested at "Flood Wall Street" Protest Against Climate Change
- Rockefeller Heirs Cite "Moral Imperative" to Divest from Fossil Fuels
- WHO Darkens Outlook on Ebola; 20,000 Cases Possible by November
- Yemen: Houthi Rebels Tighten Hold on Capital Sana'a
- Israeli Forces Kill Suspects in June Killing of 3 Teenagers
- U.S. Unveils New Rules to Curb Corporate "Tax Inversions"
- Report: U.S. Increasing Nuclear Arsenal, Despite Promises
In major climate divestment news, the Rockefeller family, which made their vast fortune on oil, has announced it will begin divesting from fossil fuel companies. The heirs of Standard Oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller are joining a growing movement of institutions and wealthy individuals who are pledging to divest from oil, coal and natural gas companies. We speak to Scott Wallace, co-chair of the Wallace Global Fund, which has coordinated the Divest-Invest effort. He is the grandson of Henry Wallace, who served as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s vice president and ran for president in 1948 on the Progressive Party ticket.
Among the hundreds of thousands of people who attended the People’s Climate March in New York City was Mary Robinson, former Irish president and U.N. high commissioner for human rights, who now heads the Mary Robinson Foundation–Climate Justice. She was interviewed in the streets during the Democracy Now! broadcast from the march alongside Tony deBrum, foreign minister of the Marshall Islands, who described the threat climate change poses to the Pacific Ocean nation. "Six feet above sea level, sitting in the middle of the Pacific, one of the five most vulnerable atoll countries in the world,” deBrum said. "I join Ms. Robinson in saying that we consider this to be a wonderful occasion to be able to tell the world that the problem of climate change is now, and we must deal with it now."
The world-renowned musician and activist Sting stops by our three-hour special from the People’s Climate March to talk about why he is marching with indigenous activists on the front lines of the environmental movement. "The indigenous peoples’ message has been consistent from the beginning: We are in danger," Sting says. "These people are not complacent, I am not complacent. We have to do something."
Earlier this month, two climate activists were set to go on trial in Massachusetts for blocking the shipment of 40,000 tons of coal to the Brayton Point power plant, a 51-year-old facility that is one of the region’s largest contributors to greenhouse gases. But in a surprise move, local prosecutor Sam Sutter dropped the criminal charges and reduced three other charges to civil offenses, calling climate change one of the gravest crises our planet has ever faced. On Sunday, the activists, Jay O’Hara and Ken Ward, marched with Sutter at the People’s Climate March in New York City.
Environmental activist and attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was one of up to 400,000 people joining the People’s Climate March Sunday in New York City. "American politics is driven by two forces: One is intensity, and the other is money," Kennedy says. "The Koch brothers have all the money. They’re putting $300 million this year into their efforts to stop the climate bill. And the only thing we have in our power is people power, and that’s why need to put this demonstration on the street." We also hear from Elizabeth Yeampierre, executive director of the group UPROSE and an organizer of Sunday’s march.
Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org and a lead organizer behind Sunday’s People’s Climate March and global day of action, joins us to reflect on the historic protest. "There hasn’t been a political gathering about anything this large in this country for many years," McKibben says. "And I think what it demonstrates is that climate change is at the absolute tip now of people’s consciousness."
Speaking at the People’s Climate March in New York City, independent Senator Bernie Sanders discusses a potential 2016 presidential run and how getting money out of politics is critical to addressing the climate crisis. "[President Obama] can and should do more," Sanders says. "But the major impediment right now is not Obama, it is the Republican Party. We have to call them out on this. We don’t do it enough. These are people who do not even acknowledge the scientific reality because they are beholden to Big Energy money and the Koch brothers."
As many as 400,000 people turned out in New York City on Sunday for the People’s Climate March, the largest environmental protest in history. With a turnout far exceeding expectations, the streets of midtown Manhattan were filled with environmentalists, politicians, musicians, students, farmers, celebrities, nurses and labor activists — all united in their demand for urgent action on climate change. Organizers arranged the People’s Climate March into different contingents reflecting the movement’s diversity, with indigenous groups in the lead. Democracy Now! producers Aaron Maté and Elizabeth Press were in the streets to hear from some of the demonstrators taking part in the historic protest.
- Up to 400,000 Join Historic People's Climate March in NYC
- Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Hit New Record; U.S. Share Increases 2.9%
- Heirs to Rockefeller Oil Fortune Divest from Fossil Fuels
- Turkish Hostages Released from ISIS Captivity in Iraq
- Over 130,000 Syrian Refugees Flee ISIS into Turkey
- Ambassador: U.S. Won't Go it Alone on Syria Strikes
- Yemeni Gov't Signs Truce with Shiite Rebels
- Thousands Protest Russian Involvement in Ukraine Civil War
- U.N.: Sinking of Ship Carrying Gazan Refugees Could be "Mass Murder"
- Iraq War Vet with PTSD Detained in Unprecedented White House Breach
New York City is set to host what could be the largest climate change protest in history. Organizers expect more than 100,000 people to converge for a People’s Climate March on Sunday. Some 2,000 solidarity events are scheduled around the world this weekend ahead of Tuesday’s United Nations climate summit. We spend the hour with four participants representing the labor, indigenous, faith and climate justice communities: Rev. Dr. Serene Jones is the president of Union Theological Seminary, which recently voted to divest from fossil fuels; Lidy Nacpil is a member of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice; Clayton Thomas-Muller is co-director of the Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign in Canada and a member of the Idle No More campaign; and Estela Vázquez is executive vice president of 1199 SEIU, which is expected to bring thousands of union members to the march.
Democracy Now! will broadcast live from the People’s Climate March on Sunday, September 21. Click here to watch the special livestream from 10:30am to 1:30pm ET.
- Scotland Votes "No" on Independence; Cameron Promises New Powers
- Senate Adjourns After Backing Plan to Arm Rebels
- ISIS Seizes Kurdish Villages in Syria; British Journalist Shown in New Video
- U.N. Declares Ebola "Threat to International Security"
- Sierra Leone Begins 3-Day Lockdown to Combat Ebola
- Guinea: 8 Bodies Found After Ebola Health Team Attacked
- White House Unveils $46 Million in Military Aid to Ukraine
- Bahraini Activist Maryam Alkhawaja Released from Prison
- Chinese Firm Alibaba's Debut Marks Largest IPO in U.S. History
- China Fines GlaxoSmithKline Record $490 Million for Bribery
- Home Depot Announces Massive Credit Card Breach
- Panama to Invite Cuba to Summit of Americas, Defying U.S.
- NOAA: Summer of 2014 was the Hottest on Record
- New York City to Host Largest Climate Change March in History
- King Fire Devours Forestland in Drought-Hit California
- New Details Emerge in Domestic Violence Case Against NFL's Jonathan Dwyer
- U.S. Judge in Alabama Faces Calls for Resignation over Domestic Violence
- Florida: Man Kills Daughter, 6 Grandchildren in Murder-Suicide
- Anti-Drone Activist Defeats Trespassing Charge in Upstate New York
- Census: Manhattan Has Greatest Gap Between Rich and Poor in U.S.
- Report: NY State Failing to Provide Public Defense to Poor
- Poll: U.S. Trust in Mainstream Media Hits All-Time Low
- Report: U.S. Police Receive Privately Funded Training in Israel
At least 100,000 people are expected to take part in the People’s Climate March in New York City on Sunday. More than 2,000 "People’s Climate" events are planned worldwide in 150 countries. And on Monday, climate activists are planning to stage a mass sit-in in the financial district in Manhattan in an action dubbed "Flood Wall Street." The actions are taking place ahead of Tuesday’s one-day United Nations Climate Summit. We speak to acclaimed journalist Naomi Klein, author of the new book, “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate,” about the upcoming climate activism as well as the global grassroots movement dubbed "Blockadia," which is fighting fossil fuel extraction from Canada to Nigeria to Greece.
As the United Nations prepares to hold one-day global summit on climate change, we speak to award-winning author Naomi Klein about her new book, "This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate." In the book, Klein details how our neoliberal economic system and our planetary system are now at war. With global emissions at an all-time high, Klein says radical action is needed. "We have not done the things that are necessary to lower emissions because those things fundamentally conflict with deregulated capitalism, the reigning ideology for the entire period we have been struggling to find a way out of this crisis," Klein writes. "We are stuck because the actions that would give us the best chance of averting catastrophe — and would benefit the vast majority — are extremely threatening to an elite minority that has a stranglehold over our economy, our political process, and most of our major media outlets."
- House Approves Arming of Syrian Rebels
- Obama Repeats Vow of No Ground War in Iraq
- Kerry: CodePink Protesters Should Support ISIS Fight
- 15 Syrian Children Die After Vaccine Mistake
- Pakistan Airstrikes Kill 40; Protests Against Sharif Continue
- Nigeria: Gunmen Kill 15 at Teacher Training College
- Voting Underway in Scottish Independence Referendum
- Former Colombian President Uribe Questioned over Paramilitary Ties
- Texas Conducts Rare Execution of Woman
- USDA Approves Use of GMO Seeds Resistant to Weed Killer 2,4-D
- Top Interior Dept. Official to Lead Environmental Group NRDC
- Amazon, Washington Post Owner Jeff Bezos Unveils Partnership with Weapons Makers
- FSU's Jameis Winston Benched Half a Game for Comment; Never Suspended for Alleged Rape
- Jonathan Dwyer is Latest NFL Player Accused of Domestic Violence
- NFL Player Reggie Bush Defends Peterson, Says He Will "Harshly" Discipline 1-Year-Old Daughter
- Study: 1 in 5 U.S. Men Have Committed Domestic Violence
- Oklahoma: 3rd Cop Accused of Sexually Assaulting Women While on Duty
- Rolling Jubilee Abolishes $3.85 Million in Student Debt
- Australia: Authorities Claim to Thwart Beheading Plot Tied to ISIS
Scotland is set to vote Thursday on whether to become independent from Britain for the first time since 1707. The question on the ballot will ask simply: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" Polls show the referendum is too close to call, but many British politicians fear voters will choose independence. On Monday, British Prime Minister David Cameron warned voters that separation would be a "painful divorce." We host a debate between British musician and activist Billy Bragg and British historian Sam Wetherell. Bragg just published an article titled "Scottish Nationalism and British Nationalism Aren’t the Same" in The Guardian. Wetherell’s article, "Exit Stage Right: The Case Against Scottish Independence," appears in Jacobin.