My Night In Jail With Flood Wall Street

“What is overwhelming about the climate challenge is that it requires breaking so many rules at once.” – Naomi Klein

Early Monday evening I sat down in the street at the intersection of Broadway and Wall Street with a polar bear, two women dressed as Captain Planet, and almost 100 other people. Following a vibrant day of unpermitted Flood Wall Street protests that drew as many as 3,000 demonstrators to Lower Manhattan, we locked arms and insisted that this symbolic piece of real estate should remain occupied through the following day when world leaders were scheduled to gather at the United Nations to continue discussions about how to address climate change.

With its outsized political influence and its funding of companies pursuing dirty energy projects around the world, Wall Street was an obvious target for protesters insisting on capitalism’s central role in the climate crisis.

A song that had been sung throughout the day by protesters burbled up again among the people sitting around me: “The people are rising like water/We gotta calm this crisis down/I hear the voice of my great-granddaughter saying / Shut down Wall Street now."

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