Climate protest outside Citigroup NYC headquarters leads to arrests

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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Police arrest climate protesters outside Citigroup in Tribeca
Phil Taitt has the story in Tribeca on the protest.

TRIBECA, Manhattan (WABC) -- NYPD officers have arrested a number of demonstrators at an Earth Week climate protest outside the global headquarters of Citigroup in Tribeca.

A large number of NYPD officers were outside the building well before the demonstrators arrived.

And when they did, the situation quickly heated up quickly.

Activists were full of passion as they raised their voices, chanted and beat drums.

A number of them held a large sign outside that said, "Stop funding fossil fuels."

Organizers describe themselves as part of a growing movement to increase pressure on big banks to stop funding the fossil fuel industry that they say is responsible for driving the climate crisis.

Police warned the activists that they would be removed as they flooded the entrance of the Citigroup building.

A short time later, they moved in and started arresting multiple participants.

Eyewitness News spoke with one man named Alec as he was about to be taken away by police.

"This summer is going to be the hottest summer ever recorded in human history," he said. "We're spending billions of dollars on a war that most Americans have never been to. We need to be spending that money on bringing housing to people who need it, on health care here. I want a future. I want your kids to have a future, and we need to fight for it or else we're going to lose everything."

Eyewitness News reached out to Citigroup that said in a statement it respects the right to protest, but activists can't prevent people from entering the building:

"Citi respects the advocacy of climate advocates, and we are supporting the transition to a low carbon economy through our net zero commitments and our one trillion sustainable finance goal. our approach reflects the need to transition while also continuing to meet global energy needs. While we respect the right to protest, activists do not have the right to prevent people from entering our building. The activists were given the opportunity to protest peacefully but they chose to continue to prevent people from coming to work. The NYPD responded and restored access to our building to our employees and clients."

A similar protest at Citigroup headquarters back in September resulted in 24 arrests.

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