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N30 -- San Francisco Climate Justice Protest
An estimated 300 activists came out on November 30 -- the 10th anniversary of the N30 "Battle of Seattle" protests against the World Trade Organization -- to call for climate justice and demand that corporations end their supporting for mountaintop removal coal mining and other ecologically destructive practices. About two dozen protesters were arrested blocking the doors of Bank of America in the financial district.
Following a brief noon rally at Justin Hermann Plaza, demonstrators embarked on a festive march down Market Street, chanting "System Change, Not Climate Change." Among the marchers was a contingent of kids and parents demanding that the U.S. "clean up your climate mess."
After arriving at Bank of America's California Street headquarters, protesters surrounded the building and blocked the doors, including several activists who wedged themselves between revolving doors. Speaking in muffled tones from behind one door, an activist named Noah said he viewed the blockade as "an act of sheer necessity." "Global warming is as close to scientific fact as we can get," he continued. "We need a solid carbon tax to keep levels from going above 350." Scientists estimate that 350 parts per million is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
"We want Bank of America to know we are aware of what they do, and we won't give up until they take responsibility for their actions," said Kate Raphael, blocking another entrance. "It's our responsibility as citizens to change policy...it's not going to come from governments."
Dressed in a suit and tie and carrying a financial newspaper, Larry Bogad said he was representing the Bank of Humanity. "We have six billion shareholders and growing," he said. "We are foreclosing on Bank of America. We demand that they either shut down or relocate the moon" -- before the earth resembles the surface of the moon due to mountaintop removal.
Raphael and five other activists were arrested early on, followed about half hour later by the remainder of the blockaders, including Noah and others in the revolving doors -- 23 in all, according to a member of the legal observer team. The protest, which ended about 2:30 pm, resulted in no injuries and no evident property destruction.
Noah behind door on left