“It’s a snowball,” said one protester.
As a group of about 60 people crossed the street in front of Bryant Park and approached the barricaded Bank of America building in New York City, they broke into mock coughing fits and imitated dying in a protest against the health effects of coal mining.
This act was among the many “Occupy Wall Street” protests that took place in the city last weekend, culminating in approximately 6,000 people gathered in Times Square to underscore growing economic inequality. The anti-coal protest was one of the first Occupy Wall Street actions focused specifically on environmental issues.
“It’s not just people that this system is failing. It’s also the environment. The greed on Wall Street is exploiting people as well as the environment just as equally,” said Daniel Zetah, an environmental volunteer and a mechanic from Minnesota.
Another OWS protester told Climatewire,
“We need to understand it’s all a priority, because it’s all connected. You can’t have social reform without natural resources and the environment. It’s a snowball, and it all affects each other,” said Stephanie, who received her master’s degree in environmental sustainability from Columbia University and spoke on the condition that she withhold her last name over concerns she would be targeted for arrest.