Environmentalists Occupy Wall Street (PHOTOS)
"We're not going to get any kind of real environmental reform while our politicians are being influenced by corporate dollars," Niko Segal-Wright told The Huffington Post as he stood among hundreds of others participating in the Occupy Wall Street protests at New York City's Zuccotti Park on a wet and windy fall afternoon.
"We're here to build a new society, basically," an unidentified man told HuffPost while grabbing some lunch from the pop-up cafeteria in the middle of the park. Seconds later, a song and dance broke out a few meters away, drawing dozens of onlookers and participants into the display. Just off to the side of them was silence as around 50 people sat and meditated before releasing into a lively chant.
Scenes like this have spread around the world, with individual political and fiscal motivations so diverse it is often hard to pinpoint the message.
But, dotted around the scene, environmentalists who have jumped on the anti-corporate bandwagon could be seen on Wednesday with signs and stalls calling to ban hydrofracking, end investments in big oil companies and introduce a carbon tax.
Olivia, a young woman wearing a grey Wildlife In Crisis sweater, told HuffPost, "I'd love to see the environmental movement really cross hairs more with other movements that are going on, and I feel like this is a really great opportunity for the environmental movement to show solidarity."
Author and environmentalist Bill McKibben spoke out last weekend at a demonstration at New York City's Washington Square Park criticizing Wall Street for "occupying the atmosphere."
He said, "We can never do anything about global warming. (Because) Exxon gets in the way, Goldman Sachs gets in the way, the whole fossil fuel industry gets in the way. The sky does not belong to Exxon. They cannot keep using it as a sewer into which to dump their carbon."
Former vice president and a leader in the climate change debate, Al Gore wrote on his blog Wednesday in support of the protests: "From the economy to the climate crisis our leaders have pursued solutions that are not solving our problems, instead they propose policies that accomplish little."
Take a look at the scene this week and read what some environmentalists had to say about the movement: