Southeast Convergence for Climate Action Shuts Down Asheville Bank of America

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Bank of America: Stop Banking on Climate
Change

As a culmination of the
Southeast Convergence for Climate Action, activists took a bold direct
action against Bank of America over concerns regarding their investment
throughout the coal cycle and their promotion of climate injustice.
Although there was much speculation regarding a protest action at the
Progress Energy Skyland coal-fired power plant, protestors surprised
the downtown office of Bank of America.

Two
activists locked down inside the main lobby and other activists
blockaded the entrance to the downtown branch of Bank of America. The
protest included a large, lively group of concerned citizens dressed as
canaries and polar bears. Activists carried signs and banners that
read: “Bank of America Stop Funding Climate Change,” “Bank of America
Stop Mountaintop Removal,” “No Coal, No Nukes, No Kidding” “Bank of
America Climate Criminal.”

Bank of America has
lent hundreds of millions of dollars to companies that run and are
planning to build new power plants, such as Florida Power and Light.
Between 2005 and 2007, Bank of America facilitated nearly $1 billion in
loans to Massey Energy and Arch Coal, two of the largest companies
responsible for the destructive practice of mountaintop removal coal
mining. This form of mining literally blasts the tops off of mountains
to get at thin seems of coal that lay beneath. Mountaintop removal coal
mining has permanently destroyed over 500 square miles of mountains and
buried over 1,200 miles of streams in West Virginia alone.

The polar bears demand climate
justice!

As of 2005, Progress Energy
was the fifth largest purchaser of Massey Energy’s coal. Progress
Energy’s Skyland plant purchases and burns mountaintop removal coal.
Additionally, the Skyland plant is the largest point source of
pollution in Buncombe County.

The Southeast
Convergence for Climate Action promotes a just, rapid, nuclear-free
transition away from fossil fuels; promotes environmental justice by
supporting communities that are fighting dirty energy developments in
their backyards; and encourages direct actions as a means for
challenging corporate power and empowering movements to stop climate
change.

“I attended the convergence to build my
skills for organizing and taking action on climate change,” said Joey
Littleton, a convergence participant. “This is a great place to
network–there are activists from all over the southeast region with a
wide breadth of experience on environment and social justice issues. I
enjoyed the strategy sessions; I came here to get involved with the
movement to stop climate change.”

Polar Bears understand climate change.
Why doesn’t Bank of America?

The Southeast Convergence for Climate Action is happening
simultaneously with a Climate Convergence on the west coast focused on
fighting liquefied natural gas terminals, and in conjunction with the
UK Camp for Climate Action taking place at London’s Heathrow
airport.

“Globally and locally, change will
come from communities, not from benign politicians and corporations who
hope to profit off the climate crisis with feel-good ‘solutions’ that
do nothing to challenge a fundamentally unjust and unsustainable
system,” said Mary Olson, director of the Southeast office of Nuclear
Information and Resource Service and co-organizer of the convergence.


New info:

***5 arrested protesting Bank of America’s
investments in coal and climate change***
Asheville Police
Department uses electric shock on defenseless nonviolent
protestors.

As a culmination of the
Southeast Convergence for Climate Action, activists took a bold direct
action against Bank of America, demanding they stop investing in coal
and climate injustice. Although there was much speculation regarding a
protest action at the Progress Energy Skyland coal-fired power plant,
protestors surprised the downtown office of Bank of America. “We went
to Bank of America to show that power companies are not solely
responsible for fueling climate chaos,” explained Stephanie
Whitaker.

Activists lock down in Bank of America
Lobby.

Bank of America
has lent hundreds of millions of dollars to companies that run and are
planning to build new power plants, such as Florida Power and Light.
Between 2005 and 2007, Bank of America facilitated nearly $1 billion in
loans to Massey Energy and Arch Coal, two of the largest companies
responsible for the destructive practice of mountaintop removal coal
mining. This form of mining literally blasts the tops off of mountains
to get at thin seems of coal that lie beneath. Mountaintop removal coal
mining has permanently destroyed over 500 square miles of mountains and
buried over 1,200 miles of streams in West Virginia alone.

Two activists locked down inside the main lobby and
other activists blockaded the entrance to the downtown branch of Bank
of America. The protest included a large, lively group of concerned
citizens dressed as canaries and polar bears. Activists carried signs
and banners that read: “Bank of America: Climate Criminal”, “Bank of
America Stop Mountaintop Removal,” and “Climate Justice Now.” Some
members of the protest spoke to the engaged crowd about saving the
mountains of Appalachia and the sacrifice people in these hills are
forced to make for corporate profit and advocated a swift and just
transition to renewable energy.

Several
activists entered the bank, delivering coal to tellers and other
customers and exposing Bank of America’s involvement in climate change.
The activists inside used bicycle locks to prevent their removal from
the building until Bank of America agreed to stop funding coal.
Asheville Police Department responded by repeatedly using high voltage
electric shock devices, known as Tasers, on the defenseless protesters.
These devices have been implicated in a number of deaths around the
country. “For the APD to use electric shock, a common torture
technique, on peaceful protestors is a violation of human rights, and
we will be pursuing legal recourse,” said Jeff McKinley.

The Southeast Convergence for
Climate Action
happened simultaneously with a Climate
Convergence on the west coast focused on fighting liquefied natural gas
terminals, and in conjunction with the UK Camp for Climate Action
taking place at London’s Heathrow airport.


Additionally, the Southeast Convergence for Climate
Action made the following statement:

List of Demands

Recognizing that climate change
is already here, we hold corporations and governments accountable for
the effects on communities, people and the living earth. Therefore, we
demand:

  1. That Bank of America completely divest from the coal
    industry and other dirty, climate-changing energy companies.
  2. A 90% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by
    2050.
  3. An immediate halt to any plans for new nuclear and coal
    power plants and a complete redirection of research and development
    money toward conservation, efficiency and clean, renewable energy
    projects.
  4. An immediate end to mountaintop removal coal mining and
    other forms of strip mining.
  5. A just, rapid transition away from fossil fuels and nuclear
    power by 2020.
  6. A shift to community controlled, small-scale systems of
    energy production, transportation, and food production and
    distribution.
  7. An end to the privatization of the atmosphere through
    market-based mechanisms such as carbon trading.
  8. Climate Justice
    Now!

From: The Southeast Convergence for
Climate Action


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Related Link: http://www.climateconvergence.org/southeast/


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