Over 1500 New Yorkers Protest Gov. Cuomo’s Climate Dishonesty

Constituents demand renewable energy, polluter fee, and end to fracked-gas infrastructure

APRIL 23, 2018

ALBANY, NY

 

More than 1500 people marched on the New York Capitol on Monday, as part of the Cuomo: Walk the Talk on Climate! day of action, telling the Governor to back three collective demands: to halt all fracking infrastructure, to transition New York to 100-percent renewable energy, and to make corporate polluters pay for the damage they cause to New Yorkers’ health and the environment. 

The march started in Sheridan Hollow at the proposed site of a 16-megawatt power plant, intended to power Empire State Plaza. “The proposed fracked-gas plant in Sheridan Hollow exposes the phoniness of Cuomo’s environmentalism,” said Bob Cohen, Policy Director at Citizen Action of New York. “Black and brown neighborhoods don’t deserve to have toxic fumes pumped into the air. No neighborhood does.”

“Now is the time say no to new fossil fuel projects, move towards 100-percent renewables and make polluters pay. The extractionist economy does the most harm to two groups–those already impacted by racism and marginalization, and future generations who will inherit the pollution we put into the air today,” said Karenna Gore, Director of the Center for Earth Ethics. “Governor Cuomo has made some great environmental decisions and delivered some important statements. Today, I hope he will take the concrete steps necessary to meet the challenge of climate change.”

 

 Patrick Houston from New York Communities for Change and Santosh Nandabalan from Food & Water Watch are led out of the Capitol in handcuffs.

Patrick Houston from New York Communities for Change and Santosh Nandabalan from Food & Water Watch are led out of the Capitol in handcuffs.

As people rallied on the Million Dollar Staircase, a group of activists sat in outside Governor Cuomo’s office, sharing stories of how they have been impacted by climate change and pollution. 55 people were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.

Civil disobedience is a tactic growing more common in the climate movement in the face of federal and state inaction. “Since 2011, we have worked diligently with the system by following lawful procedure,” said Kim Fraczek, Director of Sane Energy Project, which seeks to replace fracked-gas infrastructure with renewable energy sources. “We now must escalate to civil disobedience in order to protect our health, safety and democracy.”.

Just last month, a district judge in Massachusetts found thirteen protesters not guilty after they obstructed construction of a fracked-gas pipeline, a historic ruling in favor of the “climate necessity defense.” “For decades our elected officials have failed to appropriately address the climate crisis,” said Tim DeChristopher, founder of the Climate Disobedience Center and defendant who participated today in New York. “In the face of that failure, more and more regular people are stepping up to take direct action to resist the imminent threat of the fossil fuel industry.”

 Youth from PUSH Buffalo chant while holding a Cuomo Walk the Talk banner.

Youth from PUSH Buffalo chant while holding a Cuomo Walk the Talk banner.

With over one hundred endorsing organizations, the march brought together New Yorkers impacted by climate change and the fossil fuel industry from Buffalo to Long Island. “Our state needs true climate leadership in the age of Trump, and unfortunately Cuomo has been long on rhetoric and short on substance,” said Laura Shindell, New York Organizer at Food and Water Watch.

“Climate change is an emergency,” said Dan Sherrell, Campaign Coordinator of New York Renews. “Governor Cuomo's modest actions to date don’t match the scale and urgency of the problem. That's why we’re at his doorstep today.”

See our press kit for more information, photos, and video.

 

 

 

Demands

  1. Stop all fracking infrastructure. Stop permitting more gas and oil pipelines and power plants, which destroy our air and water while locking in decades of climate pollution;
  2. Move to 100% renewable energy in a rapid and just transition that creates tens of thousands of good, union jobs, and investment, especially for low-income communities and communities of color;
  3. Make corporate polluters pay for the pollution they dump into our atmosphere, which damages our health and destabilizes our climate. Then use the money to fund the just transition to 100% renewables.

Learn more about three campaigns in New York to meet these demands: Stop NY InfrackstructureOff Fossil Fuels, and NY Renews.

Note: When you joined this rally (as an organization or individual), it does not mean you were endorsing any particular piece of legislation. However, we all be marched alongside many campaigns of various kinds – and all of the partners involved in planning this event were excited to team up to put united pressure on Governor Cuomo on these general demands.  You were beautiful on April 23rd!

Organizations:

That supported or took part in the April 23, 2018 Albany Cuomo Walk The Talk: On Climate action.

No endorsement of this website is implied by being listed.