Yesterday morning roughly 100 activists by the Examiner's count and 200 by KQED's marched from Justin Herman Plaza to Chevron headquarters. They eventually arrived at Bank of the West to draw attention to the banking industry’s ties to global climate change.
Once there, they painted the ground with the words “stop climate chaos profiteers #floodthesystem” and shut down the Financial District intersection of Montgomery and Bush Streets from 11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
"The waters are rising! No more compromising!” protestors chanted.
Scott Parkin, a protestor with the group Flood Wall Street West, called attention to the French company BNP Paribas, which owns Bank of the West. An investor in coal but a sponsor of COP 21, the forthcoming round of U.N. climate talks to be held in Paris, BNP Paribas is — in Parkins words — a “climate criminal” attempting to "greenwash" its image"
According to the Examiner, eight protestors were arrested and taken to County Jail after they chained themselves together inside the bank. KQED puts the number of those arrested at 12.
The protest comes after recent polling shows that climate change, while considered more of a serious threat than in years past, remains a low priority and fairly distant threat in the minds of most voters.
Climate activist Tom Steyer sent a memo to CNN's Anderson Cooper today, urging Cooper, who will moderate the first Democratic presidential debate on October 13th, to devote as much time as possible in the debate to the climate issue. "The candidates have yet to discuss their specific plans to comprehensively address climate change," writes Steyer. "To be a leader of the Democratic Party and the country you have to lead on climate change."