Non violent action shuts down D.C. Citi Bank over coal funding!

So – there have been a lot of posts about how amazing Power Shift was. And really, it was – I have yet to hear from anyone who walked away from the weekend without fabulous things to say. But I think one of the most inspiring moments was something that wasn’t on the “official” schedule. After the big rally on the Capitol lawn Monday, hundreds of community members, coal-field residents, and youth converged on Citi bank, and had an inspiring non-violent direct action that shut the bank down for their role in funding the biggest climate-killing industry – coal.

As a crowd gathered in a Washington DC park, a delegation of coal-field residents entered the bank, taking their concerns of Citi’s financing of the climate, community, and mountain-destroying coal industry to the bank employee’s and customers. The crowd at the park then took to the streets – with banners, signs, chants, and music. Suddenly, the crowd is joined by a dozen people in HazMat suits carrying nearly a half-ton of coal and shovels – and we march ed together to Citi’s front door. Taking non-violent direct action,  the coal was dumped on Citi’s doorstep as more youth went inside the bank to make sure the customers knew what the bank is using their money for.  Simultaneously, hundreds of youth began coughing violently, with a massive “die-in” surrounding the bank and adjacent sidewalk.  More people wrapped the bank and entire block with yellow “Global Warming Crime Scene” caution tape. Within minutes – the bank had shuttered their doors, posting signs stating “closed due to an emergency” – we shut them down down for the rest of the day!

citiaction.jpgOrganized by Rainforest Action Network, the Student Enironmental Action Coalition, Coal River Mountain Watch, Mountain Justice Summer and hundreds of dedicated youth – the action was amazing. Recognizing the the strategic importantace of taking direct action against the largest financier of coal – Powershifters really “stepped it up” today, making our voices heard, and demonstrating the power of the youth climate movement.

We’ve got some initial photos here, and check out the press release here. More photos and video will be up soon – and please contact us if you were there and have footage!

And don’t forget - on Nov 16th and 17th we’ve got a National Day of Action Against Coal Financing. Across the country, hundreds of youth, activists, and community members will take action telling Bank of America and Citi - NO MORE COAL! From flyering in front of the banks, to sending the message up to the sky, to creative street theater, to non-violent direct action like today- get involved in your town or campus!

Thanks everyone for an amazing weekend!

17 Responses to “Non violent action shuts down D.C. Citi Bank over coal funding!”

  1. 1 Andrea LeClair Nov 6th, 2007 at 6:49 am

    one of the most intense moments of my life, & ive never been prouder or so moved….

    powershift was a life altering experience for me… the world and opposition to going green isn’t going to know what hit ‘em

    <3POWERSHIFT ’07!<3

    -Andrea LeClair
    Westfield State College, Westfield, MA

  2. 2 summerrayneoakes Nov 6th, 2007 at 11:41 am

    This is awesome! Way to go guys. We need to find out the different branches of banks at our colleges and universities and do the same thing!

  3. 3 jeff Nov 6th, 2007 at 12:37 pm

    how did the meeting go? what were the responses to the action?

  4. 4 Daniel Chiotos Nov 6th, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    This was an amazing experience! I am proud to be a part of this effort and we have got to grow and organize organize organize – Keep it rolling – Nov. 16 & 17th Days of Action Against Coal Financing Plug into it!

  5. 5 yasmin Nov 6th, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    So proud of the die-in! The photos look sooo good. I wish that I could have made it… it was definitely more up my alley than the lobby day, but, hey, Florida is a rather far drive.

    Love that banjo!

  6. 6 Mark B. Cabral Nov 6th, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    Purely Amazing

  7. 7 Lavinia Nov 6th, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    This was so amazing! I think you young us students and others rule! This is going to be history and we shall overcome this!!!! I support you in every sense there is!

    From Knoxville Tennessee, the dutch (from the netherlands) student,


  8. 8 Dominique Nov 6th, 2007 at 3:09 pm


    I wish I didn’t have to go back to school after the rally… but I can’t wait until Nov. 17 when I will be helping to send the same message to Bank of America!

  9. 9 Amy Ortiz Nov 6th, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    Hell Yeah is all I got to say. As a member of the student planning committee, I am so happy that there ended up being a non violent direct action at Power Shift! Rock on! Can’t wait till Nov 16-17th. Lets shift the power!

  10. 10 Charlotte Hyzy Nov 6th, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    I’ve never been so excited about dying! (Or more excited about seeing my purple butt in a picture.) This weekend and this action was absolutely and utterly amazing. I know we are going to go keep this momentum going! I love every last one of you! WE HAVE THE POWER! Hooray.

    Charlotte Hyzy
    Southern Illinois University Carbondale

  11. 11 Zoe Nov 6th, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    Wonderful video! Congratulations on what looks like a very effective, well-organized action.

  12. 12 Carlos Rymer Nov 6th, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    Hell yea!!!! I still feel the ENERGY of Powershift!

  1. 1 One Shade Greener » “Stop Funding Coal”: PowerShifters Close Citi Trackback on Nov 6th, 2007 at 5:38 pm
  2. 2 Save the Polar Bear Suits for the Afterparty « Breakthrough Generation Trackback on Jun 10th, 2008 at 6:01 pm
  3. 3 Save the Polar Bear Costume for the Afterparty « Barge in Charge Trackback on Jun 10th, 2008 at 8:13 pm
  4. 4 Save the Polar Bear Suits for the Afterparty « It’s Getting Hot In Here Trackback on Jun 11th, 2008 at 12:56 pm
  5. 5 Flipside of banking / OurWorld 2.0 Trackback on Feb 26th, 2010 at 5:42 am
Comments are currently closed.

About Matt

Matt lives in San Francisco, where he enjoys working on climate justice and energy issues, supporting direct action as a strategy for social change, rock climbing, biking, punk rock, and the plethora of vegan food options. He has been involved in radical social justice and ecological movements for over 15 years.

Community Picks