Boston, MA – Copley Square, April 1, 2008. April Fools! As of 9:00AM, in conjunction with a downtown rally, four activists have locked themselves to the front entrance of the Bank of America branch in Copley Square. They are protesting the bank’s funding of coal and energy companies who are among the worst contributors to climate change, and directly responsible for innumerable human rights abuses in communities where coal is extracted and burned.
The April Fools prank took place as part of the Fossil Fools Day of Action, in coordination with over 100 rallies, protests, and acts of civil disobedience around the world. These actions are intended to challenge and disrupt the fossil fuels industry, which scientists say is primarily responsible for global warming.
Bank of America has lent over $144 billion to companies like Massey Energy, Arch Coal, and Peabody Energy, who are infamous for their human rights violations, strip mining, and mountaintop removal coal mining. The demonstrators are demanding that Bank of America stop providing funding for coal companies engaged in all forms of surface mining and cancel all loans to new fossil fuel burning power plants.
“Without the financial support of large banks like Bank of America, the fossil fuels industry could not continue destroying the earth and our communities,” said Elise Ansel, who locked her arms to other activists in order to prevent the bank from doing business as usual.
Coal-burning power plants are responsible for 40% of U.S. greenhouse gases that cause global warming, and are a leading cause of asthma and lung cancer, causing over 24,000 premature deaths a year. “It’s not just an environmental issue. The people who are most affected by the coal industry are already disadvantaged by this economic system,” said Laila Murad of Brighton, who also locked down to the bank, “Coal plants are often built in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, and the coal is most often mined in poor areas and on indigenous land. Coal mining is just another chapter in a long and bloody story of colonialism and injustice.”
The Fossil Fools Day of Action was called for by Rising Tide North America, Rainforest Action Network, and the Energy Action Coalition. More information on the actions taking place around the world is available at www.fossilfoolsday.org.