Climate change protesters block entrance to Citigroup headquarters in Lower Manhattan; 2 dozen arrested

At least 2 dozen arrested at climate protest in Tribeca

NEW YORK -- At least 24 people were arrested during a climate protest outside the headquarters for Citigroup in Tribeca.

Thursday morning's demonstration comes a few days before the start of Climate Week. 

Outside Citigroup headquarters in Tribeca, crowds of workers and customers could not get in because some climate change demonstrators were making sure of it.

There were two dozen arrests, and no injuries. 

Organizer Alice Nascimento of New York Communities for Change told CBS New York disrupting the start of the work day was the attention-grabber they hoped for because, her group claims, Citigroup funds the fossil fuel industry.

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Posted by CBS New York on Thursday, September 14, 2023

"What we're looking at is the leadership the CEOs we're looking at the presidents our election officials to really take action," Nascimento said. "Oil gas and coal companies would never be able to build pipelines or gas terminals or liquified natural gas... so they are actually just as complicit."

In a statement, a Citigroup spokesperson said, "While we respect the right to protest, activists do not have the right to prevent people from entering our building or customers from entering our branch." 

Some Citigroup employees said they've seen protestors from the same group outside their offices before, but this time was more intense.

"You stop somebody from going to work I gotta do anyhow. Is that going to do anything for the climate?" employee Michael Iver said. 

By lunchtime, things were back to normal at the Citigroup headquarters, with the exception that workers say there were more security guards out front than usual.

Boosted security may be noticeable in the coming week around some corporate headquarters and the United Nations. On Sunday, many of the same demonstrators from outside Citigroup will March to the U.N. from Columbus Circle.

"The world is not paying enough attention. Whether this is the right methodology, I'm not really sure, but the world should be playing much more attention," Tribeca resident Lawrence Kimmel said. 

Daily demonstrations are planned for Climate Week, because those participating say there is no time to wait.  

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