NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Wall Street landmark was vandalized, dozens of people were arrested and traffic downtown was bumper-to-bumper as thousands of protesters took over the streets to demand action on climate change Monday.
Police say they arrested more than 90 people across Lower Manhattan from the Charging Bull statue to Washington Square Park.
CBS2’s Reena Roy reports things were slowly wrapping up around 5 p.m., but earlier in the day, they made sure their presence was felt for miles.
Right out of the gate, protesters came on strong, immediately sending their message loud and clear.
Protesters balanced on top of the famous bull after throwing red liquid on it.
“We’re out here protesting in action on climate change. It’s too little too late. We have to act right now,” said a protester who traveled from upstate for the demonstration.
As the NYPD arrested dozens of people on the spot and crews cleaned up the iconic statue, thousands continued on.
They marched with their signs in tow to the Occulus and Wall Street, where they staged what they call a “die-in,” covered in fake blood symbolizing what they believe is happening to our planet.
“With our striking visuals, you know, like funeral and death and devastation and blood and gore, we are instilling that instinctive sense of fear,” one protester said. “We want that sense of fear to be associated with the climate crisis to show that this is urgent.”
They say mass extinction is a real concern for scientists, so they have called for an international extinction rebellion.
They even brought bustling Broadway to a halt, stopping traffic near Pine Street for blocks.
Brooklyn resident Chris Seymour said he decided to stand in front of traffic “because climate change is already here.”
“Unless we act now, the earth is dead,” he said.
Frustrated drivers were left at a standstill.
“I understand the message, but there’s other ways to go about it,” one passenger said.
But protesters say the headache is all worth it to raise awareness.
“I’m actually really concerned that [my child’s] future might not be a livable one,” one protester said.
The so-called extinction rebellion will be going on for the next two weeks with protests and events across the world.