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Day after march, environmental activists staging Wall Street sit-in

The day after a massive march to call attention to climate change and demand action to protect the planet, a storm of protesters were expected to descend on Wall Street.

An estimated 400,000 demonstrators participated in the People’s Climate March in New York City on Sept. 21.

Today, Sept. 22, protesters were expected to assemble in New York’s Financial District to focus on the profiteers fueling the climate crisis. Participants planned to stage a sit-in to disrupt business as usual on the first day of the work week.

Speakers lined up included author-activists Naomi Klein, Chris Hedges and Rebecca Solnit.

“Two years ago, Superstorm Sandy literally flooded New York’s Financial District — but it didn’t phase Wall Street and their drive for the short term profits that flow from the cooking of the planet,” said Klein. “Which is why we’re going to flood them again.”

Bill McKibben of 350.org also was expected to particpate in the day’s events, which were to begin at the World War II memorial in Battery Park and were to include a parade with a 300-foot banner, a 15-foot inflattable “carbon bubble” and oversized puppets.

The events serve as a prelude to climate change talks set for the UN this week. President Barack Obama is set to attend, along with French President Francois Hollande, South Korean President Park Geun-hye and UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

The march on Sunday led demonstrators, including activists with 350 Madison, across Manhattan.

“We said it would take everyone to change everything — and everyone showed up,” said Eddie Bautista of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance.

Particpants included: UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Vice President Al Gore, U.S. Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, Bernard Sanders and Chuck Schumer, U.S. Reps. Keith Ellison, Nydia Velázquez and Jerrold Nadler, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and celebrity activists such as Sting and Leonardo di iCaprio and Mark Ruffalo.

Marches also took place elsewhere in the United States, Europe, Africa, Australia, the Pacific Island and Southeast Asia.

Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said, “The People’s Climate March has given tens of thousands of passionate and dedicated allies an opportunity to let the world’s leaders know that we support setting the highest possible goals to address climate pollution, and that the United States must fully embrace and lead a worldwide effort to accelerate the 21st Century’s complete transformation to a prosperous clean energy economy.”

Laura Hanson Schlachter of 350 Madison said, “Although we are part of a global movement, each of us working in our local communities rarely has an opportunity to come together in person. 350 Madison has worked with allies from Nebraska to Maine to halt the expansion of Enbridge Line 61 — Wisconsin’s Keystone — but it wasn’t until our group of more than 150 Wisconsinites marched with the tar sands hub today that it hit me: We truly are part of a global movement for climate justice, and that movement is finally coming of age.”

Editor’s note: This story will be updated.