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Third Act comes to Sebastopol as elder climate activists protest Bank of America
Their argument: "Don't use our money to enable the expansion of fossil fuels"
If you were driving through downtown this rainy morning, you probably noticed a small, soaked group of protesters in front of the Bank of America. They are part of a nationwide action by Third Act, a group started by climate activist Bill McKibben to capture the activist energy of elders to fight climate change.
Many of the people in the protest line were well over sixty.
“We're protesting the link between banks and carbon, cash and carbon,” said Becky Shirley of Santa Rosa, the organizer of the event. “Currently Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase Manhattan (it’s the worst) and Citibank are all funding fossil fuel companies for their expansion…We're objecting that our deposits, our money that's invested in the bank, is being used for fossil fuel companies to expand.”
“Today there are 100 actions across the United States in 29 states, and I mean thousands, thousands of us elders are protesting,” she said.
Asked about the average age of the people in the protest, Shirley explained, “Third Act is an organization that was started about a year and a half ago by Bill McKibben. He saw power in people over 60 years old. So people over 60 own 70% of the wealth in the United States—and it's invested in these banks. So we're objecting: don't use our money to go fund fossil fuel expansion, because what about all our kids?”
Protesters waved signs that said, “Old and Bold” and “No Time to Waste,” as well as more directly political signs, such as “Banks stop funding fossil fuels.”
Protesters came from all over the North Bay to be at this protest, but some Sebastopol folks were in attendance as well.
“I came out just because it's so important that our financial system is aligned with the sustainable and more equitable world that we all want,” said Sebastopol’s Park Guthrie, one of the younger people at the event. “The IPCC report came out on Monday, and it's time for a serious change. And most of the big banks are really enabling climate neglect by the fossil fuel companies. Fossil fuel money has undermined our democracy, and the big banks are a party to that.”
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