Climate activists urge Trump to ‘Remember Sandy’ on storm anniversary

Climate activists urge Trump to ‘Remember Sandy’ on storm anniversary

Protesters staged a “die-in” and called for 100% renewable energy.

Protesters urge President Donald Trump to combat climate change during a demonstration at Trump Tower on the sixth anniversary of superstorm Sandy's landfall on Monday.
Protesters urge President Donald Trump to combat climate change during a demonstration at Trump Tower on the sixth anniversary of superstorm Sandy’s landfall on Monday. Photo Credit: Citymeals on Wheels

Activists staged a "die-in" at Trump Tower in midtown on the sixth anniversary of superstorm Sandy’s landfall.

Members of the NY Renews coalition and others protested Monday to urge President Donald Trump to act to reduce global warming. About 50 protesters chanted "our only planet, we defend her" while brandishing signs that included the death tolls from hurricanes Maria, Katrina, Matthew and Michael.

The activists laid on the ground and played dead to "mock the system for killing them," according to Jonathan Kirch of Harlem. 

"We are here to ask [Trump] to be sensible and give us a chance and a future that works for everyone," Kirch said.

Protesters intended to block access to the midtown Trump Tower.
Protesters intended to block access to the midtown Trump Tower. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Additionally, the groups are asking Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York Legislature to pass the Climate and Community Protection Act during the 2019 legislative session. The renewable energy legislation would set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 100 percent from 1990 levels by 2050.

State Senate candidate Julia Salazar said New Yorkers need Cuomo to "take action and fight climate change… [and] make sure by 2050 New York state will be 100 percent renewable."

"This is urgent, and we cannot wait longer. It’s up to all of us to lead the fight," said Salazar, who defeated Sen. Martin Dilan to be the Democratic nominee in the 18th District.

State Senate candidate Julia Salazar, center, joins protesters outside Trump Tower to call for stringent climate legislation.
State Senate candidate Julia Salazar, center, joins protesters outside Trump Tower to call for stringent climate legislation. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

The legislation would mandate the creation of a New York state office of climate change as well as task forces on sea levels and renewable energy. It calls for a “comprehensive regulatory program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” as well as the adoption of a state energy plan that sets clean energy goals.

The protest began with a march to the Fifth Avenue Trump Tower, where members intended to block the entrance to the building, holding a banner that says, "Remember Sandy: 100% Renewables Now." The entire block, from East 56th to East 57th streets, was barricaded, preventing sidewalk access.

"What we do now changes tomorrow," said protester Edwin Bautista. "We will continue to fight for what we believe in."

Kayla Simas