Faith Leaders Disrupt Chase Bank HQ with Prophetic Ritual of Lament
On September 14, 2023, 30 New Yorkers of faith, all dressed in white as a sign of mourning, silently marched to JP Morgan Chase Bank Headquarters on Madison Ave to protest the financial institution’s continued – and immoral – funding of climate chaos. This nonviolent ritual protest was part of NYC Climate Week and preceded the March to End Fossil Fuels.
A banner with the words GROUND, BREATHE, BRAVE, BECOME was gently laid out on the sidewalk as the foundation for a beautiful altar made of flowers, candles, stones, and water to represent the elements of the earth.
Using the People’s Mic method of call-and-response, protestors spoke and chanted in a somber, yet fiery ritual of lament for the earth in which they demanded that Chase immediately bring an end to the funding of new oil and gas projects and to instead invest in renewable energy and in communities most impacted by climate change.
Between Litanies of Remembrance to honor climate and ecological disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, forest fires, mountaintop removal, and more, protestors sang:
When the fires burn
And the seas rise
Not in our name
We say not in our name
The ritual climaxed with a dramatic flourish – lighting paper money on fire as Rev. Micah Bucey, Senior Minister of Judson Memorial Church, proclaimed, “We refuse to allow our planet to become a funeral pyre. We light these fires to blaze another way.”