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Met Gala celebrities blocked by climate protesters

Some 15 protesters were arrested in Manhattan

Louise Boyle
Senior Climate Correspondent, New York
Tuesday 02 May 2023 15:19 BST
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Cockroach walks the Met Gala red carpet, prompting cheers from onlookers

Celebrities on their way to the Met Gala on Monday evening were blocked by climate protesters.

Some 15 protesters were arrested after shutting down traffic in Manhattan and blocking motorcades of stars including Paris Hilton.

Several dozen protesters, some carrying pitchforks, used the ritzy event to highlight the 1 per cent’s role in driving the climate crisis, and demand higher taxes on the rich.

“I blocked A-list limousine traffic today because the world should be paying attention to impending climate catastrophe rather than the luxury excesses of the Met Gala,” said one protester from Reclaim Our Tomorrow, who was arrested during the protest.

“At a reported $50,000 per entry ticket, the Met Gala is a gross display of extravagance during a time when ordinary people are struggling to make ends meet.”

Income inequality continues along with the disproportionate toll that the uber-rich take on global heating.

The world’s richest 1 percent produce more than double the climate-heating pollution than the poorest 50 per cent, and billionaires create a million times the pollution as the average person, according to recent figures from Oxfam.

“We staged this protest today because the 1% are killing the climate,” said Alice Hu, Senior Climate Campaigner at New York Communities for Change (NYCFC).

“While the ultra-rich enjoy obscene luxury consumption and line their pockets off fossil fuel investments, they doom the rest of us to deadly weather disasters and global food shortages.

“That’s why political leaders everywhere—including New York Governor Kathy Hochul – must tax the rich now to pay for climate solutions.”

Climate protesters in the US have targeted dozens of elite events and institutions in recent weeks.

On Saturday, climate protesters targeted the White House Correspondents’ Dinner to highlight the Biden administration’s continued approval of new fossil fuel development on public lands.

Last week, protesters focused on the Wall Street financiers of the fossil fuel industry, occupying Citigroup’s headquarters during its Annual General Meeting

Six protesters were arrested after shutting down investment firm KKR’s offices, and 11 climate activists were arrested in a protest at BlackRock’s headquarters.

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