Protesters at New York’s Natural History Museum Warn of “Mass Extinction”



About 30 local weather activists lined up within the Dinosaur Wing of the American Museum of Pure Historical past (AMNH) in Manhattan in the present day, September 2, to protest the museum’s acceptance of donations from banks and different entities invested within the fossil fuels business. The occasion was organized by Extinction Revolt (XR), a outstanding environmental group headquartered in the UK.

The protestors entered the museum surreptitiously round midday on a busy Labor Day weekend. They filed up towards the David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing on the fourth flooring, milling round incognito till they launched into their first chant at 12:20.

“Human air pollution is inflicting mass extinction,” they chanted, following up with “We need to stay; We wish our kids to stay;” and “We will likely be extinct just like the dinosaurs.”

A big black banner they held learn, “Mass extinction funded by Citi, Chase, Financial institution of America, Koch Industries.” The three main banks, all listed as AMNH corporate patrons, are closely invested in fossil gas companies, in line with the protesters.

The museum’s Dinosaur Wing is called after a very controversial determine. David Koch, who died in 2019, owned oil refineries and was accused of funneling well over $100 million to climate-denial lobby groups. He additionally backed right-wing politicians who centered local weather change as a divisive political subject. The billionaire additionally served as an AMNH trustee till he stepped down in 2016 amidst mounting criticism of the museum’s ties with him (AMNH denied this was the explanation for his departure).

Protesters drawing consideration to the human-made “sixth mass extinction”

“Now we have so many fossil gas criminals donating to this museum, and the ironic factor is that they’re really funding the sixth mass extinction,” XR member Mun Chong informed Hyperallergic throughout the protest.

The “sixth mass extinction” is a time period used to explain the lack of biodiversity on Earth as a consequence of human-driven local weather change. It’s distinct from the 5 earlier mass extinctions attributable to pure phenomena equivalent to volcanic eruptions or asteroids hitting Earth.

“They shouldn’t be allowed to have credibility or belief with these essential establishments that we treasure a lot,” Chong added.

Most museumgoers accepted leaflets from the protestors. Moreover one “Shut up!” name in the beginning of the protest, guests snapped photographs of the demonstration, and a few requested for extra info. XR directed onlookers to its upcoming September 17 March to End Fossil Fuels, scheduled to precede the United Nations Local weather Ambition Summit in New York Metropolis on September 20. Safety gathered however didn’t intrude. The activists later protested on the steps of the newly unveiled Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation.

That is the second Extinction Revolt protest on the museum this summer season, with the first one occurring on August 1. The group additionally protested on the Met Museum on the finish of June over the charges towards two activists who focused a Degas sculpture on the Nationwide Gallery of Artwork in Washington, DC, in April. In March, the group additionally staged a “die-in” at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in March on the anniversary of its notorious artwork heist.

The group additionally holds weekly protests outdoors the New York workplaces of Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, and BlackRock.

“Each place we go to protest, the folks with the facility come to us and so they say: We’re in your facet, that is one of the best we will do,” XR member Mark Rozendaal informed Hyperallergic. “No one says: We’re in favor of the local weather disaster; we wish the planet to burn.”

“And nonetheless, the planet is burning,” Rozendaal continued. “They’re nonetheless producing and getting ready for extra manufacturing of fossil fuels; so, any person is doing this.”

Protesters on the museum’s Dinosaur Wing, named after David Koch
Some indicators learn “Mass extinction funded by Koch.”
The protest ended on the high of the steps within the museum’s new Richard Gilder Middle.
XR activists leaving the museum.


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