Golden Toads in the Too Big to Fail

SUBHEAD: Guerrilla theater in London and New York banks to protest Climate Killing banks. 

By Rev. Billy Talen on 13 September 2013 for The Church of Stop Shopping -
(http://www.revbilly.com/)


Image above: Reverend Billy at a teller's booth in a Manhattan Chase retail bank with the Church of Stop Shopping Glolden Toads. From Reverend Billy.

On 1st September 2013 We voyage to a Climate Killing big bank - JP Morgan-Chase  - was myriad in its results.  The singers in the toad-heads (most of which were eventually stolen by the poiice ) were an inspiration.

Our run into the bank through the downpour was dramatic, and our arrival in the bank was a confrontation with rich people,  mostly thin blonde women and bald men, seeemed like.

Our Choir Music Director Nehemiah ran through the song in the deli across the street and our toad-singers filled the bank with,
 "Climate-Changers we surround you. Your the Ghost and we have found you."
The singing toads were brave, hopping and swimming all the way to the end of the rows of Chase desks, where bankers talk to the upper Manhattan rich about their portfolios.  We preached and sang and left the premises before the cops even arrived, knowing at that point we needed to escape.

We were arrested down in the subway, in the hot wind of the finally arriving downtown F train.  Nehemiah and I were cuffed, while eight others got away.  We stood there by the turnstiles in our handcuffs.
The older Giuliani cop goaded us with comments like "Do you think this is funny?" -- YES! Climate Change is hilarious, truth is we were laughing a lot - there were just so many cops.  We were taken to jail, charged with Disorderly Conduct and Riot.  Riot?  We sat in the prison cell through the afternoon, waiting to go to the Tombs.

Nehemiah and I were so surprised we started laughing again when the police unlocked the door and told us we were free to go.  Did the cops want us to go?  There is always this discretion... you sense it.  Who decides if we stay for days and days?

But there was a visceral identification that the police had with us.  Everyone in the precinct house wanted an explanation of our action.  When we said that Chase was financing climate disruption  -  the cops agreed!

The thing is... we believe that employees inside the big banks also know this.  Most Americans know that the biosphere is dying by human violence, whether chemicals, bulldozer blades or outright population growth.  We are all behind this great structure that we cannot surmount.  This corporate wall.  But we know that the Earth crisis is a kind of cry.   The Earth cries out to us, or THROUGH us. 

We are the Earth's cry as we shout in the banks that finance all that death.  So while I was in jail I tried to think of myself as a jailed Earth being, an Earth expression stopped in a box with bars.

Then suddenly Nehemiah and I were free, and it seemed  like even the cops around us knew that shouting inside a bank about it's climate-killing investments is a good thing.


Toads in HSBC


Image above: Golden Toads run through an HSBC bank branch in London, England. From (http://vimeo.com/71220299).

Earlier, on 27th July 2013. the Stop Shopping Choir paid a visit to the London Belgravia branch of the HSBC bank in the UK. They occupied the bank for several minutes with a performance protest after practicing with supporters in a local park.

The stunt, highlighting HSBC's role in supporting corporations directly destroying our environment, passed peacefully without incident.

During the performance, supporters outside the bank chanted the names of seven villages destroyed by an open cast mine supported by HSBC funding, while inside, dancers and singers enacted a piece involving endangered species, including the now extinct giant Golden Toads, and Reverend Billy berated the bank for its investment in destruction and climate change.

After several minutes, symbolic toad eggs, fashioned from ice, were left around the floor of the bank, and the performance continued outside. Police arrived just as the show was ending, and there was no interaction with them as the Reverend and his choir headed off to celebrate and to thank the London supporters.

Thanks to Will Dickie and Laura Newman for their extra footage which saved the day after my file of visuals from inside the bank got corrupted.



Video above: HSBC Bank branch in London invaded by Columbia extinct goden toads. From (vimeo.com/71220299).

See also:
Island Breath: The End of American Consumerism 7/1/07
Island Breath: Reverend Billy in Hanapepe 8/1/07
Island Breath: The Reverend Billy 7/1/05

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