Climate activists rallied outside the Sydney Hilton Hotel, where the Australian Financial Review Banking Summit was being held on March 28, to demand the Big Four Banks stop funding coal and gas.
The action, organised by 350.org, was supported by Move Beyond Coal, Sydney Knitting Nannas and Friends, XR Drum Rebellion and other environment organisations.
“These banks know that we need aggressive measures across our economy to tackle climate change,” 350.org noted. “They know that fossil fuels are already causing climate disaster. But instead of cutting ties to climate-trashing corporations like Santos and Woodside, they keep providing them with cash, while patting themselves on the back for their ‘sustainability’ policies.
Ethan Lyons, a Wiradjuri activist from School Strike 4 Climate told the 100-strong protest about the growing struggle by youth and Indigenous peoples for climate action and social justice.
Naomi Shine and Dee Mould from Lismore, northern New South Wales, spoke about the disastrous floods, which struck a year ago.
“I was forced out of my house by the floods, and am now living in the shell of our house,” Mould said. “Four people died in the floods in our town, and the fight for social justice continues.
“Just now, I was refused entry to this bank summit to talk about our plight. These big banks are ultimately responsible for killing people all over the world through their ongoing support for the fossil fuel industry.
“These experiences have made the struggle against climate change very personal for me,” Mould said.
The rally ended with protesters chanting: “Hey, hey, ho, ho, fossil fuels have got to go!” and “"What do we want? Climate action! When do we want it? Now!”