Climate Protesters and Police Converge in Force at Citi Headquarters in Tribeca

A protester is led away after blocking one of the entrances to the Citi building. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Apr. 24, 2024

UPDATE April 25, 2024: Protests in front of the Citi headquarters resumed Thursday morning, April 25. According to the demonstrators, 22 activists were taken into custody on the second day. Two photos from that day have been added to this report.

Police responded in force at Citi’s global headquarters in Tribeca Wednesday morning, where they took 33 climate activists into custody who had locked arms and blocked entrances to the building, police said. As a phalanx of helmeted officers stood guard in front of the 388 Greenwich Street building, more than a hundred other protesters held signs and chanted slogans against Citi and its funding of the fossil fuel industry.

It was yet to be determined Wednesday afternoon what charges, if any, would be brought against the protesters, police said. Those who impeded entrance to the building were forewarned they would be charged with disorderly conduct.

“Off fossil fuels, Citi, off fossil fuels,” the demonstrators chanted as police led the detained protesters to waiting vans and a line of Citi employees filed into the building.

Two dozen protesters were arrested last September during a similar demonstration.

In unison, demonstrators echoed back the words of a leader, who shouted, “We’ve had petitions, we’ve had meetings. Did they listen? Hell no.” 

“If Citi doesn’t listen,” she added, “we’ll be back with more civil disobedience because that is the only way we will win.” 

In a statement, a Citi spokeswoman said: “While we respect the right to protest, activists do not have the right to prevent people from entering our building. The activists were given the opportunity to protest peacefully but they chose to continue to prevent people from coming to work. The NYPD responded and restored access to our building for our employees and clients.”

“Citi respects the advocacy of climate activists,” the spokeswoman also noted, “and we are supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy through our net zero commitments and our $1 trillion sustainable finance goal. Our approach reflects the need to transition while also continuing to meet global energy needs.”