Photo by Mary Beaudoin , Flood Wall Street, September 22, 2014
This photo, taken by Mary Beaudoin, WAMM Newsletter Editor, at the Climate Change March during the #FloodWallStreet protest, has haunted me. I find it to be perfect representational metaphor for what is wrong with America. Here is the polar bear, a native of the Arctic Circle and an endangered species because of climate change/global warming, being blocked from WALL STREET by the police lined up behind him who are protecting, as usual, corporate interests that are the cause of so much of the carbon emissions and environmental conditions that are causing global warming and the ice cap to melt, all in the name of the almighty $$$. Not to mention the wars for oil and Koch Brothers who profit from the oil and CEOs of such companies as Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed that profit from the wars. And all the rest, like cutting off mountain tops or tunneling under towns for coal. Or fracking.
We are all polar bears, blocked by a militarized police from holding WALL STREET’s corporate greedy, who threaten our very existence on so many levels, accountable. In this photo, the bear represents all of us.
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The Guardian had a more whimsical approach to our friendly polar bear, documented below.
Among the dozens of protesters arrested in New York on Monday, a polar bear befriended grizzled activists and broke through barricades. This is his journey.
Guardian staff September 23, 2014
The bear joined a sit-in, during which protesters desperately tried to tell a police officer about the connection between capitalism and environmental destruction. Not only did the officer not sign their petition, he ruined the bear’s afternoon by not making eye contact at all.
The bear rested for a moment with two Captains Planet and linked arms with a man itching his goatee.
One of the largest predatory land mammals on earth was caught on video by the Guardian’s Adam Gabbatt, who also saw a dog draped in the protest finery of an old T-shirt with some magic marker on it.[wpvideo t2GT0uX6]
The wise old Arctic emissary smiled at a human interlocutor, wondering what possible iteration of roar, growl or ursine rumble she could understand without fleeing in terror. The bear seemed to enjoy being a media darling.
Standing proudly with the protesters, at least 50 of whom were eventually taken into custody, the bear did not realise that a monstrous ‘Fossil Fool’ lurked behind him, bedecked in some kind of tube outfit.
The bear lingered restlessly at the barricade’s edge, trying hard to look inconspicuous for his big move.
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The polar bear leapt majestically over the barricade, pausing for a moment mid-leap for his balding friend to help him get his foot unstuck, majestically.
The bear then accepted the help of a weary protester who had seen this coming from a mile away, because polar bears as a species grow to enormous size and are almost impossible to miss in Manhattan.
By late afternoon, the bear’s fame was spreading to Twitter.
As evening descended, after about 50 protesters refused to move from an intersection, the polar bear ended the night in handcuffs:
The bear, paws ready to be cuffed, considered telling police that the trick’s on them, he’s a man in a suit, really, and they they can’t take him to animal jail, he’s too beautiful for that.
By 2am, the polar bear had made bail, and emerged triumphantly from people jail.