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CLIMATE CRIMINAL = CHASE BANK says Climate Action Rhode Island

Illuminated letters proclaiming CLIMATE CRIMINAL = CHASE BANK were displayed over the northbound lane on the Smith Street Route 95 overpass near the Rhode Island State House Wednesday evening.



Organized by Climate Action Rhode Island (CARI), the action is intended to call attention to Chase Bank‘s role in the climate crisis as the largest funder of fossil fuel projects in the world.

UpriseRI spoke to CARI members Will Nakshian and Jeannine Giguere-Gagnon, who were on the team creating the letters.

“We’ve been protesting against Chase Bank, our group called Climate Action Rhode Island, for a couple of years now because they’re the largest funder of the fossil fuel industry in the world and we’re trying to send a message to them,” said Will Nakshian. “We’ve been protesting in front of their retail banks which have been opening around Rhode Island, but since we’re trying to social distance more during the pandemic we had t come up with a better idea for protest.

“We saw this idea for an LED sign. We saw it online, protesters and activists across the country have been [doing these kind] of actions for various social justice causes.”

It took “quite a while” to build all the letters, said Giguere-Gagnon, a retired union carpenter. “And we had to design it specifically for this bridge.”

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The message stayed on the overpass for a little over an hour.

About the Author

Steve Ahlquist is Uprise RI's co-founder and lead reporter. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade.