Two New York Museums Face Climate Protests

Two New York Museums are Facing an Arranged 'Speak-Out' Demonstrations Which Started on Saturday, November 18.

Nov 22, 2023By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
Two New York Museums
the American Museum of Natural History. Via Wikipedia


Two New York museums facing protests are the American Museum of Natural History and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Overall, 13 protesters from the activist organization  Extinction Rebellion conducted “speak-out” and “die-in” activism on November 18. Also, they displayed banners at that location on November 19.


Two New York Museums Facing Demands for Equitable Climate Policy

Two New York Museums
Extinction Rebellion protestors at at the American Museum of Natural History on November 18. Photo courtesy of Extinction Rebellion.


Protests started around 4:30 p.m. and ended around 9:15 p.m. on Saturday, when the New York Police Department arrested protesters. A department representative did provide the number of people detained at each museum. Protesters at the AMNH took to the surface standing in front of the rebuilt skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The skeleton is at the institution’s entrance.


They stood there for over an hour, asking for immediate and equitable climate policy. The group posted a video of the “die-in” on X (formerly Twitter). “From the Koch brothers to J.P. Morgan, from Blackrock, from whoever, it’s dirty money. I’m out here on behalf of all the mothers in Pakistan, in Maui, in anywhere, who do not have a voice right now”, a woman in the video said.


zapotec funerary urn
Zapotec Funerary Urn, Zapotec, 200-700, via American Museum of Natural History

She also added: “All these climate activists are using their free time to sound the alarm the way this institution should be”. Extinction Rebellion claimed that one of the Koch Dinosaur Wing’s two entrances was blocked by museum guards. With this, the security stopped them from entering the institution more closely.


“No Art on a Dead Planet”

Two New York Museums
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Via Imanol Gallero

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They further mentioned that those in queue for tickets received notification they weren’t required to buy any. This allowed them to be “quickly ushered into the museum and kept from hearing our message”. The Museum of Natural History’s spokeswoman stated that the demonstration was minor. Also, that the authorities did not conduct any taking into custody from the museum.


The group held another demonstration at the Guggenheim on Sunday, November 19. They held banners saying “No Art on a Dead Planet” and “No Artists on a Dead Planet”. When the museum closed at 8 p.m., the demonstrators remained inside and were taken into custody. Activists want the NY institutions to “reset” their priorities. Also, to create assemblies to better determine “a path toward carbon net zero and environmental healing”.


Climate Vandal
A climate protestor at the National Gallery of Art on November 14, 2023. COURTESY OF DECLARE EMERGENCY


“No museums on a dead planet!’ is a climate justice rallying cry”, the statement read. “It poses the philosophical question implicit in this threat to our collective survival: With the whole world at risk, what is any of this even for? Why do we have exhibitions at all, and why do we have museums?”.






































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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.