Over the weekend, activists from Extinction Rebellion – a UK-founded environmental movement known for staging large-scale protests and using mass arrests to get attention – occupied two major NYC cultural institutions for several hours. One of their targets was the American Museum of Natural History.
“The #AMNH exhibits are outdated and does not align well with the urgent #biodiversity loss and #ecological crisis that we are in. We must #ActNow!” the group wrote in a post on X (formerly Twitter).
— Extinction Rebellion NYC ? (@XR_NYC) November 19, 2023
Activists laid on the ground both inside the museum and on the institution’s steps, holding signs with messages like “Earth is calling out for help” and newspaper articles about species which have gone extinct.
“Your duties go beyond mere preservation of heritage. You have a duty to educate and empower the public, at a time when our elected leaders and media consistently fail to do so,” the group wrote in a statement to cultural institutions.
Another protest was held at the Guggenheim Museum on the Upper East Side’s Museum Mile.
While NYPD officials confirmed with the New York Post that 13 activists had been arrested over the weekend, it wasn’t immediately clear how many were arrested at each site. A representative from AMNH tells ILTUWS that none of the arrests took place at the museum on Central Park West, though police were called to the scene.