The Convergence was a week of trainings, workshops, and strategy sessions focused on building a no-compromise movement against the fossil fuel industry and “false solutions” to climate change like nuclear energy, “clean coal,” and carbon trading.
Environmental protesters who had originally planned to demonstrate at the Progress Energy plant in Skyland instead took their message to the front door of Bank of America in downtown Asheville, North Carolina chanting and carrying signs that said “Coal Kills.” About 15 Asheville Police officers in riot gear lined the front of the bank while at least 30 protesters stood in Patton Avenue.
Some of the marchers went on inside.
The following is from "It's Getting Hot In Here" blog.
Lock Down at Bank of America to Protest Coal Investments
Today a massive police operation was deployed in Buncombe, Henderson, and Transylvania Counties to prevent activists from protesting a dirty power plant responsible for climate change. Dozens of uniformed and undercover cops surrounded the site of the Southeast Convergence for Climate Action as a police helicopter hovered over the site.
In addition, dozens more police were deployed at Progress Energy’s Skyland coal power plant to prevent legitimate protest against dirty energy and climate change. “This shows which side of the climate debate the government is on. They have spent tens of thousands of dollars to protect the coal industry today. Clearly if the government wanted to address climate change, they would be sending the police in to arrest the heads of Progress Energy for perpetuating the greatest threat humanity has ever faced - climate change,” an anonymous polar bear said.
In spite of the overwhelming police presence, Climate Convergence activists took a bold direct action against Bank of America over concerns regarding their investment throughout the coal cycle and their promotion of climate injustice. Although there was much speculation regarding a protest action at the Progress Energy Skyland coal-fired power plant, protestors surprised the downtown office of Bank of America.
Two activists locked down inside the main lobby and other activists blockaded the entrance to the downtown branch of Bank of America. The protest included a large, lively group of concerned citizens dressed as canaries and polar bears. Activists carried signs and banners that read: “Bank of America Stop Funding Climate Change,” “Bank of America Stop Mountaintop Removal,” “No Coal, No Nukes, No Kidding” “Bank of America Climate Criminal.”