Protesters disrupt bank CEO’s
By Jan Sjostrom, Rachida Harper and Adriana Delgado
Daily News Staff Writers
JP Morgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon’s talk Wednesday at The Society of the Four
Arts in Palm Beach was interrupted three times by protesters objecting to the bank’s investment in fossil fuel
Dimon was participating in a Q& A about the American and world economies with Four Arts trustee Ambassador
After Dimon said the American economy was strong, the protest erupted. A man jumped up and shouted “How about the
Earth? Is it in good shape?”
On-site police officers asked the protesters to be quiet, police said. When they refused, police and Four Arts
security staff ushered them out of the building.
Dimon seemed unruffled by the interruptions. He calmly resumed what he’d been saying once order had been restored.
The groups involved in the protest were Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs, Lake Worth Food Not Bombs, Everglades Earth
First! and Rainforest Action Network (RAN), according to a press release from
Climate activists have disrupted Dimon nearly a dozen times in the past two years, the release said. It added:
"The bank plays an outsized role in funding the climate crisis.
"It is “by far the world’s worst banker of fossil fuels and fossil fuel expansion,” directing $196 billion
in finance for fossil fuels since the 2016 Paris Agreement to mitigate climate change.
Seven people were issued warnings for trespassing, which means they can’t enter the Four Arts property for one
year, police said. After one year, it’s up to the Four Arts to either lift the ban or extend it, police said.
The protesters had tickets to the event. The Four Arts prepared for possible disruptions with an on-site police
presence and increased security staffing, staff said.
“They were very uncivil andprobablyill-informed,” Four Arts President and CEO Philip Rylands said. “They were disrespectful
to the other people in the room who were listening and learning.”
The activists continued their protests on the street outside the Four Arts after the event.
“We started at first delivering letters, being very polite,” said Ruth Breech, who is climate and energy senior
campaigner for Rainforest Action Network, according to the group’s website. “He hasn’t taken it seriously, so we’ve
escalated our actions, disrupting him in public spaces.”
A woman who identified herself as V. Iasiello said “people [of Palm Beach] don’t think of themselves as reachable,”
s said “We want to show that we can come to this turf and talk about [climate change].”