New York, Sep 11 (IANS) An Indian-origin man, who glued his feet to the stadium floor in a dramatic climate protest at the US Open, has said that it was a way of conveying the message directly to the people as other methods have been effective.
Sayak Mukhopadhyay was arrested at the Arthur Ashe Stadium after disrupting for about 50 minutes the US Open tennis match between American Coco Gauff and Czech Karolina Muchova on September 7.
He and two others from the group Extinction Rebellion NYC stood up shouting “No tennis on a dead planet”, and “End fossil fuels” before he removed his shoes and glued his feet to the floor making it difficult for police to remove him.
He told the New York Post: “The climate change movement has tried everything from writing and lobbying for legislation to demonstrating and blockading banks, but none of that has been as effective as communicating directly to the public by going to public institutions like museums and sporting arenas.”
Gauff, who defeated Muchova in that game and went on to win the US Open, said a news conference that she couldn’t get “too mad” at the antic because “it was done in a peaceful way”.
“I believe in climate change,” she said.
Mukhopadhyay was charged with trespassing, according to the New York Police Department.
It said in a statement that the department’s Emergency Service Unit personnel were able to “safely free him” and arrest him.
He was released with a notice to appear in court.
According to an Extinction Rebellion NYC post on X social media, 50-year-old Mukhopadhyay moved to New York from his native Kolkata 25 years ago.
It quoted him as saying that he was horrified by the climate injustice faced by people in India who have to pay the price for the climate change caused by emissions produced by developed countries.
“India is something I constantly think about because I grew up there and I am keenly aware of how low the level of resource consumption and energy consumption is there,” he said.
But the people of the Gangetic Delta are the ones “going to pay the price for this huge amount of resources and energy consumption in the global north”, he added.
The group organizes sensational protests about climate change.
It announced that it is holding on Sunday a naked bicycle procession “to end fossil fuels”.