For a decade, Reverend Billy and the Life After Shopping choir have been taking to the streets the day after Thanksgiving for their annual “Buy Nothing Day” activities, an anti-consumerist response to “Black Friday.” This year, the crew sang carols in front of Macy’s at 4am before getting some much needed rest before their CNN appearance and Parade of Angels.
This year the Rev Billy and the Church of Life After Shopping have focused their energies on environmental issues from fracking to mountaintop removal. After successfully getting PNC Bank and Chase to limit their funding of mountaintop removal this year, the Church is going after the big guys: UBS bank.
But their protests have a twist, they never get permits and they actually cross the invisible line that most protesters won’t cross: they risk arrest and go into the banks, big box or chain stores they’re after. They’ve exorcised cash registers at Starbucks, hijacked a PNC bank for a singing sit-in and most recently, caroling angels flew through the lobby of UBS bank on “Buy Nothing Day.” They hope their message reaches the ears of executives on the top floors of the bank’s West 51st Street building.