Jerome Powell (Image: YouTube screen grab)
By Will Kessler
Climate protesters interrupted Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech at a conference on Thursday, resulting in the live stream being shut down temporarily.
The protesters disrupted Powell while he was speaking about the economic conditions facing the U.S. at the International Monetary Fund’s annual research conference in Washington, DC, according to a livestream of the remarks. After the protesters interrupted the speech, the video of the live stream was shut off, and an unknown man, who some claim to be Powell, was heard saying, “Just close the fucking door.” (RELATED: The US Could Have Trouble Attracting Lenders To Foot The Bill For Its Massive Debt Deluge, Experts Say)
“We don’t have anything on that for you right now,” a spokesperson for the Federal Reserve told the Daily Caller News Foundation when asked whether Powell was the one speaking about the door. “If that changes, we’ll be in touch.”
🚨 JUST IN: After climate protestors tried to disrupt Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech, he had them kicked out of the room and when they continued yelling from the hallway he said “just close the f*cking door.”pic.twitter.com/bYYUlFmNFb
— Will Hild (@WillHild) November 9, 2023
“Of course climate issues are important and they are appropriately addressed, but as I mentioned, we will try to keep the questions on the topic for today,” Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, economic counselor and director of the Research Department at the IMF and moderator of the panel, said after the live stream was resumed several minutes later. “Monetary policy challenges for the global economy.”
Climate protesters have repeatedly targeted events that feature Powell, with climate activist group Climate Defiance rushing the stage at the Economic Club of New York in Manhattan before Powell was set to speak on Oct. 19. On Sept. 18, climate protesters blocked the entrance to the Federal Reserve building in New York City, calling Powell a “climate criminal.”
The Federal Reserve announced last week that it would not be changing its federal funds rate, leaving it at a range of 5.25% and 5.50%, a 22-year high. The Fed has put the rate in that range to combat inflation, which peaked at 9.1% in June 2022 and remained elevated at 3.7% in September, far from the Fed’s 2% target.