Click photos to view gallery.

Click photos to view gallery.

(Photos: Dave Colon)

(Photos: Dave Colon)

(Photo: Dave Colon)

(Photo: Dave Colon)

(Photos: Dave Colon)

(Photos: Dave Colon)

(Photos: Dave Colon)

(Photos: Dave Colon)

(Photos: Dave Colon)

(Photos: Dave Colon)

(Photos: Dave Colon)

(Photos: Dave Colon)

(Photos: Dave Colon)

(Photos: Dave Colon)

Eight protestors were arrested after a sit-in at Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Manhattan office this morning during a demonstration that climate change activists held to pressure the governor to sign a pledge to promise not to take campaign donations from the fossil fuel industry.

About 40 demonstrators affiliated with the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led movement of activists fighting climate change, occupied the lobby of the Third Avenue building where Cuomo’s Manhattan office is located, calling on the governor to completely reject money from fossil fuel executives. It was the latest action against Cuomo in an attempt to move the governor further left on climate change. Last year, environmental activists occupied the governor’s Albany office to try to get him to endorse the Climate and Community Protection Act, an action that was dismissed by his chief of staff as counter-productive.

This morning’s action was described by activists on the scene as a last-ditch effort to get Cuomo to sign on to Sunrise’s “No Fossil Fuel Money” pledge, a promise from candidates to not “knowingly accept any contributions over $200 from the PACs, executives, or front groups of fossil fuel companies.” Politicians across the country have signed the pledge, as have candidates in New York like Cynthia Nixon, attorney general candidate Zephyr Teachout and Assembly Members Walter Mosley and Diana Richardson.

Demonstrators first occupied the building lobby, chanting “Which side are you on?” and speaking out against what they said was Cuomo’s insufficient sense of urgency regarding climate change. Eventually, the larger group left the lobby for the sidewalk outside, leaving a smaller group of just eight protestors who sat down in the lobby under threat of arrest. Reporters covering the event were also told to leave the building lobby by the NYPD, reportedly at the behest of building management according to a police officer.

Governor Cuomo, very much a car guy, has had an uneasy relationship with climate change activists despite the positions he’s taken on the issue previously. The governor has been an outspoken critic of the Trump administration’s environmental policies, to the point that he vowed to lead a “citizen fleet” to block any attempts to drill for oil or gas off New York’s coast, and has also proposed requiring the New York State pension fund to divest from investments in oil and gas companies. At the same time, he has taken over $100,000 from the fossil fuel industry this election cycle, according to reporters Josefa Velasquez and Alex Kotch.

Despite the governor’s campaign fund of over $31 million, Sunrise Movement activist Isabelle Graj said the relatively smaller percentage of money from the industry made the governor beholden to the industry most responsible for climate change.  “It’s clear he’s beholden to the industry, because he’s not being the kind of leader he says he is,” Graj told Bedford + Bowery, criticizing Cuomo for allowing fracked gas from other states to be imported into and used in New York despite the fracking ban in the state itself, and for his refusal to back to the CCPA, which Cynthia Nixon has vowed to pass if she’s elected.

A spokesperson for the NYPD couldn’t confirm what the protestors were charged with, and a spokesperson for Governor Cuomo’s campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment as of press time.