Climate Activists Pull Off Power Move before Democratic Convention
The Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) convention officially launches today, but climate activists wasted no time making their presence known in Philadelphia, or as we like to say the DNC in PHL: Last weekend we held a series of events and mobilizations. We joined friends from Food & Water Watch, Americans Against Fracking, Stop the Frack Attack and for the Summit for a Clean Energy Revolution on Saturday, and our friends Energy Action Coalition held the first of their PowerShift series on the same day. It was quite an intense day for me as I spoke or gave trainings at both events in addition to presiding over passage of the People’s Convention climate plank, just before leading a workshop on climate justice with Brad Johnson of Climate Hawks Vote.
But it was Sunday when the climate freedom fighters really flexed their muscles, commanding the entire day with two amazing events that showcased how important climate change will be in this election.
First, the March for a Clean Energy Revolution brought together more than 10,000 fracktivists, climate justice activists and environmental leaders from the faith community who walked from Philadelphia’s City Hall to Independence park demanding a carbon free future that includes an end to fracking, a rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and a just transition from fossil fuels.
The event included big delegations impacted by fracking on the frontlines, like our friends from Action united here in Philadephia- who spoke powerfully about the impact of fracking, oil trains and oil refineries on public health. And it was lead by people impacted by fossil fuel infrastructure: our allies at Marcellus Outreach butler and Sane Energy Project fighting FERC approval of pipelines and compressor stations and working to stop Senate plans to expedite fracked gas export facilities. Thanks to all who donated to help fund buses that brought people to Philly from all over the country. The march concluded with a series of amazing speakers from around the country who have been personally affected by fracking and other extreme energy extraction practices. Check out the feed on the left for all the news, photos and more!
Following the March, filmmaker Josh Fox held his event dubbed the “Climate Revolution is Up to Us,” featuring an eclectic mix of artists, actors and activists. The rally was attended by Susan Sarandon, Shailene Woodley, Danny Glover, Ben Jealous, Amy Goodman from Democracy Now and many others. I was honored that Josh asked me to speak at and emcee the event. During my remarks I reminded the crowd of roughly 2,000 people that climate change is a system of hate and oppression, it’s racist, patriarchal, bigoted, homophobic, islamophobic and continues to commit acts of violence against people of color and genocide against Native Americans.
This later event, which included an outdoor, under the stars screening of his film “How To Let Go of The World, and Love All The Things Climate Can’t Change,” finished up with an amazing musical performance by Nahko Bear, the audience spontaneously forming a circle hand in hand and singing a collective “Ohm.” Literally, right after the ohm was completed, the skies opened up and it rained gently on the collective who seemed to really espouse the paradigm of author/journalist Wen Stevenson who said, “What we are fighting for now is each other.”
If you can, please chip in to support great activism and events like this. We’ve agreed to help pay for housing, buses and other logistical support for these events, but we’re still a few thousand dollars short of covering our costs.