Because a sustainable future depends on the people willing to see the truth for what it is, and for those to stand up in unison in order to make a difference.
— Jake Edward Keli'i Eakin
Happy Earth Week!
Despite the grim forecasts for climate change and the transnational corporations that greedily, and with disregard for life, push us all towards the abyss in pursuit of profit, there are reasons to celebrate this week. More people are standing up to take action to protect the planet and the future survival of living beings.
We celebrate that Tim DeChristopher was released from detention on Sunday, just in time for Earth Day. His release coincided with the debut of the new documentary, Bidder 70, at an event that allowed people from around the country to ask him questions. An important point that he made is that no one person has the answer for how to stop the assault on the planet, but that we must not be afraid to take action. Tim felt that his action had a positive impact even though many environmentalists told him it was a bad idea.
Dr. Sandra Steingraber, founder of New Yorkers Against Fracking which spawned Americans Against Fracking, spent Earth Day serving a 15 day sentence in jail. She wrote a letter describing why she placed her body on the line to prevent a storage facility for fracking waste from being built near her home in the Finger Lakes.
On Earth Day, activists protested against failed regulation of the fossil fuels industry and fracking in particular with actions at six regional Department of Environmental Protection offices.
Actions to stop the Tar Sands bitumen from being transported through the US are happening so frequently that we can hardly keep up with them. Residents of Manchester, in Houston, TX, one of the most polluted neighborhoods in the country, are organizing to stop the KXL pipeline and to fight for their rights to a clean environment. We urge you to follow the Tar Sands Blockade, Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, Peaceful Uprising and Idle No More to keep up with the almost daily actions that are taking place.
Direct nonviolent action is a crucial ingredient in the struggle for a healthy environment and climate stability. In addition to protest, we must also build alternative structures that can replace the failed structures in existence now. The current political system serves corporate interests rather than what the majority of the public supports and needs to survive. So on Earth Day, Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala, candidates for President and Vice President on the Green Party ticket, announced the Green Shadow Cabinet, an alternative government that brings together more than 80 people who are actively engaged in a broad spectrum of issues to show that there are alternative and more effective solutions to address the current crises and to respond to statements and policies put forth by the current government. To learn more about the Green Shadow Cabinet, visit GreenShadowCabinet.us. You will recognize many familiar faces from Freedom Plaza. An important message is that people must take power into their own hands. We encourage people to form shadow governments, such as city or community councils, in their local areas to bring attention to local crises and solutions.
The struggle for economic and social justice continues as well. Yesterday, workers at Wal Mart and at fast food restaurants went on strike. Over the weekend in Baltimore, a coalition of organizations held a large rally and march for Fair Development. Members of NationalADAPT took direct action at sites all around Washington, DC throughout the week to demand the "civil and human rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom." Or as they said, "Nothing about us, without us."
Veterans and Iraqis are holding a week of direct action at the site of the new Bush Presidential Center in Texas. Activists are holding a "Peoples Response" to the dedication of the new "Lie-Bury" with rallies and forums on torture, human and civil rights and US invasions and occupations. This weekend, activists will gather in Syracuse, NY to protest the use of drones at nearby Fort Hancock Air Force Base. Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers published an article this week, Anti-Drone Movement Grows: Ethics, Legality and Effectiveness of Drone Killings Doubted.
We celebrate Earth Week because we see positive signs springing up all around. People are gathering to protest, to demand that their rights are respected and to build alternative structures. These are essential for social and political transformation. We urge you to take a moment to recognize that the culture of resistance is growing in the US and worldwide. Together, we will stop the machine and create a new world.
In peace and solidarity,
Margaret, Kevin and October2011/OccupyWashingtonDC