“Vermont has always been a leader in the climate movement, and we’re heeding the call of concerned youth. We need Vermonters to step up and demand action to protect us and our children,” said Abby Mnookin of 350Vermont, one of the organizations in the VT Climate Coalition. “With eight days of actions, we’re kicking it into high gear and asking Vermonters to go on strike Friday the 20th. If they can’t strike all day, they can temporarily walk out from their workplaces and schools to join a local event and demand action on climate change.”
The rally September 20 in Burlington will begin at noon from Burlington City Hall, 149 Church Street. Along with other strikes on the 20th, Vermont activities planned for Sept. 20-28 are:
An action against fossil-fuel lobbyists;
Distribution of large public banners about climate change around the state;
A direct action targeting one of the few remaining coal plants in the Northeast; and
Musical performances, worship services, a tour of a regenerative agriculture farm, and more.
With this current climate crisis and with the call to action voiced by youth globally in mind, the Vermont Strike Coalition demands the following:
Comprehensive and immediate solutions rooted in the respect for and dignity of all people.
Support for just policies that transition rapidly to a clean and renewable energy economy for all.
A commitment to keeping fossil fuels in the ground.
A just and inclusive movement that centers frontline communities.
Among the Vermont organizers of strike-related activities is Extinction Rebellion Vermont. “The damage to the Bahamas caused by Hurricane Dorian and our government’s coarse response to the plight of Bahamians are more examples of the devastating impacts of climate change and the ineffectiveness of our political leadership to properly respond to the needs of people on the front lines of the crisis. As these storms are made worse by the manufacture and burning of fossil fuels, it is critical to transform our society into one that is compassionate, inclusive, sustainable, equitable, and connected,” said Dan Batten of Extinction Rebellion Vermont.
Organizations providing financial support include Seventh Generation, Ben & Jerry’s, Sierra Club, Chelsea Green, SunCommon, 350.org, Front Porch Forum, and Eco-Equipment Supply.
As part of Food Week of Action, the Presbyterian mission, sponsors of the week, bring us a message of climate justice today.
God created the earth, and it is sacred. As Psalm 24:1 proclaims, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all that is in it.” Therefore we are called to stewardship of the earth. When we work to protect creation, we are answering God’s call to till and keep the garden (Genesis 2:15). In the face of deepening ecological crises caused by the earth’s warming, our call to act as earth’s caretakers takes on more meaning. Our efforts will curtail the shrinking of sacred waters, the endangerment of living creatures of every kind, and the vulnerability of our brothers and sisters in developing countries.
The Union of Concerned Scientists has identified food, transportation, and energy as the three key personal areas that need action to help stem climate change. The Presbyterian mission have created a resource to educate the public about the actions that they can take personally to protect against the worst effects of climate change.
The advice given is simple and has an aspect of theological reflection, and if undertaken on a large scale has the potential to affect great change. They include measures such as eating local food, organic or sustainable food, eating less meat, and a reduction in personal consumption. If you want to get more involved in the climate justice movement and take part in the creation of resilient communities that support people and the environment check out Our Power campaign to see what is happening in your area and how you can get involved.
Ever late to the party, The New York Times is finally giving Standing Rock some much-deserved coverage. This gorgeous and inspiring video (and its accompanying article) gives sober context to Thanksgiving celebrations all over this country last week.
Caitlyn Huss, 25, a manager of a vegan hostel in Los Angeles, was closing up late one night last month when the tent flap opened and someone dropped off a deer that had just been killed by a car.
“We knew we had to find an elder from the sacred fire to come and bless it, then find someone who could skin it for us,” she recalled. “It was crazy.”
Not incidentally, Severine and Krista spent the afternoon making saurkraut to send to Standing Rock. And foraged apples from a 150 year old tree..
The events that are transpiring in North Dakota, though horrific, are providing a context for new agrarians, Native Americans, veterans, peace activists, climate activists and people from all across the country to unify in a land occupation that is about protecting the commons. We are moved and we are hopeful.
The activists currently protecting the water commons, their indigenous heritage, and our planet against institutionalized corporate greed. We stand with them. See Thursday’s post for more background on the Dakota Access Pipeline and the protest again it and for ways you can help, and, at the very least, sign the petition here.
Despite the resounding silence on the matter in mass media, the fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline continues at Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Hundreds of protesters, many of them Native Americans and very notably including members of the Souix Nation whose tribal water rights are threatened by the pipeline, are camped out at the Sacred Stones Camp in North Dakota. (Their website, by the way, is wonderfully rich in resources, well-designed, and easy to navigate.)
For those of you who like to receive your news audibly, this week’s CounterSpin gives a concise run-down of the protest and then features an incredible interview with Native activist and organizer, Kandi Mosset. Mosset provides a rich historical context of the tribes who live and lived along the Missouri River and compelling arguments for why we collectively need to come together to see “the false power associated with money” and protect the water, the animals, and the people who rely on it.
These activists are on the frontlines of climate justice and put themselves on the line to protect our water commons. They ask that if you can join them at the camp, do. If you cannot go, donate to their legal defense fund. If you ain’t got the money, consider sending some supplies. They’re asking for everything from folding tables to herbal teas, and there’s a lot on the list that might be gathering dust on a shelf in the back of a barn somewhere.