The salutations “In solidarity” and “With Joy and Resolve” are often read by folks like us. That is because they are truly important words within a movement. We must stand together in solidarity working as a cohesive unit, with a cohesive message, always reaching out to new allies. We must also look into the future with hope and joy because negativity often takes us down a road where little resolve lies. It is actually insane how much these two simple phrases have meant in just the past few days.
Last night, the Delaware River Basin Commission postponed its Monday vote on gas drilling--the vote that would have threatened 15.6 million people by allowing 20,000 fracked natural gas wells in the world’s largest unfiltered aquifer. This is big. This is tar sands victory big. This is the moment where our movement changed, because like we saw when we mobilized an national grassroots movement to stop the Key Stone XL pipeline, big polluters and dirty money can’t stand up to the power of the people.
For the full story, Gasland Director Josh Fox joined the Green Umbrella Youth Climate Network in NY for an action call last night. Here's a recording of the story.
Across the north east, thousands of us were ready to flood the DRBC hearing with non-violent direct action on an unprecedented scale, to bring the fight to stop fracking directly to the Governors of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware and Obama’s Army Corps of Engineers. What’s amazing is that before we even brought the rain, the commission folded and backed away from a hasty vote that the Fracking Industry was pushing forward. Our Governors and our President made the right decision this time by putting clean air, clean water and a clean atmosphere above dangerous energy and dirty money.
But the fight isn’t over, and there are two super important things we need to do next.
This Sunday, Non-Violent Direct Action trainings will held in New York City and Trenton New Jersey for the full “Flood Scenario” for the DRBC action when the time does come, as well as training on strategic action design to help us visualize our next steps in the movement. Sign Up Here.
On Monday November 21st, Trenton NJ is still going to be hopping, with some amazing speakers and music to boost a victory rally outside the State House. If you’ve already made travel plans, head down to Trenton to show our strength! Stay in the loop at Savethedelaware.wordpress.com.
Let’s keep rocking people, because while the fight goes on across the country, the power of the people don’t stop.
Yesterday, the environmental movement won a huge victory. The controversial Keystone XL Pipeline — which would carry heavy corrosive crude oil from the Tar Sands of Alberta, Canada to Texas and would cross over communities throughout the Midwest and over the Ogallala Aquifer, which supplies water to 30 percent of U.S. agriculture — received a delay from the Obama Administration that is likely to permanently keep the dirty oil in the ground. The delay, analysts say, is one that the pipeline’s investors cannot financially handle. Moreover, when a full environmental review is carried out — one where the corporation building the pipeline doesn’t write the environmental review and where Hillary Clinton’s deputy campaign director isn’t that corporation’s head lobbyist — there’s no way the Keystone XL will be approved.
While the delay isn’t an all out rejection, and represents yet another White House cop out on critical environmental regulation, the victory is still a huge one. Just three months ago, no one but a coterie of Tar Sands lobbyists and a few committed activists were aware of the pipeline. Yesterday, it was on the front page of The New York Times. What has become one of the strongest movements in the country has forced Obama to take ownership of the decision and forced him to indefinitely block its construction. What’s even more impressive is that the photo in the New York Times was of young people marching in front of the White House — an image that tells the story of the explosion of youth activism from the largest generation in our country’s history.
Breaking news about Power Shift New York: The Green Umbrella is postponing the convergence to April 2012.
Two weeks ago, Josh Fox brought to our attention that the Delaware River Basin Commission will be holding a hearing on October 21 in Trenton, NJ, to determine whether fracking will be permitted in the region. The Delaware River Basin supplies clean drinking water to over 15 million people in four states (NY, NJ, PA, DE). This is our call to action. We need to mobilize New York youth to rally at the hearing alongside thousands of others - it’s a pivotal moment in the anti-fracking movement.
While Power Shift New York has to be postponed, we’ve already laid the foundations for an awesome conference, and more time means more people, more workshops, and a better action! We need you to help us escalate to Power Shift and make Power Shift the tipping point for youth power and clean energy in New York.
If you are interested in organizing your campus/community to the DRBC hearing in Trenton, NJ on 10/21, sign up here.
If you are interested in organizing your campus/community to Power Shift New York in April 2012, sign up here.
Get involved in the swelling movement of NY youth calling for a healthy, sustainable future! Join the weekly conference calls each Thursday for the Green Umbrella, the network of New York Youth for a Just and Sustainable Future. The call-in code is 916-209-4534, and the PIN is 753-094.
Young people all across America are working hard to ensure that our nation’s addiction to fossil fuels is not going unnoticed. Not even the busiest of back to school schedules deterred youth from standing up for what is right; making the trip to DC for the Tar Sands Action to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, hundreds of individuals kicked off of what promises to be a huge semester for the youth environmental movement.
Last Saturday, over 50 of us from New York headed down to the Tar Sands Action to tell president Obama that he’s got to fulfill his campaign promise to stand up to Big Oil and begin the transition to a clean energy economy. As youth, If we want a say in what our future’s going to look like, we need to take action now: we need to work towards a clean, green and just future that we can look forward to living in.
This October 21-23, at Power Shift New York, young people of all backgrounds will unite in Albany for a mass convergence to demand a green economy spurred by communities, not corporations. The weekend-long, workshop-driven summit will educate, activate and empower our generation to put an end to hydrofracking and stand up for a just and sustainable future.
This is a turning point for New York. As climate change intensifies, New York State officials are continuing to push a fossil fuel intensive economy. Plans for hydrofracking across New York State come at the expense of our clean air, water, and health, while putting massive profits in the pockets of big oil and gas corporations. This is our moment to devise an alternative future! We’ll build grassroots campaigns for clean energy and sustainable agriculture across New York, and work to ensure accountability from our elected leaders in Albany. With powerful training and a bold vision, we’ll turn the collective potential power of young people into game-changing action and create a green and livable future for all New Yorkers.
At the Tar Sands Action, we took a stand to hold Obama to his campaign promises. At Power Shift New York, we’re going to take action again to send Governor Cuomo a message: we won’t settle for anything less than a 100 % clean energy economy. No fracking. No way.
When a dedicated group of people with a common vision work together, amazing things can happen. Youth have been a driving force in social change throughout history, from the civil rights movement, to the fight for LGBT rights, to the international movement to achieve climate neutrality. Now it’s time for New York youth to unite and demand that our elected leaders in Albany support a green economy and viable future.
This is our call to action, and we’re taking a stand.
Get involved today by registering to join us at Power Shift New York.
I lay on the hardwood floor of the church of St. Stephen, the patron saint of travelers, staring at the gaping jaws of the beams above me while the sounds of sleeping activists rose from the pews. The holy place harbored our bodies while we shared the same dream of a livable future. The next day, these slumbering human bodies would send a message to our government. First we sent our votes, then we sent our voices. Now we send our bodies.
But not all of us sent our votes. When Obama was elected president in 2008, I was fourteen years old. Today I am seventeen, still unable to vote under American law. Politically, my opinion means nothing; so let my words ring twice as loud.
Moved by the Tar Sands Action & the sentencing of Tim Dechristopher, a number of leaders and I drafted the letter below to show our resolve and call for others to take this momentum and action back home this fall. Read the letter, leave a comment, and join us in commiting to bold action this fall. We'll be back!
Today we sit to demand justice. Tomorrow, we’re getting back up to organize in our communities to ensure justice. And we’re calling on you to join us.
A growing movement of young people has been organizing to build a more clean and just economy that works for all of us, addresses the climate crisis and creates jobs for those who need them. Together, we will build an economy steered by communities, not corporations.
We’ve been successful in leading change in our communities; more than 700 college campuses have made commitments to adopt renewable energy and become carbon neutral. And we’re following up on these commitments by forcing campuses to move beyond coal and other forms of dirty energy.
But it’s not an easy road, and we have major challenges ahead. Big corporations are using their financial influence to corrupt our democracy and deepen their pockets at the expense of Americans. And it’s not just related to energy and the environment; they are threatening the very foundations of our democracy, working to disenfranchise voters, attack workers’ rights and the middle class.
In an act of civil disobedience, we stand together today and risk arrest in front of the White House to demand that President Obama stand up to these big corporate interests, reject the Keystone XL Pipeline permit, and put an end to this corporate-dominated madness. The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would further open up disastrous mining on indigenous lands in Alberta, Canada. The pipeline would then take this toxic and corrosive crude across the country down to the Gulf Coast, threatening communities with spills and health impacts all along the way. It would release enormous amounts of global warming pollution, further fueling the climate crisis. Bottom-line: it threatens our future and we can’t let it happen.
We’re crossing the line to demonstrate the severity of the issue, and our commitment to take bold action to ensure that President Obama does the right thing.
At the New York State breakout of Power Shift, a line of young people wound around the side of the stage in the cavernous Hall B. One by one, they came up to the microphone and spoke to the audience about their concerns for their communities: the Indian Point nuclear power plant in the lower Hudson Valley, poor transportation options in Long Island, hydrofracking in Central and Western NY, bad air quality in New York City, and the list went on and on. And I couldn’t help but smile, because the students were so articulate, so clearly and deeply passionate about protecting their communities and environment.