On November 30, major demonstrations, teach-ins and civil disobedience actions will take place in nine cities around the U.S.—in Chicago, New York, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Burlington, VT, two cities in Maine, and Washington DC, as well as several other countries—one week before the UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen open, and on the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Organization (WTO) protest in Seattle in 1999. The Mobilization for Climate Justice, a broad and diverse coalition of organizations working for social, environmental, economic and racial justice is calling for urgent action on the global climate crisis, based on equitable, democratic and science-based solutions.
As world leaders gather in Copenhagen, the people hit hardest by this crisis and the least responsible for its cause—working class, Indigenous and people of color communities around the world—have been systematically excluded and are demanding a voice at the table. Meanwhile, the world’s major corporations have been dominating international and domestic climate policy – as they did in the international trade policy arena. Carbon-trading and carbon offset projects have already allowed these polluters to avoid cutting emissions and expand their markets into poor countries, accelerating corporate take-over of the world’s resources at the expense of local and Indigenous communities.
“We cannot allow the world’s largest corporate polluters to continue robbing our children’s future,” stated Carla Perez of Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project, who will be marching with her daughter in a parade of children and the Raging Grannies. “US corporations have been holding real climate solutions hostage, while burdening our communities with ongoing attacks on our health and livelihoods.”
Well-known climate scientist Dr. James Hansen has said lawmakers should abandon cap-and-trade initiatives altogether and implement a simple carbon tax instead. He said during a speech at Columbia University in May 2009, “It’s time to take a stand on global warming. I am not a politician; I am a scientist and a citizen. Politicians may have to advocate for halfway measures if they choose. But it is our responsibility to make sure our representatives feel the full force of citizens who speak for what is right, not what is politically expedient.” Dr. Hansen wrote in his book Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity, “The picture has become clear. Our planet, with its remarkable array of life, is in imminent danger of crashing… But we should not give up on the democratic system—quite the contrary. We must fight for the principle of equal justice. Civil resistance may be our best hope.”
Activists in around the U.S. are preparing for non-violent direct action against major climate polluters and their financiers, and also at the Chicago Climate Exchange, the first and largest carbon trading institution in North America. In recent months, millions of people around the world have been taking action to protect their communities and the global climate. Shutting down coal power plants, blockading oil refineries and marching on the streets of their cities, an increasing number of people are speaking out against climate pollution and calling for urgent action.
The U.S. is home to some of the world’s most egregious corporate climate polluters such as Chevron, Exxon and American Electric Power, along with their financiers, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan Chase. The false solutions promoted by these corporations, like “clean coal”, nuclear energy, bio-fuels and carbon markets will delay urgent emissions reductions, threaten ecosystems and subsidize the construction of more toxic industries in the backyards of the poor.
Specific Times and Locations:
* 11 a.m. CST Chicago: Rally at Federal Plaza, marches to the Chicago Climate Exchange, the first and largest carbon trading institution in North America
* 8:00 a.m. EST Washington DC: March from US Chamber of Commerce (H St. NW & Connecticut St. NW) to other corporate polluters and their lobbyists.
* Nov. 29-Nov. 30 Boston: “Sleepout” on Boston Commons in front of the State House, followed by morning lobbying and 12 noon rally at City Hall Plaza, followed by march to offices of Sen. John Kerry
* 12 noon EST New York: Rally at Bank of America (16th and 5th Ave. nr Union Sq.); colorful procession with marching band to offices of US CAP member Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) for Speak Out with climate scientist Dr. James Hansen and others. Street theatric to follow.
* Maine: Rally in downtown Portland; rally and march in Bangor
* 12 noon PST Seattle, Washington: Climate! Justice! Assembly, Westlake Park, 401 Pine
* 3 pm EST Burlington, VT: Davis Student Center at UVM rally, followed by a march to the federal building.
* 11:30 am PST San Francisco: Justin Herman Plaza rally, followed by 12 noon march to Bank of America, 345 Montgomery St. where non-violent civil disobedience will take place
The Mobilization for Climate Justice is calling for
* Drastic emissions reductions guided by science, without carbon trading, offsetting or other corporate-driven false solutions like nuclear power”, biofuels, clean coal” and incinerators.
* Protection for the rights of those most impacted by polluting industries, climate change impacts and the transition to a clean energy economy.
* Re-localization of production and consumption, favoring local markets, cooperative economies and community-controlled, renewable energy systems.
* Rights-based resource conservation that enforces Indigenous land rights and ends corporate control over energy, forests, seeds, land and water.
* An end to forest and biodiversity destruction, and international sanctions and tariffs supported by Indigenous peoples, peasants, fisher-folk and other frontline communities.
more info: www.actforclimatejustice.org