So I’m still catching up to myself a week after we devoted 6 days and more to events aimed at reversing global warming with justice before, during and after the Global Climate Youth Strike 9/20-9/27 called by the FAMOUS Greta Thunberg, 16, year old Swedish brave girl! Watch her on the news; she’s everywhere! Climate justice (with loving awareness, I add) has become a full time job! UPcoming events around the world!
Glad we tabled as Sonoma County Pachamama Alliance at the Santa Rosa Strikewithus rally 9/20 with several hundred, some say thousand, striking students, teachers, supporters, singers, Aztec Dancers, a megaphone in a circle of kids so each could have his/her say, great tabling of multi-groups! Nitro coffee in a bicycle cart and affordable delish tomales from the lady who made them. All around good day with good people; inspiring hearing the kids call out for their future on the megaphone!
That day we were at Old Courthouse Square, SR, and spoke with Prof. Jose Javier Hernandez Ayala about how to schedule our Pachamama DRAWDOWN workshop at SSU, where he heads the Climate Research Department, so more students can learn about projects that reverse global warming and get engaged in the work ahead. So looking forward to bringing frontline communities/people of color into the room, something important to Ayala, a hailing from Puerto Rico.
Our friends keep talking up diversity but we rarely get to know all our neighbors! Challenging – and yet I read in this month’s Sun magazine, Bill McKibben “Indigenous people have been at the absolute heart of climate organizing…there’s something powerful about the way the oldest wisdom traditions on the planet and the new wisdom traditions of climate sciences are meshing. And they’re both saying that endless growth isn’t possible, isn’t smart, isn’t good, isn’t wise.”
Wow, a lot of change has to happen to just live in a wretched world (McKibben again) rather than a cataclysmic world where all the people. All the humans, most of the animal life. Could die from climate crisis. If we don’t work hard now.
Then Wed. 9/25, we drove to a massive San Francisco Strike (an X 16 city blocks long was set aside; 4 blocks of city streets painted with glorious murals of animals, birds, children, all endangered by climate crisis). Began to see people blocking the doorways of the big banks, their arms stuck in shiny red cardboard tubes to linking protesters and blocking entry to banks. Keep it in the Ground! What a challenge! The wealth of fossil fuel companies is largely in the ground, and according to climate scientists, it needs to stay there and NOT get mined or drilled if we are to avoid climate catastrophe.
My partner, Wayne Morgenthaler, chose, with our friend, Nelson Barry, to get arrested that day and found the Wells Fargo (major investor in fossil fuels!) doorway the police were most intent on clearing. The cops were polite to a fault, informing us calmly several times that anyone blocking the bank’s doorway would be cited for trespass and arrested. Of the thousands at this protest, 7 were arrested, Wayne among them. Was a bit scary but not bad! We were hanging out with a gal named Pam, who told us she’s been arrested over 100 times! And another lady, Magic, claims she’s worked with police during protests for years. I connected with Summer, a young woman from Seattle who told me she’s an advocate for those being arrested. We’ll stick together, yes? And we did, walking slowly on this 90 degree day, to Vesuvios bar for a coke (me) and lemonade (Summer) before arriving at the North Beach Central Police Station on Broadway. The guys were already free!
Just as I began to recover from the exhaustion brought on by being part of an all-day thousands of people you wish you could take home protest, was told Friday we’re going to San Ramon, Chevron’s headquarters. Far away I felt, but the ride was OK. There, I had a sort of fun I like a lot: talking to cops! The first guy, tall and nervous, told me our group had agreed to stay on a sidewalk to the left of the corporate driveway so as not to tresspass on Chevron property. I looked around me and seeing two stop lights, said “I believe this is all public land between the stop lights.” I could see a big “OH” forming on his lips as two trucks arrived in front of us, and people, banners, and mini-street “gardens” sprung up!
No way they could stop us! WE ARE UNSTOPPABLE was a chant, several I’ll have to memorize, and, of course “What Does Democracy Look Like? THIS is What Democracy Looks Like!” Yes, it IS! And we painted the Extinction Rebellion X, a small world, kids painting with tempera, with clay for brown, with love for all and I wanted to take everyone home with us!
So now we’re helping future rallies and protests with graphics, getting ready to silk screen, to make fliers, maybe, well, likely, giant puppets! We’ll see and be seen – and with determination unlike any in our lives, we’ll make enough of a difference to live the end of our lives in a wretched world, not a dying world.
Look for actions on Black Friday and everyday somewhere on planet earth.
THEN went to San Ramon Fri. again to tell Chevron to Keep it in the Ground, led by those high energy gals and guys of Youth vs. Apolcalpse and supporters including us.
What happened: While the Swedish Greta Thunberg, now 16, started all this at age 15, bringing out 1.5 MILLION young people who want a future (Fridays for Future), this Global Youth Strike brought out over 4 Million world wide as follows:
France 40,000 Ukraine 2,600 South Africa 5,000
Turkey 10,000 Japan 5,000 Germany 1.4m
Georgia 1,200 Ireland 30,000 Australia 400,000
London 100,000 Paris 10,000 Islamabad 3,000
Cape Town 2,000 Stockholm 10,000 Tokyo 2,800
Istanbul 3,500 Honiara 100
It just started #ClimateStrike
And then this last Fri. we drove way out to San Ramon (from Petaluma) to tell Chevron headquarters to Keep it in the Ground. Prob. over 200 came to the sidewalks in front of headquarters. One tall handsome cop, looking nervous, said to me something like “You’re on private property and we agreed you’re supposed to be on that corner” to which I looked around, noted the stop lights at each end of the piece of pavement I stood upon and said “this is PUBLIC Land from that stop light to that stop light.” He took a step back just as a coupla trucks arrived and so many hands you couldn’t count them handed down hand painted banner after banner, giant puppets
Chevron execs met with some of the teens from Youth vs Apocalypse, under the 350.org umbrella,
during the rally of perhaps a coupla hundred folks in San Ramon, were offered a meetup with Chevron execs and told them:
- Great that you take climate change seriously and agree we need 100% renewable energy, but gee, guys, 2050 is TOO LATE! You gotta stop what you’re about today. TODAY. 2030 is a northstar for getting on a healthy path!
- 92% of people living near coal and oil plants and mines are People of Color, suffering from much higher rates of asthma and cancers than the general population. This is NOT CLIMATE JUSTICE where we work toward a healthy planet for all.
- So my four words are: Climate Justice with Loving Awareness (I’m a bad Buddhist)
- So we all did chants led by Youth vs Apocalypse, a very diverse group, ages from early teens through to one