For the last 8 months I’ve been spending most of my time organizing what has become the largest demonstration and mass-action to solve the Climate Crisis in history. We’re creating leverage, political pressure, and a sense of urgency around building a clean energy economy. Its called the Capitol Climate Action (CCA) – check out our website at www.capitolclimateaction.org . With 8 days to go, its difficult to believe its actually happening – but it is, on March 2nd in Washington DC at a dirty coal-fired power plant, just blocks away from our congress building – which it literally powers.
We’ve built a coalition of over 70 public health, labor, racial, economic, and social justice, faith-based, conservation, environmental and other advocacy groups (see the list at our website), along with figures like NASA’s Chief Climatologist Dr. James Hansen, and advocates like Vandana Shiva and Bill Mckibben, Rabbis and Reverends (like Rev Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus), members of communities directly impacted by the coal cycle, like miners across Appalachia, urban youth that live next to coal plants, native folks who live near extraction…even celebs like Susan Sarandon and Daryl Hannah who will be joining us and risking arrest in a mass non-violent civil disobedience. Its an exciting action to me because its a huge step for a section of the movement who previously were a little nervous about this kind of action – we’re bringing along groups like the Progressive Democrats of America and reaching out to a really broad tent of the progressive majority in our country right now. Most importantly to me, my mother is coming down too – this is the first action I’ve helped organize that she is coming to, and I’m so excited to share my life with her in that way.
Speaking of sharing my life – Current TV just asked me to do a mini-series for them called “acting up” (no relation to the organization Act Up!) – they gave me a camera and I’m making 2 minute long rough, raggedy, one-take “webisodes” and posting them every day up until the action about what its like to organize it. Its pretty silly and kinda weird, but you can watch it online. Check out my most recent post here: http://current.com/items/89834592/acting_up_3_from_the_capitol_to_hip_hop_clean_energy_now.htm and you can keep up every day here: http://current.com/topics/88871670/acting_up/default/0.htm This is my first time doing anything like this and it feels awkward! At the end they will get aired on actual TV.
What we’re actually doing: we will be sitting-in at the dirty coal power station that literally powers our congressional building in DC. This Power Station is just blocks from Congress and is a national symbol for the stranglehold dirty energy sources like coal have over our communities, our climate and our future. Coal is the single biggest contributor to global warming and it will be impossible to have a safe and secure future for humankind if we continue to burn it.
With a new administration and a new Congress, we have a window of opportunity in the US. But we have to open it — together. We can’t afford to wait any longer for the slow gears of the political process, while our economy tanks and the planet burns. I believe now is the time for bold action that communicates a message of urgency to build a clean energy economy and climate justice.
We’re also doing a big public conference call you can join to learn about the action which will include a few of us describing the scenario, as well as a presentation from NASA’s Dr. James Hansen. It will be:
Wednesday, Feb 25 at 9pm EST, 6pm PST.
The number is 605-475-6400 and enter the participant PIN: 1088562#.
I’m inviting you to come join me and my mom (RSVP on the website now!) – but even if you can’t make it you can watch live streaming video and constant blog and photo updates on our website (www.capitolclimateaction.org)
Al Gore has said “I can’t understand why there aren’t rings of young people blocking bulldozers and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants.” Let’s show him what people are really doing to solve this crisis.