On April 22,1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.
Most people living in the United States know little about the International Workers’ Day of May Day. For many others there is an assumption that it is a holiday celebrated in state communist countries like Cuba or the former Soviet Union. Most Americans don’t realize that May Day has its origins here in this country and is as “American” as baseball and apple pie, and stemmed from the pre-Christian holiday of Beltane, a celebration of rebirth and fertility.
Currently, hundreds of climate and social justice activists are occupying the Superdome in New Orleans in a mass protest calling to keep 43 million acres of oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico.
Today, the Obama administration is auctioning off those 43 million acres to the oil and gas industry. Courageous activists have taken a stand to say a resounding “NO” to further oil extraction by the same people that brought us the BP Oil Disaster in 2010 and continue to decimate communities and ecosystems along the Gulf Coast. Our friends aren’t demanding “kinder and gentler” version of drilling, but a stop to new offshore leases and no more drilling.. They’re setting an example for how movements against climate change and social justice can take bigger, bolder action.
…Around the world people are getting radicalized and making bold efforts to save this biosphere we know and love. In the US, Flood the System called for and carried out multiple climate justice actions. The Global Climate Convergence is continuing its work to build a Peoples Climate Strike. Groups like the Indigenous Environmental Network and Climate Justice Alliance are confronting the legacy of colonialism and its damage to land and water. Fossil Fuel Student Divestment Network is organizing to divest universities from the oil and coal companies. Still, the reality is that the broad climate movement in the “developed” world has mostly been a failure and an obstacle to building an effective and truly relevant movement….
History will be made later today in an unassuming grey court room in Snohomish county in Washington State, when five activists—known as the Delta 5—who blocked an explosive crude by rail train last year, will argue that their actions were justified by the threat of climate change.
It is the first time ever that a U.S. court has allowed defendants to use the “necessity defense” in a case relating to climate action.
…As daunting as it sounds the gross agenda of industry, banks and compromised political and not for profit institutions can still be undercut and the worst impacts of the climate and environmental crisis mitigated. Most importantly, the poisoning and polluting of communities on the frontlines of environmental disaster can be stopped. Through history, we’ve seen movements for equality, justice and ecological sanity build power and take on the agenda of the corporations and the politicians that love them.
Indigenous groups from across the world staged a paddle down the Seine river in Paris on Sunday, calling on governments to ensure Indigenous rights are included in the United Nations climate pact currently being negotiated in France.
The United States, the EU, Australia and other states have pushed for Indigenous rights to be dropped from the binding parts of the agreement out of fear that it could create legal liabilities. Indigenous representatives from North and South America, Indonesia and Congo played instruments and led others in prayer amid the smell of burning sage after activists completed the paddle, demanding the protection of water and the environment.
The vast conference complex that is hosting the Paris climate summit opened its doors to the general public this morning, just one day after world leaders launched the talks with a round of rallying statements and promises to combat global warming.
The inauguration of the Climate Generations areas was due to take place three days after the world’s largest climate march, which was canceled by French authorities in the wake of the November 13 terror attacks that killed 130 in and around the French capital.
According to organizers, 360 French and international civil society organizations will help bring the conference center to life during the two-week summit, which is expected to attract 40,000 visitors.
Olivia Teter and her daughter Jacqueline Puliati, 20, had traveled all the way from San Francisco to take part in Sunday’s big climate march, and to add their voice “to those who are putting pressure on world leaders.” But like scores of others, Teter and Puliati were turned away from Place de la République by police blocking access to the square. “I was very disappointed, it wasn’t the right answer,” Teter, a climate activist based in Silicon Valley, said.
Any hopes that Teter and her daughter may have had of joining protests near the conference center have also been dashed, with Paris police authorities announcing Tuesday that protests around the Le Bourget site would be banned until December 13 — two days after the end of the talks.