from DC Climate Strike, 9/20/19
On September 20th, hundreds of thousands of young people across the globe are taking to the streets to take a stand, many of whom were inspired by the actions and words of Swedish student Greta Thunberg. They include and will join Indigenous peoples, as well as Black and Brown communities on the frontlines, who have been leading the climate movement and building a regenerative future in the midst of the climate emergency. We are inspired by First Nations, who are waging some of the most powerful fights of our time against fossil fuel infrastructure.
People around the world are experiencing superstorms, floods, droughts, and wildfires at unprecedented rates, with low-income communities and communities of color hit first and worst. Cruelly, communities and regions being devastated already by the effects of climate change tend to be the least responsible for its onset. It is not a coincidence that climate impacts strike along the lines of race and class so starkly; climate change is a product of the same processes which cement racism and wealth inequality in our country and our world.
The transition off of fossil fuels is inevitable; justice is not. To achieve Climate Justice, we must not only decarbonize the atmosphere, but also decolonize and democratize our economies and our communities. Shutting down the nation’s capital could be our best shot at starting this justice-based transition; we need a broad-based coalition that emphasizes the overlap of our struggles. We look to the recent passage of the Climate & Communities Protection Act by New York Renews, a coalition led by Black, Brown, and labor organizations, for inspiration.
To achieve something as monumental as shutting down DC, we are going to need everyone to step up. We need everyone’s creativity, everyone’s energy, everyone’s insights, and everyone’s ideas. Every single person has skills and experience to contribute to the strike.
We do not take this action lightly. We know that this shutdown will cause massive disruption to people who bear little responsibility for the climate catastrophe we are facing. But we will also cause massive disruption for politicians, huge corporations and the lobbyists who control our government. We need to fundamentally change the power structure of the United States if we want to stop the climate crisis, and shutting down DC is a big step in the right direction.
This is the mass uprising that everyone with climate anxiety has been waiting for. This is an uprising for life itself, fighting back against the forces of destruction. This is your chance to take action to save the people, plants, and animals you love. Let’s rise up and shut down DC!