by Grace Nichols
WASHINGTON, DC: 50,000 of us marched on Washington DC on Sunday, February 17, 2013, the largest climate demonstration yet, called “Forward on the Climate.” As Reverand Yearwood, who MCed the event said “ 50 years ago was very important, right here, Dr. Martin King marched. We marched for jobs and food. We marched for Equality. ….We all came together as humanity. But guess what? This rally 50 years later is as important or more important because, as they were fighting for Equality, We are fighting for Existence.”
Protesters came from all over the Northeast, Appalachia, the Midwest, Alaska and Canada to say NO to the Keystone Pipeline and its threat of oil spills, NO to mountaintop removal and the childhood cancer rate escalation surrounding those mines and NO to an further development of Fracking (hydraulic fracturing of shale for natural gas.)
For me, this was a real inspiration, a reminder that we are not alone in this struggle. Conversing with some of the 300 Fossil Free Appalachian State students, or discussing the Pipeline with folks in Nebraska, or talking to Mount Holyoke students and Binghamton residents or riding with Skidmore students and Vermont Wobblies, my spirit was lifted by their strength and resolve.
We are reaching a consensus as Americans. Our energy usage is the problem and our responsibility is the solution. We are responsible for our lifestyle choices, but perhaps even more responsible to stop the defilement of the environment by the fossil fuel industry. If we do not halt this last frenzied attempt to suck the last lethal greenhouse gas generating fuel from the ground, we are surely sunk.
I am looking forward to witnessing increasing action all over this country in defense of the atmosphere, the web of life and the future. I am looking forward to marching and laboring side by side with all my fellow beings determined to create a sustainable world.
Published in March/April 2013 Save the Pine Bush Newsletter