By Kevin Heffernan with Orin Langelle of the Global Justice Ecology Project
Title Image Johanna Dominguez and Activists of Buffalo
The time for politely suggesting we do something about climate change has passed.
Frankly, it is embarrassing and infuriating to see the way the President of the United States mocks the midwestern cities about to see their residents killed by historic cold. If Trump were only corrupted by the coal and oil industries, he’d likely acknowledge climate change, pledge to do something about it, and then drag his feet until his term ended, accomplishing nothing – on purpose. But he’s not just corrupt, he’s also an idiot and it’s likely he actually believes that record cold means that global warming doesn’t exist, despite the world experiencing the four hottest years in recorded history over the past four years.
If y0u are reliant on common sense prevailing, then the last two years, and the last 100 years really have proven you wrong, time and again. When 99% of scientists around the world warn we’re hitting a point of no return, states are on fire, coastlines are washing away and water supplies are being corrupted by impending salt water, the time of politely suggesting the GMC Yukon might have been a bad purchase is really over.
We need action that gets noticed, and doesn’t sit on the sidelines, preaching to itself. Enter Extinction Rebellion. Recognizing that we are in the midst of a larger extinction event than that which killed the dinosaurs, they have entered the seen with dramatic language, but some very VERY simple demands:
In 2019, we have to battle our own government to tell us the truth about the state of the planet. It’s no wonder the US just dropped out of the Top 20 countries on the global corruption index.
On January 26, Extinction Rebellion’s Buffalo chapter hit the streets with a team diverse in age and ethnicity. They didn’t stand on the side of Bidwell and Elmwood, out of everyone’s way and ignored. They stepped into the street – without a permit.
“US Rebellion Day 1: Declare Climate Truth!” was the first action from the group here. Even though there were no arrests, protesting without a permit means business. The massive women’s march downtown always has a permit, and is often relegated to sidewalks before they hit Niagara Square. God forbid a few thousand people mess up a single person’s time in their car on a weekend…
Extinction Rebellion Buffalo got right out there and did mess up people’s drive time, and it worked. Everyone cannot continue to kick the can climate change down the road as someone else’s problem for another day (Earth to Baby Boomers…). Most people agree some action needs to be taken, but Netflix has a new show out this weekend, so – you know. When this issue is put out in the forefront, even in the middle of winter when it’s less obvious, it can change decisions at a grassroots level, and pressure policy at a government level.
From Extinction Rebellion US, “Over the last 3 months, Extinction Rebellion has established groups in over 35 countries, and 30 US cities, while also gaining the endorsements of leaders like Noam Chomsky, and hundreds of climate scientists. On January 26th, we use this massive momentum for a day of action that will create disruption, spread the word, and recruit. We’re just getting started, so these actions are building the base. But we’re facing extinction, so we know that nothing short of mass mobilization will save us.”
After five weeks of rapidfire organizing, Saturday’s demonstration was slated to be part of the build-up to an international week of action in April, and a coming-out event, of sorts, for growing chapters in cities across the U.S.
Stay tuned for more events from Activists of Buffalo (Facebook), Extinction Rebellion Buffalo (Facebook), and let’s turn 50 person protests into 50,000 person protests until we have sane, common sense policy in place.