Posted 05 August 2011, by Scott Parkin, The Understory (Rainforest Action Network (RAN)), understory.ran.org
It’s going to be some hot business this summer, and we ain’t talkin about the triple digit heat wave hitting much of the country. There is a rebellious spirit sweeping the U.S.A. as people are fighting back against the fossil fuel industry from coast to coast.
We all know about the big tar sands to-do happening in Washington D.C. at the end of August, but did you know about the various grassroots action camps targeting coal, corporations and other issues in various parts of the country? These camps will be turning up the street heat on King Coal.
Midwest Rising! Convergence for Climate and Economic Justice, St. Louis, MO (Aug. 11-15): Rising Tide North America, Climate Action-St. Louis, a number of Midwestern economic justice and environmental justice groups have organized Midwest Rising!, a convergence of the climate and economic justice movements in the heart of King Coal’s backyard. Arch Coal, Patriot Coal and the world’s largest coal company, Peabody Energy, are headquartered there. And St. Louis is also an area hit hard by the foreclosure crisis, which has mobilized groups like Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) to launch campaigns against Wall Street’s big banks. We’re looking forward to this historic convergence and can’t wait to see what happens next.
Localize This! Action Camp, Vashon Island, WA (Aug 14-21): On beautiful Vashon Island, off the coast of Seattle, the Backbone Campaign is calling on trouble-makers from all over the Pacific Northwest to come together to build skills for our re-emerging anti-corporate movement. The camp will focus on trainings in the areas of campaigning, media skills,climbing and non-violent direct action. The Pacific Northwest coast is a region of growing importance in the national coal debate as coal exports are emerging as a vital issue in towns like Bellingham, WA and Longview, WA. RAN is fully engaged in the coal exports fight and will be at Localize This! giving trainings and issue briefings.
Reclaim Power Southeast Action Camp, Western NC (Aug 18-22): People working for justice, peace and a sustainable future in the Southeast are invited to join this long weekend of workshops, trainings, strategizing, and direct action. This camp merges folks from the peace, anti-nuclear, environmental justice and Earth First! movements in the Carolinas to share skills, share information, build community and put this awareness to ACTION. Mountaintop removal coal mining and coal burning power plants have long plagued communities in Appalachia and the southeast and Reclaim Power will continue to build campaigns against the coalistas.
Quit Coal Action Camp, Sandusky, OH (Sep 2-5): Greenpeace is sponsoring a Direct Action Training Camp for up to 80 activists to learn and share new skills and experiences so that we can all step up our game against extractive industries. Greenpeace activist James Brady has recently told us he really doesn’t like coal. This camp gives him the opportunity to show us all how to fight it. We hope Greenpeace films James’ workshops, but if not, he trains so much eventually you can probably see it in person. Plus James is pretty funny. (That’s funny ha ha, not funny looking.)
Grassroots direct action movements against the fossil fuel industry (particularly coal) are taking off. Last week, climate activist Tim DeChristopher was sentenced to two years in prison for derailing an illegal land sale to the oil and gas industry. Since then the number of concerned people showing up to fight King Coal and Big Oil has increased tenfold (so we hear). This fight is on and there’s no going back. See you at camp.
About the Author
Scott Parkin currently works as Rainforest Action Network’s Senior Campaigner on the Global Finance Campaign targeting mountaintop removal, the government agencies which allow it and the banks that fund it. Scott has worked in anti-corporate globalization, anti-war, labor and environmental movements for over a decade. Originally from Texas, Scott lives in San Francisco. Scott can be found on Twitter: @sparki1969
Read other posts by Scott Parkin
(Ed Note: Please visit the original site for more content associated with this article.)