So – there have been a lot of posts about how amazing Power Shift was. And really, it was – I have yet to hear from anyone who walked away from the weekend without fabulous things to say. But I think one of the most inspiring moments was something that wasn’t on the “official” schedule. After the big rally on the Capitol lawn Monday, hundreds of community members, coal-field residents, and youth converged on Citi bank, and had an inspiring non-violent direct action that shut the bank down for their role in funding the biggest climate-killing industry – coal.
As a crowd gathered in a Washington DC park, a delegation of coal-field residents entered the bank, taking their concerns of Citi’s financing of the climate, community, and mountain-destroying coal industry to the bank employee’s and customers. The crowd at the park then took to the streets – with banners, signs, chants, and music. Suddenly, the crowd is joined by a dozen people in HazMat suits carrying nearly a half-ton of coal and shovels – and we march ed together to Citi’s front door. Taking non-violent direct action, the coal was dumped on Citi’s doorstep as more youth went inside the bank to make sure the customers knew what the bank is using their money for. Simultaneously, hundreds of youth began coughing violently, with a massive “die-in” surrounding the bank and adjacent sidewalk. More people wrapped the bank and entire block with yellow “Global Warming Crime Scene” caution tape. Within minutes – the bank had shuttered their doors, posting signs stating “closed due to an emergency” – we shut them down down for the rest of the day!
Organized by Rainforest Action Network, the Student Enironmental Action Coalition, Coal River Mountain Watch, Mountain Justice Summer and hundreds of dedicated youth – the action was amazing. Recognizing the the strategic importantace of taking direct action against the largest financier of coal – Powershifters really “stepped it up” today, making our voices heard, and demonstrating the power of the youth climate movement.
And don’t forget - on Nov 16th and 17th we’ve got a National Day of Action Against Coal Financing. Across the country, hundreds of youth, activists, and community members will take action telling Bank of America and Citi - NO MORE COAL! From flyering in front of the banks, to sending the message up to the sky, to creative street theater, to non-violent direct action like today- get involved in your town or campus!
Thanks everyone for an amazing weekend!