Note: yesterday a group of youth activists at the University of Montana (including myself) drafted a call for a weekend of action to protect communities from the coal exports industry. Coal export projects may well be the largest single threat to the planet right now; and those of us in the heart of coal country need all the help we can get to win this fight. Please see below for the official call to action.
Call for a Weekend of Action to Stop Coal Exports
We, youth climate activists at the University of Montana, are calling for a regional weekend of action to protect the greater Northwest from coal exports. The action will coincide with the weekend of Rocky Mountain Power Shift, February 17th-19th. That weekend, hundreds of youth climate activists will converge on the University of Montana campus to exchange success stories, hear from movement leaders, learn from each other, and take action to promote solutions to climate change.
On Sunday, Feb 19th, we will march through downtown Missoula to protest an increase in coal exports (this action is not officially endorsed by Power Shift in any way). We will draw attention to key politicians and industries who are financing and pushing coal export proposals.
If we can show that people across the greater Northwest region are concerned about this issue, we will dramatically increase our chances of success. We are asking you to organize an action in your community on the weekend of Feb 18th, in solidarity with this region-wide effort.
If coal exports increase, it will further jeopardize the health of communities along the rail line, from eastern Montana to the West Coast. Coal trains are a source of toxic coal dust and diesel fumes, noise pollution, and traffic congestion. Energy companies plant to ship Montana coal to China and nearby countries, where it will be burned and contribute to climate change and global mercury pollution.
We appreciate any support you can give us in the fight against increased coal exports. You can take action in your hometown by leading a march, rallying on a street corner, holding a teach-in, lobbying elected officials, or coming up with some other type of action….get creative!
Here in Montana, we are organizing in the heart of coal country. However, this issue affects all of us. To make progress toward the goal of stopping exports and protecting our communities, we need your help. Let us know if you can hold an action the weekend of February 18th, by filling out the form at this link. Thanks for anything you can do, and let’s work together to bring about a cleaner, brighter future!
Blue Skies & Coal Don’t Mix Campaign at the University of Montana