Make Climate Justice History

In late February 2009, the Energy Action Coalition will host Powershift 2009 in Washington DC, creating the largest youth mobilization on climate change in history. Conference organizers are hoping for 15,000 attendees (up from 6,000 in 2007) from across the country to attend the conference, focusing generally on making climate change, clean energy, and green jobs a priority for the new administration.

Greenpeace and Rainforest Action Network have proposed a mass non-violent civil disobedience to coincide with Powershift, with a goal of organizing at least 1,000 people (Powershift attendees as well as many other allies) to participate in a mass sit-in at the Capitol Power Plant. This is a mixed-burning facility that provides heat/steam/refrigeration to the entire Capitol Complex, including Congress. As part of the Greening The Capitol initiative, the House of Representatives has opted to replace their share of usage of the plant with natural gas, the Senate has refused to do so, and continues to use coal.

The scenario for this activity would be in the direction of peaceful line-crossing and sit-in at the power plant. An action framework will be created accessible to all – from students, to elderly, to parents, to frontline communities and beyond.

This event would aim to turn a new corner for the climate movement – we have already won the battles showing that climate change is real and that politicians and industry/people must act; now we are reflecting the urgency and depth of the required responses. Civil disobedience has played a vital role in every social movement for justice, and echoing the recent calls of people like Al Gore, James Hansen, Wendell Berry and others – we feel it is time to escalate our tactics and our demands, and show the new administration that the American people are demanding and taking action to in response to the urgency and seriousness of the climate crisis.

What You Can Do:

This peaceful action is about movement-building; about shifting the public’s understanding of the climate crisis; and inspiring others to act. We want to see a broad coalition of allies endorsing and supporting this action, and ensure the action reflects a diverse movement.

* Encourage your organization to publicly endorse this action
* Get involved in shaping the messaging and planning of the event
* Help mobilize your membership, networks, or constituents to support this action.
* Join us in Washington DC on March 2nd!

For further information-

Blue Ridge Earth First!
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Coal River Mountain Watch
Energy Justice Network
Global Exchange
Green Delaware
Mountain Justice
Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
Rainforest Action Network
Rising Tide North America
Student Environmental Action Coalition
The Ruckus Society

Wendell Berry - author
Edward Herman- author, professor Wharton School of Business
Bill McKibben - author
Billy Parrish - founder, Energy Action Coaltion
Gus Speth - author

Join a Mass Non-Violent Direct Action against the Capital Coal Plant in D.C. Mar. 2nd