A week of protest with Trump in town and an international climate strike, Bill McKibben’s look at 2050, a look at Trump instability & a tour of fracking around Chaco Canyon.
Greater Chaco Fracking Tour–The Definition of a Sacrifice Zone: On Sunday, Roxanne and I went on a gut wrenching tour of the greater Chaco Canyon area led by indigenous activist Daniel Tso, Counselor Chapter president Sam Sage, and Mario Atencio, Diné CARE board member and Legislative District Assistant for the Navajo Nation, and an adjunct professor at UNM. This was no tourist trip and we never once saw Chaco itself. Instead we visited about 6-8 fracking sites and heard hours of descriptions of how fracking throughout the area is devastating the landscape, exploiting the residents, decimating the health of the community and draining it of its wealth and resources. My comment upon leaving: “I keep thinking I can’t get more pissed off.” Roxanne’s: “The exploitation never ends.” We will report more on this in the near future.
Tuesday, October 1, 6:30-8:30pm at 1420 Cerrillos the Center for Progress and Justice. Retake Our Democracy Organizing Meeting. A Panel Discussion on Democratizing Our Energy. For this meeting, we will be hosting a panel discussion on effective strategies for a just transition, including two bills that failed to pass in the 2019 legislative session, but that will be re-introduced in 2020 and/or 2021: Community Solar and Local Choice Energy. Confirmed panel members include: Mariel Nanasi, Executive Director of New Energy Economy; Rep. Abbas Akhil, D-Dist 20; Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero, D-District 10; and a representative from the Picuris Pueblo who used a $1 million Federal grant to completely solarize their pueblo and the surrounding community while generating valuable revenue for the pueblo–an excellent example of what energy democracy can mean for rural and low-income communities.
Following Climate Strike, D.C. Youth Planned to Shut Down D.C. Today—The Result is Gridlock Right Now with Activist Arrests
Thousands of Washington, D.C. activists are calling for all D.C. students and adults to strike today and to reinforce the message, they plan to shut down all traffic into and through the Nation’s capitol.
Climate change activists are shutting down the morning commute in the nation’s capital, blocking key intersections across Washington, D.C., to bring attention to their cause.
“Traffic across DC is gridlocked,” tweeted reporter Sam Sweeney of CNN affiliate WJLA. He also tweeted, “DC police arresting student climate activists throughout DC.”
The #ShutdownDC action is part of the global climate strikes young activists have been leading since Friday, to try to spur government action on the climate crisis.
A Look Back at Last Week’s Posts
Activist Javier Benavidez Visited By Secret Service in Advance of Trump Visit
With Trump coming to town, the Secret Service wanted to find out more about what might be planned to disrupt the visit. Javier Benavidez was out running an errand with one of his kids, when his wife called to let him know he had visitors: The Secret Service. Ever, the activist, Javi turned on his phone to livestream and gave us the scooop as he appraoched his home and then livestreamed the visit with the Secret Service.
The Secret Service and Javi had a very polite, respectful conversation. There was never a threat of arrest, in fact the Secret Service made it clear that he had a right to protest and there was no arrest planned. Nonetheless, a visit from the Secret Service can’t help but be intimidating.
But what was far more intimidating was the non-stop stream of racist, violent comments that were made on the FB livestream. The comments were so threatening that Javi and his family fled their home, staying in a hotel for several days.
Bill McKibben’s Hopeful View from 2050 + Trump Exits NM
We presented excerpts from a Bill McKibben piece that looked back from the year 2050, a view that optimistically examined at what could transpire if we had international leadership that was behaving responsibly. It didn’t assume that politicians magically began to do their most job–preserving life, rather he projected a massive grassroots movement launched in 2020 that demanded responsible action.
The piece is well worth a read, as it provides a roadmap, albeit one with somewhat rose colored tinting, that informs what we must do to turn this ship around. May it be so, Bill. May it be so.
Climate Strike Details and Why We Must Strike
The post outlines the plan for the Friday Strike in Santa Fe along with a new report of how the Permian Basin gas and oil exploration is growing almost exponentially, earning a visit from our Governor to a Carlsbad assemblage of gas and oil execs where she, no doubt, sent a soothingly supportive message. No such voice of encouragement was sent by the Governor to the youth who struck at the Roundhouse on Friday.
In Memory of John Otter
Santa Fe activist John Otter passed on Sunday. For those of you lucky enough to know him, you know what a valued activist our community has lost.
For those who did not know John, he was an active volunteer on the Bernie Sanders campaign in 2015 and since the founding of Retake Our Democracy he attended most every meeting, even one only a very few weeks ago. While we never met socially, we spoke often before and after meetings and I was struck by both his keen mind, gentle heart, soft-spoken demeanor and subtle wit. We need so many more like John.
Weekend Reading: Trump Mental Instability + Photos of the Santa Fe Climate Strike
We presented two articles on the increasingly illegal and/or downright crazy behavior of our president plus a photographic essay on the Santa Fe Climate Strike.
We began with Robert Reich, who wrote a stunningly revealing piece that chronicled the litany of incoherent, misinformed, and/or possibly illegal Trump tweets, actions and quotes over the past weeks before concluding that the President is dangerously unstable.
We then offer a second article that reports on Trump’s likely illegal efforts to goad the President of the Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden’s son Hunter. Together, you get the impression of a President untethered by law or any semblance of self-control. A scary thought, reinforced by Reich’s observation that in seven and a half seconds, Trump could bring life on earth to a nuclear ending.
Sunday at the Movies: Focus on Chaco, Fracking & a Path Toward Saving Our Future
On Sunday, we offered a tour of Chaco Canyon, but a different kind of tour than the Chaco tour Roxanne and I took on Sunday where we visited a half dozen fracking sites in the greater Chaco Canyon area.
On Sunday, we presented a sequence of four videos that started with two very short videos focused on Chaco that present the physical beauty of Chaco and the threat posed by the gas and oil industry.
We then jumped to rural Pennsylvania to get a close view of how fracking appeared to be a local economic salvation, but that swiftly turned sour. And then we move to a Canadian studio for a remarkable interview with Chris Hedges on the demise of the American empire. While Hedges predicts empire collapse, in a curious way, he also presents the only path to preserve sacred sites like Chaco and to protect us from our basest instincts as manifest in the Trump regime.
In solidarity, Paul & Roxanne