Sunday, January 27, 2019

Capitalism Kills the Planet?: #ExtinctionRebellion Day One!!!

Images of #ExtinctionRebellion Day One!!! by Ken Schles
Image may contain: one or more people, crowd, shoes, motorcycle and outdoor
Erik McGregor:
                                                                      "Extinction Rebellion Day One – #ClimateShutdown to Shake New York"

Photos by George De Castro Day, Wendy Brawer, and this writer. A few faces and signs in the crowd today, at the #ExtinctionRebellion environmental demonstration.

Nikki and one of her kids, 'we need a livable future!'

I first met Nikki in the late 1990s when she was a student.
The global justice movement was in full swing, from Seattle to Genoa,
New  York to  Washington DC to Prague.
She came into the  city from Vassar for  demos.
At first Caroline and I were not going to have  kids. 
Best  laid plans. 
When kids came along I started thinking about the world our kids were inheriting.
Melting ice terrifies them now.
They are teenagers and their greatest fear is the climate changing, making this home uninhabitable.
We want a  future too, they told me when we  talked about the UN report.
Today, Nikki and I run into each other at actions.
She was at the first meeting  of the Extinction Rebellion two weeks ago.
A few days later, she wrote a post about the climate and the world her  kids are inheriting:
“Climate catastrophe is the only thing I can think of nowadays while there is so much to be furious about.
My head spins. My heart breaks. When I nurse my 4 month old or read to my 2 year old, I wonder what world they'll have left. Limited resources, mass extinction, our city under water, war. I don't think I have a choice but to work on pushing governments, corporations, everybody, to take climate action. PM me if you want to work together. Let's make this better.
Some ideas: 
In BK, along with the Sunrise Movement and others, we're asking reps like Hakeem Jeffries to endorse a Green New Deal, so that *when* the dems win in 2020, it will become legislation.
Oppose the Williams fracked gas pipeline. Call Cuomo (888-997-5380) NOW!…/

Extinction Rebellion. A couple months ago, this brand new group was able to organize thousands of folks to commit non-violent direct actions that forced the city of London to declare a climate emergency and commit to zero carbon emissions by 2025. A group has formed here in NYC and has some plans.
NYC Extinction Rebellion Protest and Direct Action: Saturday, Jan. 26, 1:00pm 5th Ave. and 59th Street

This morning I got this email declaring today was the first day of the extinction rebellion:

59th and 5th

South East Corner of Central Park
The reports are in: We have just TWELVE YEARS NO TIME to waste, to stop catastrophic climate change and save people and the planet. And our politicians aren't doing the job. So Extinction Rebellion is rising up. We're calling for a WWII-level mobilization to get to net zero emissions by 2025 by engaging in mass civil disobedience. In short: We're disrupting business as usual to stop climate disruption!
The global movement kicks off this SATURDAY with Rebellion Day One, and New York is leading the way. We demand that our government 1) Recognize that climate change is an emergency, 2) Cut emissions to net zero by 2025, and 3) Create a national Citizens Assembly to oversee the process, 4) A Just Transition, Indigenous Sovereignty, Reparations.
Will you join us?
WHAT: A march for climate sanity culminating in an act of climate disobedience--a theatrical die-in which will take place like a timeline in three parts--one to memorialize past climate tragedies, one to highlight current and projected crises, and one to envision the future we want. (NOTE: You do NOT have to risk arrest to be part of this action. You can come for the march part ONLY. Kids and pets welcome! If you DO want to risk arrest, we need you!  With that in mind please review our ACTION COMMITMENTS for the 26th with specific non-violence definition for this action. That will help keep everyone safe.)
WHEN: Saturday, January 26th at 1 pm
WHERE: We'll meet at the Southeast corner of Central Park @59th St. and 5th Ave. and march to a location where those risking arrest will create a disruption. At 1 pm, we'll kick things off with music by the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, and we’ll let you know our exact march route and plan.
HOW: YOU rising up! We need EVERYONE! Moms, dad, kids, students, youth, teachers, farmers, laborers, activists, community members. If you care about the future of this planet, you are part of this movement! SO INVITE FRIENDS!
WHY: A livable future for us and our children.
BRING: Friends and family. Instruments and art. Posters and signs expressing why YOU care about the future of this planet. Dress warmly and in neon colors if you can!
NOTE: There will be clearly marked marshalls to follow during the march. This is not a permitted march, so be aware that there may be risks even if you do not participate in the direct action disruption. We have planned for this march and action to be as accessible and inclusive as possible. We are a nonviolent movement, so please review our ACTION COMMITMENTS ( and act accordingly. Please wear bright colors and bring brightly colored signs!
At there's a "Know Your Rights" review and some legal references.
XR Color Theme”

I was helping with civil disobedience.
All week long, I thought about my last five busts, one in December in New York, three in October and November in Washington DC, and another in the spring in Albany, for the climate.
Does civil disobedience work in these moments?
It certainly did in London.
New York is a strange place.

“This Saturday, January 26, will be the first national day of action for Extinction Rebellion in America. This grassroots social movement, which began last fall in the UK, believes that climate breakdown poses an imminent and existential threat to what Noam Chomsky calls“organized human life” on Earth. For that reason, members of Extinction Rebellion (XR) engage in nonviolent direct action intended to disrupt business as usual and draw attention to the emergency situation in which the human species is presently embroiled…Though quite new, Extinction Rebellion is growing rapidly, with chapters popping up in cities and towns around the world, including New York. Many of these chapters have been inspired by the actions of Extinction Rebellion in London, where on November 17, 2018, multiple bridges across the River Thames were occupied and temporarily shut down in what the Guardian described as “one of the biggest acts of peaceful civil disobedience in the UK in decades.” Shortly after these blockades, London Mayor Sadiq Khan declared a climate emergency — a move that supporters of XR viewed as both a victory for and a vindication of their direct actions…In addition to this important policy result, Extinction Rebellion’s actions in London showed to sympathetic international observers that ordinary people, coming together in solidarity, can engage in collective action that meaningfully impacts their world. In other words, Extinction Rebellion is politically empowering: it has lit a fire under folks from all walks of life who refuse, in Dylan Thomas’s memorable phrase, to “go gentle into that good night.”… And the future does indeed look dark. In October 2018, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a dire warning that humans have only 12 years to drastically reduce carbon emissions in order to keep an increase of global warming to a maximum of 1.5C — a level of change that, it should be noted, will still produce devastating consequences for the planet’s ecosystems… As if this weren’t bad enough, myriad interconnected phenomena — such as an accelerated loss of biodiversity and wildlife due to the ongoing sixth mass extinction — will increase the dangers posed to Homo sapiens by climate change… What Extinction Rebellion recognizes is that, amid all this horror, the social institutions that are meant, in theory, to serve the common good — namely, our governments — are in large part the source of our woes. This is because most governments, and especially the most powerful governments, are thoroughly enmeshed in fossil-fueled global capitalism. As a result, they operate to enrich the powerful.… On January 26, Americans will have the opportunity to rediscover rebellion and join the fight against the inevitable. What have we got to lose?”

To fight climate change is to fight a means of production built on a carcinogenic, capitalistic system, with  plastic bags filling  the streets, carbon the air.
Cars everywhere.
We planned to disrupt it all week long.
At Rockefeller Center, we died in.
On 50th and 5th, we carryied banners into the streets  with the words.
Extinction  Rebellion.
Climate emergency now!!!
Rebel for life!!!
Onlookers tried  to pull away the banners.
Its your planet too,
We screamed.
We must act now,  we declared.
“I want you to act as though your house is on fire,” declared one woman’s sign.
A cab drive ran out to scream at us.
“Here we go now, lock em up now!!!” screamed an observer, standing on the sidewalk.
“We have twelve years for life!” screamed another woman.
“Climate  change will kill your kids!”
The police  moved in, pulling the activists away.
Climate change, heading  for extinction.
International non-violent rebellion against  the world’s governments  for criminal inaction on the ecological crisis.
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports we have twelve years, screamed one of the activists as he was being lead into the police vans.
Back at Rockefeller Center,
The Rude Mechanical Orchestra were playing,
“Whose Side are You on?”
And activists were laying on the ice in the rink,
Making the Extinction Rebellion sign.
A sign behind them read:
Climate change=mass murder, 
Rebel for Life. 
New Yorkers snapped photos.
Whose side are you on, the band played.
Nikki was standing wondering about the future her kids were inheriting.
Her kid was sleeping.
He was about to wake up.

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