#BridgesNotWalls: Time for Love, Solidarity, and Hope

by Leila Deen

January 18, 2017

On January 20th, Greenpeace will join with allies and supporters to participate in a global movement sending a loud, clear message of connection over division: #BridgesNotWalls.

Students march down Capitol Hill in a Love Trumps Hate protest in reaction to the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States.

Students march down Capitol Hill in a Love Trumps Hate protest in reaction to the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States.

© Robert Meyers / Greenpeace

This Friday, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, after a year when, around the world, the politics of hate, fear and division too often blossomed.

On January 20th, Greenpeace will join with allies and supporters to participate in a global movement sending a loud, clear message of connection over division: #BridgesNotWalls.

It’s a scary time. A handful of political elites and corporate giants — including some of the biggest polluters on the planet — continue to win big as long as people are fearful and divided from one another.

2016 also was a year of profound courage and connectedness.

Supporters march with Indigenous water protectors from the Standing Rock Nation to demand a halt to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Supporters march with Indigenous water protectors from the Standing Rock Nation to demand a halt to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

People all over the world stood together with the Munduruku Indigenous community to defeat a destructive mega-dam in the heart of the Amazon. President Obama ruled out drilling in the Arctic after years of public protest. Water protectors at Standing Rock inspired a wave of global solidarity and won a huge delays for the Dakota Access Pipeline. People from every walk of life found ways to support refugees fleeing violence and devastation.

We at Greenpeace are rejecting the message that there is more that divides us than unites us.

The small things each of us do every day to build green, peaceful and just communities — those billion acts of courage — tell a very different story.

It’s all of our job to make sure that that story wins out.

On January 19 and 20, people around the world will take to bridges affirming our commitment to build solidarity between one another and to stand up for each other and the world we believe in.

#BridgesNotWalls will show that our future and that of the planet relies on us holding together as communities and continuing to reinforce our commitment to solidarity, human rights, women’s rights, equality, peace, and care for the people and places most threatened by injustice.

On New Years Day 2016, a Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders (MSF)-Greenpeace team on the Greek island of Lesbos were joined by groups such as Sea-Watch, the Dutch Refugee Boat Foundation and local communities, to create a peace sign formed from over 3,000 discarded refugee life jackets. The groups are called for safe passage to those fleeing war, poverty and oppression.

On New Years Day 2016, a Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders (MSF)-Greenpeace team on the Greek island of Lesbos were joined by groups such as Sea-Watch, the Dutch Refugee Boat Foundation and local communities, to create a peace sign formed from over 3,000 discarded refugee life jackets. The groups are called for safe passage to those fleeing war, poverty and oppression.

I hope you will join us in showing solidarity with those resisting hate both in the United States and around the world.

With precious little time to divert climate change we cannot allow the powerful to divide us.

Only if we build bridges of love, cooperation and hope can we build a green, peaceful and just future.

Looking for a #BridgesNotWalls mobilization near you? Grassroots allies at bridgesnotwalls.uk/ have a very useful map.

Support #BridgesNotWalls online. Join the Thunderclap.

Leila Deen

By Leila Deen

Leila Deen is the Deputy Campaigns Director at Greenpeace USA.

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