Power Shift 2011 was full of (direct) action

by David Pinsky

April 21, 2011

My feet are sore, my voice is gone, and my body is tired. My heart is filled with joy and resolve. Following Power Shift 2011, I am empowered, inspired, and ready to fight for our planet for the rest of my life.

On Monday, I joined 5,000 people marching to protest dirty energy lobby groups like the US Chamber of Commerce. We marched with impacted community members to demand that BP pay for the Gulf oil spill. We demanded that GenOn shut down its dirty coal-fired power plant near Washington, DC. Together, we called on Congress to protect the EPA’s Clean Air Act and put people before polluters.

I cheered for 21 brave climate activists arrested at Monday’s Department of Interior sit-in as they demanded an end to exploitation of the Earth for oil, gas, and coal. I will never forget locking eyes with a student activist as she was escorted in handcuffs into a police vehicle. I broke down into tears of joy as hundreds outside the police vehicle sang and thanked her for taking bold action to save our planet.

Like many, today I am reliving many incredible moments from this past weekend.

On Friday, students disrupted a congressional debate on the broken budget proposals that put greedy corporations and polluters before people. Nine young climate activists were arrested.

On Saturday, Michigan State University student leader Tabitha Skervin introduced climate activist Tim DeChristopher before 10,000 young people, calling on them to join her in taking non-violent direct action for our planet. This Friday, Tim will join Tabitha and hundreds of students to protest the largest on-campus coal plant in the nation at Michigan State University.

On Sunday, we wrapped up the largest grassroots organizing training in our nation’s history, ready to take our newfound skills back to our campuses and communities to build power!

This weekend never would have happened without the tireless work from Greenpeace Student Network activists, who recruited over 1,000 people to attend Power Shift 2011. Thank you for all your hard work!

Together with our sisters and brothers, we are embarking on a civil movement for humanity, and it requires each and every person on this planet to step up and create a clean, renewable energy future.

In the words of Tim DeChristopher, “Let this be the last Power Shift where we leave without fighting back. From now on our movement needs to take a stand.”

Agreed. Now let’s get to work fighting like hell for our planet and our humanity.

David Pinsky

By David Pinsky

David authors Greenpeace USA’s annual seafood sustainability report for the nation’s largest supermarkets, holding major companies accountable and shifting seafood practices that have global impacts on our oceans.

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