COVID-19, Courage, and Collective Action: a Message from Annie

by Annie Leonard

This crisis has laid bare a system that prioritizes elites over the health of people and the planet. With your help, we can highlight these injustices and build a better tomorrow. Help us build an unstoppable movement for a green and peaceful future.

© Livia Ferguson / Greenpeace

Dear friends,

This happened fast. In a matter of weeks the COVID-19 crisis has truly changed our lives. Like so many people around the world, I bet you’re feeling a range of emotions. On my end, I’m worried about my mother in Seattle, but I’ve also been inspired by my daughter, who just organized a virtual baking session with her friends who are all out of school! Her small actions, just like the immense solidarity I’ve seen as communities come together, has made me feel the power of collective action. We can continue to advance our work for a country that provides real security and a healthy environment for everyone in this moment.

That’s one reason I’ve felt one thing above all: courage.

I also have courage because of you. Last week thousands of you heeded our call when Trump maneuvered to bailout the oil industry as one of his first responses to the crisis. You made it loud and clear that the COVID-19 response needs to put families first, not billionaire executives. And this is only one of many tireless actions you’ve taken with Greenpeace during Trump’s monstrous presidency. THANK YOU!

We can’t stop now, so I want to update you on Greenpeace’s plans to keep building on your courageous actions.

Last week Greenpeace closed all of its US offices for the time being and staff that are able to work from home. Folks whose jobs usually require them to be in the field are now helping with new and different projects. We have also paused organizational travel and our in-person initiatives (like the fantastically effective Fire Drill Fridays with Jane Fonda) are moving online. The health of the Greenpeace community and all our neighbors (everywhere!) comes first.

This is going to be a massive challenge — and also a pivotal time for Greenpeace and our allies. We’ve got to be more vigilant than ever as corporate elites, political elites, and the radical right wing try to take advantage of this crisis for their own agenda. We have little time before the wealthy and powerful bail each other out and working families foot the bill. We need a strong Greenpeace now because the next couple of weeks are vital — the oil bailouts are just one example, banks and airlines will follow, there’s talk about casinos and cruise lines. Massive polluters will benefit while the climate and people suffer. This crisis has also laid bare injustices which Black, Brown, and working class communities have felt for centuries: lack of health care and paid sick leave, and a system that prioritizes elites over the health of people and the planet. We need to highlight these injustices and build a better tomorrow. Right now, you have the opportunity to make this movement bigger and more powerful than ever.

We can’t do that without funds. Donate right now to hold the line against Trump and polluter billionaires and build an unstoppable movement for a green and peaceful future.

Our work is evolving quickly, but here is what your generosity will make possible right now.

  • Go digital. With many people staying in their homes to protect personal and public health, we are surging our digital outreach. With your help we can reach millions of people online to call out Trump. And we can create irresistible content that makes sure our message of courageous people power doesn’t get swamped by national news.
  • Build community. Right now, we are building new ways to leverage the need and desire for activism amidst the crisis. Stay tuned, in a couple days we will send out ways to plug into our virtual community and video calls to come together, stay active, and mobilize for people and planet.
  • Go global. This crisis is global. Luckily Greenpeace is a global organization and we are working closely with our colleagues and movement allies around the world for a united response.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this strategy to build power in this unique moment of social distancing, when so many are staying home. Inspired by my daughter I’m calling it acting alone-together. If you are ready to act alone-together to hold the line against corporate and political elites and to ensure efforts to address the crisis move us towards a safer, more fair, and healthier world for all, then please join our movement.

donate now

With courage and solidarity,

Annie Leonard
Greenpeace USA

P.S. Your gift is more important than ever. The COVID-19 crisis demands our movement acts for those most in need and holds the line against opportunistic corporate polluters. But also we have to be real, we can’t work in the same way we always have — that includes how we fundraise. We won’t compromise on any of our important work to protect people and planet but we can’t do it without you. Please give today.

Annie Leonard

By Annie Leonard

Annie Leonard is the co-Executive Director of Greenpeace USA. Leonard began her career at Greenpeace in 1988 and has returned to help the organization inspire and mobilize millions of people to take action to create a more sustainable future together. She is based in San Francisco.

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