Powering the Resistance, One Bold Action at a Time

Karen Topakian is one of seven Greenpeace activists who deployed a massive banner of resistance above the White House on January 25, 2017. Read why she's taking action to stop Trump's attacks on climate progress and how you can join the movement to protect people and the planet.

There is no better time to act for our climate and communities than right now.

Our democracy is under attack. In the coming hours, days, months, and years, we will all need to act on our values. So today, that’s what I’m doing. As I write this, I’m about to join six other Greenpeace activists to hang a massive, hand-painted banner of resistance where Trump and his climate-denying administration can’t ignore it.

And if you’re reading this, it means we succeeded.

Days like today are why I feel privileged to take part in this movement, and to be part of an organization that will never stop fighting for what’s right. I feel energized knowing that the banner that will soon fly above my head stands for something powerful, but what inspires me most is seeing what people like you are doing all around the world at the same time — stepping up and acting bravely in a million different ways.

If we’re going to overcome Trump’s attacks on climate progress, we need as many people as possible fighting alongside us.

You are mobilizing by the thousands to resist Trump’s racist, climate-denying cabinet nominations, making Exxon CEO and current Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson’s confirmation process one of the most controversial in history. You are taking to the streets with millions of people, marching in solidarity with women and those who Trump’s administration has promised to attack, dwarfing the number of those who came out for his inauguration. And you are breathing life into this movement with your activism, your community organizing, and your commitment to a vision of America far better than the one Trump is selling.

As the board chair of Greenpeace Inc., I know what this organization — with people like you at the center — has the power to create. For as long as this administration is in power, we will take action against all odds, and we will make the impossible possible. Greenpeace has been using nonviolence to resist tyrannical bullies since 1971, and we’re not going to stop now.

When Trump tries to weaken the Paris Climate Agreement so fossil fuel companies can profit on climate destruction, we will resist. When he tries to fast-track dangerous projects like the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines with no regard for Indigenous sovereignty, we will resist. When he tries to block our communities from building the clean energy future we deserve, we will resist.

For as long as it takes, I will continue to work alongside people like you to build a world that’s green, peaceful, and just. Today I’m sending a hand-painted love letter to the people of this planet. Tomorrow, I hope you’ll be standing beside me in resistance.

Karen Topakian

Karen Topakian

Karen Topakian is the Greenpeace Inc. Board Chair.

She started her career at Greenpeace in San Francisco in 1987, when she joined the Nuclear Free Seas campaign. On January 25, 2017, she was one of seven Greenpeace activists who deployed a massive, hand-painted banner reading “RESIST” for the Trump administration and the world to see. 

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