What Happened on February 17th?

I’ll tell you!

It was a great rally on Sunday Feb 17th! Attending the San Francisco solidarity march was a powerful event, which brought folks from many different movements together to demonstrate in the streets of America. While the block we marched around was packed with protesters, some 40,000 people showed up to protest in Washington DC. Ironically as the largest climate rally in US history was in full force outside the White House President Obama was golfing with oil executives. You can write a letter to Obama concerning his untimely golfing event Here. While his actions are not surprising, despite his recent use of climate change and renewable energy rhetoric, he is yet to take any measurable steps forward on addressing climate change and the inevitable decline of this petroleum based economie. Many are looking at his decision regarding the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline as the truest test of his genuine effort to move away from fossil fuels.

Melody Leppard, Tommy Diestel and myself went to the rally about two hours earlier than the start time to get orientated on how to be a volunteer for chant coordinating.  In an article by the SF Gate “Tommy Diestel, a student of Butte College, held a megaphone and led some of the thousands of people who marched near the Embarcadero in San Francisco during a climate rally on Feb. 17, in his favorite chant, ‘Don’t frack with California’. Way to go Tommy!

At the SF rally folks from  many different backgrounds were coming together in common cause, especially notable were representative of Idle No More, Anti- Fracking activists, pro renewable energy champions, and undoubtedly members of the CSSC. An event becomes so much more powerful when it is joined by activists from what may be apparently different backgrounds. This kind of collaboration of ideas seeks to find solutions that meets everyone’s needs. We all know that at times we can feel alone and alienated within the movement, yet standing, marching and chanting knowing that a team of over 40,000 has taken to the streets was empowering and inspirational. If you were not able to make it to the rally check out these videos on Forward on Climate Change. Bill McKibbin and Van Jones really pull the message together. And I will see Y’all out there next time!

Kevin Killion

Posted in _Featured, California Student Sustainability Coalition Magazine.