I’m proud to work with Earth Quaker Action Team, the group that successfully pressured PNC Bank to stop financing mountaintop removal coal mining. Our new campaign integrates racial, economic, and climate justice, three issues that are deeply important to me. Using nonviolent direct action, we’re pushing PECO, Pennsylvania’s largest utility, to make a major shift to rooftop solar and do it in a way that creates local green jobs and other economic benefits, especially in low-income neighborhoods, which have been hit hardest by the fossil fuel economy.
Resources for New Activists
We are in a era of increased activism across a variety of issues, and it didn’t just begin on November 9. For the last several years we’ve seen a rising wave of creative nonviolent organizing that has only increased since the U.S. presidential election. Below are a few resources I’ve created for those wanting to learn how to make a difference.
Engaging New Activists for the Long Haul
What I’ve learned since Trump’s election
Fight Back: Five Ways to Make Your Activism More Strategic
Grid Magazine piece with lessons on campaigning
See my Articles page for more.
More of What I’ve Been Up To
For many years, all I did was go to big marches and then complain when they didn’t have an effect. I now believe much more in sustained campaigning with a clear target. Despite Trump’s election, I have continued to keep that focus in my volunteer work, believing it is more important than ever that we don’t wear ourselves out running from thing to thing. That said, when your 20-year-old daughter asks you to go to DC for the biggest women’s march ever, what’s an activist mom to do?
We had a great time marching with old friends and new, feeling the amazing energy of so many women determined to resist. Since then, I have attended other large protests–against racism, the Muslim Ban, the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and the desicration of a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, among others–but as I teach in We Were Made for this Moment, resisting Trump is a marathon, not a sprint, so we all need to settle into our own groove, while cheering each other on. My groove is the Power Local Green Jobs campaign.
What I’m learning about keeping hope alive in difficult times
Here’s a blog post I wrote after the Klan marched in Charlottesville especially for “spiritual white people.” And here’s a Waging Nonviolence piece on what I’ve seen help people stay engaged after a year of Trump in office.
My First Civil Disobedience
The first time I committed civil disobedience I was representing Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) in the February 13, 2013 civil disobedience action to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline, shown below. To read that story, download the preface to my memoir, Renewable.
The second time I was arrested, I was actually one of the organizers, when in March 2014, Earth Quaker Action Team organized its own action on the Keystone XL pipeline issue. Twenty-nine people, including me, were arrested in that action. Here is a piece I wrote for Salon.com about being part of the campaign that won that fight–a fight that is being refought under the Trump Administration.
Earth Quaker Action Team’s PNC Victory
I had been doing various kinds of activism for nearly thirty years before being part of a campaign like the EQAT campaign to get PNC Bank to pull out of investing in mountaintop removal coal mining. Here is a Huffington Post article I wrote about how our tiny group successfully pressured a bank that nets over $4 billion per year! Serendipitously, EQAT won its campaign the day before the launch of my memoir on becoming an activist. The video is my interview with Gail Coyle of Friends Journal about both of those events.