Lately, climate news has been the stuff of nightmares – out of control ticks, the flooding of the seed bank in Norway, freak storms, rollbacks or stagnation of policies at all levels of our government, and much more. 350VT staff, interns, volunteers, family and friends, hit the road last summer to St. Johnsbury, Rutland, the Upper Valley, Bennington. Our “pop-up” office set up shop for a few days in each of these amazing communities, bringing with it an array of opportunities to learn, celebrate, skill-up, and engage.
Over 400 Vermont residents who have been resisting the Trump administration’s attacks on the environment and human rights., attended the People’s Climate Movement March for Climate, Jobs and Justice taking place in Washington, D.C. on April 29th, 2017, the 100 day of the Trump administration.
At the Port of Albany, business as usual on a Saturday is a parade of oil trains making their way into the rail yard, 15, 20, 30 cars at a time, but on May 14, hundreds of people from across the Northeast, coming from as far and wide as Maine to Maryland, stood in the way of the fossil fuel industry as part of a coordinated, global wave of escalation, Break Free Albany: Stop the Bomb Trains. In Albany, local groups have been fighting oil trains and the oil train terminal at the Port of Albany for about four years. May 14th was the first mass direct action, an escalation welcomed by the local community.
Jobs, Justice, and Climate Rally – Boston
When COP21 began, over 40,000 climate experts, advocates, and world leaders converged on Paris to decide the fate of humanity. IF the delegates reach an agreement, our global struggle against climate change is far from over. No matter what happened in Paris, we knew what we needed: real climate solutions that create secure union jobs and strengthen community power and resiliency. hundreds of others from all over the Northeast converged on Boston Commons on December 12th, including multiple VT buses and ride shares, to demand real climate solutions.
Mobilize, march, and make history.That was our goal for the People’s Climate March. We worked with other Vermont partners to arrange 17 buses to New York and the People’s Climate March on Sunday September 21st played a pivotal role in pushing world leaders to take bold action. Organizers expected around 150,000 at the most and instead our numbers swelled to over 300,000!
In June 2013, 350VT hosted the first annual Climate Cabaret on the State House lawn in Montpelier. The event showcased various performances including acrobatics, puppets, skits, poetry, and dances all with the underlying theme of the urgent nature of climate change. Through these performances, with the backdrop of the State House, we aimed to foster the kind of community needed to carry forth this movement in creative ways without losing sight of the practical and political solutions necessary to win this fight. In addition to this performances that took place, a visual art gallery was set up in the Goddard Art Gallery featuring pieces from local artists that highlight the impacts of climate change.
The Tar Sands Free Vermont Campaign began after corporations and lobbying firms representing the oil industry (Exxon-Mobil) gave a strong indication that they wanted to reverse the flow of an aging crude oil pipeline in New England, the Portland-Montreal Pipeline. This pipeline crosses northeastern Vermont and New Hampshire and sends crude oil west, from Maine ports to Canada. The pipeline reversal would have meant that tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada would travel east through Vermont to Portland, Maine for export.
Two major goals for the Tar Sands Free VT campaign were to (1) prevent diluted bitumen from the Canadian tar sands from being transported through the Portland-Montreal pipeline, which crosses Vermont; (2) ultimately halt tar sands extraction in North America. Vermonters’ organizing efforts against tar sands were abundant and included passing 42 Town Meeting Day resolutions in Vermont against tar sands during 2013-14.
In late summer 2011, over 100 Vermonters made the trip to Washington, DC, and peacefully took a stand with 1,252 fellow Americans in front of the White House. We were all arrested–as part of the largest act of civil disobedience in decades. Our first mission in DC was to raise the nation’s moral attention to stop the Keystone XL, a disastrous 1,800-mile oil pipeline that would ship Tar Sands oil from northern Alberta, Canada, down through the heartland of America, all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Then, on November 6th about 200 Vermonters headed back to DC to join 12,000 more people and Bill McKibben and the whole Tar Sands Action team in forming a huge human circle around the White House.
Moving Planet was a worldwide rally to demand solutions to the climate crisis–and Vermont went big with a huge statewide rally in Montpelier! On Saturday, September 24th, a broad coalition of Vermonters converged on the Statehouse lawn in Montpelier for the, at that point, largest climate action event ever held in Vermont.