From April 5-9, 350VT and over 300 walkers took part in a sacred walk for climate justice, called Next Steps. Together we celebrated the solutions to the climate crisis already underway, while also grieving the pipeline, ecosystem destruction, and the ever-growing, multi-faceted injustices of the “Industrial Growth Society.” We acknowledge this is the original homeland of the Abenaki people and what is now called Vermont is one small portion of what the people term Ndakinna.
Along the route, we witnessed the pipeline’s impact on land and lives and witnessed the creative solutions and changes being implemented–from homesteads to solar panels, from mass transit to mass compost. At our mass action in Montpelier, we escalated our call for a ban on fossil fuel infrastructure.
We walk because we’re in an emergency—a climate emergency, a justice emergency. We walk to center this situation in a new way, both for ourselves and the broader community. At this moment, the communities along the Addison County pipeline are at risk because of safety violations by VT Gas. At this moment, legislators are not acting swiftly to pass a ban on fossil fuel infrastructure or other policies commensurate with the crisis at hand. And, also, at this moment, youth are striking across Europe, the Green New Deal is shining brightly, and people across Vermont are seeking fair and equitable alternatives.
Why this walk?
Especially when the crisis is so urgent? Because creating strong ties between us, the changemakers, are essential in this movement. Because we need to practice working collaboratively in challenging situations. Because we know that our collective power is stronger than our individualist pursuits. Together, we will co-create an interdependent community dedicated to collective liberation, personal transformation, and realizing and reclaiming our power.
Thanks to our generous sponsors for making this possible!