Appleton, WI: Community mobilizes for climate justice in honor of Earth Day
Appleton, WI – On April 24, a coalition of seven local environmental and social justice groups came together with more than 100 members of local communities to demand a liveable future. The event was led by Sunrise Appleton, a youth-led movement that advocates for the adoption of Green New Deal policies, reducing carbon emissions by building new sources of sustainable energy and infrastructure and putting a end to climate change.
The energy of the crowd was that of a fervent anti-capitalism. At one point, a Sunrise representative said, “We are no longer asking, we are demanding” as they move away from passive attempts to change the system and directly call on local government officials and up to President Biden to to start. to fight climate change with a sense of urgency.
Another youth-led organization in the coalition, Youth Climate Action Team (YCAT), said it was “a statewide alliance of climate activists working to end environmental injustice and the operating systems that created it. YCAT advocates for climate action at the state and local levels while opposing resource extraction and disaster capitalism. “
YCAT members also brought large hand-painted banners on tall poles with statements such as “Keep it in the ground”, “No pipelines”, “Stop line 3” and “Renewable energy from”. here 2035 ”. Other signs focused on resource extraction and its direct causal relationship to the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women; “Violence against our land is violence against our bodies” and “No more men’s camps, no more MMIW”.
Kirsten Welch, ESTHER Fox Valley member and woman Menominee, gave a powerful speech on the irreversible pollution of our waters and the violence, rapes and killings of indigenous people that stem directly from the temporary housing, the “men’s camps. “built by oil and drilling companies. She said it is not just a crisis in Wisconsin or the United States, but all over the world in areas where indigenous peoples have lived in harmony with the land and seek to protect the sacred. . Towards the end of her speech, she said that we had to “cut off the head of the black snake”. The black snake is what water conservationists and indigenous peoples commonly refer to as pipelines.
The other groups in the coalition were the Fox Valley Sierra Group, Citizen Action Northeast Wisconsin, PopEarth and Our Wisconsin Revolution. But other groups like Food Not Bombs Fox Valley and the Wisconsin Alliance Against Racism and Political Repression have mobilized to support this action. Many of those same groups will be attending the next May 1 rally in Appleton on May 1.