This summer dedicated activists walked 100 miles from Camp David to Washington, DC. to ask President Obama and other policy makers to take strong action to keep the majority of fossil fuels in the ground. They are demanding climate action now!
As they walked, they talked to the people in the communities along their route. They are listened for their concerns and ideas about how together we can respond to the dangers posed by fossil fuels. And then they took this message to the White House.
The first stop on the second day of the walk was Myersville, MD, the site of a proposed gas compressor station on the edge of town. The citizens are organizing to keep their town from being a key site in the fracking infrastructure. As Greg Yost wrote in his blog, “Today’s experience proves the point: the struggle against the carbon extraction economy is all one fight. Fossil fuels cause damage when they’re taken from the ground, when they’re moved, and when they’re burned. Whether it’s tar sands, fracked gas, offshore drilling, or coal ripped from the ground, there’s somebody, somewhere paying a high cost for all this “cheap energy.”
They arrived in Harpers Ferry, VA on day 3, where the number of walkers tripled. Steve Norris, one of the Walk’s originators, used its history to make a connection. Greg Yost said in his blog on the third day, “Steve pointed out that just as our nation now finds itself addicted to carbon-sourced energy and in desperate need of deliverance, so it once was also addicted to slave-sourced fuel. The commitment, courage, moral seriousness, and sacrifice exhibited during Emancipation, a struggle for the very heart and soul of the nation, serves as a model for us now.”
The walkers arrived at Lafayette Park across the street from the White House on July 27, coinciding with Summer Heat, a week of action across the nation to address global warming and carbon pollution.
A Rally for Independence from Fossil Fuels took place that day at the Joan of Arc Statue. The Rally featured leaders from the iMatter Kids vs. Global Warming Campaign, including Nelson Kanuk, an Alaskan Native and a member of the Yup’ik Eskimo Tribe, who has already lost his home to sea level rise. Bill McKibben, a founder of 350.org, was the Rally’s keynote.
A Ceremony based on the Declaration of Independence from Fossil Fuels invited participants to make a commitment to act on our children’s behalf. After the Rally, the iMatter youth moved with all attendees to the White House to present the President with the Declaration of Independence from Fossil Fuels and messages from people on the Walk and across the country about their concern about rapidly progressing global warming.