An email from Bill McKibben of 350.org:
Two days ago we scored a landmark victory in the fight against the dirtiest of our energy sources–and your statements of solidarity drove our success home.
There’s still lots to be done to build a movement against coal, a crucial step that gets us back to a safe climate and a 350 world.
But for now let’s check the day’s scorecard:
- Largest anti-coal action yet in the United States: Thousands and thousands of people flooding the streets around the Capitol Hill power plant.
- Largest demonstration in many years where everyone wore dress clothes: The point was to stress that there’s nothing radical about shutting down coal-fired power. In fact, there’s everything radical about continuing to pour carbon into the air just to see what happens.
- Smallest counter-protest in world’s history: By my count, the Competitive Enterprise Institute managed to muster four demonstrators for its “celebration of coal” rally, which is about the right size. (But they were kind of sweet; they had signs that said: “Al Gore, Not Evil, Just Wrong.”)
- Number of arrests: None, zip, zilch, nada.
The police said so many demonstrators showed up that they had no hope of jailing them all. So we civilly disobeyed all afternoon, blocking roads and incommoding sidewalks and other desperate stuff, all without a permit or a say so. We shut down the power plant for the day. And we’d pre-won our main victory anyhow, when Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid preemptively cried uncle last week and announced that coal wouldn’t be burned in their plant any more.
- Quantity of broad smiles afterwards: Almost unlimited. And in the air, there was the strong sense that we can do this. Really. What fun.
So many thanks for your ongoing support.
Bill McKibben, for the 350.org crew