FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 30, 2009
Contacts: Lacy MacAuley, (202) 445-4692, email@example.com
Nadine Bloch, (202) 412-7611, firstname.lastname@example.org
Morgan Goodwin, (413) 884-5240, email@example.com
Climate justice activists march on polluters and lobbyists in downtown Washington DC
Feisty unpermitted march blocks traffic, marks the tenth anniversary of the WTO shutdown in Seattle, demands “Corporations out of Copenhagen” one week prior to the UN climate summit
Washington DC – Climate justice activists this morning marched through downtown Washington DC to visit climate polluters and the K Street lobbyists who represent them, joining thousands more in cities across the country for actions marking the November 30th Mobilization for Climate Justice. The march occurred just one week before the beginning of international climate negotiations in Copenhagen and marked the tenth anniversary of the historic day when activists converged in Seattle to non-violently shut down the meetings of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
[Click to view a video of todayâ€™s climate justice march in Washington DC]
â€œOil companies, lobbyists, and banks are driving climate change and using their influence to prevent us from taking swift action to stop climate change. They are accelerating us off of a climate change cliff by promoting business as usual. Theyâ€™ll just save themselves with their golden parachutes, leaving the rest of the world in free fall,â€ said organizer Lacy MacAuley, â€œWe are calling for â€˜Corporations out of Copenhagen,â€™ asking businesses and their lobbyists to step aside and let us create meaningful solutions to climate change, solutions that place people before profit.â€
The march in Washington began at the US Chamber of Commerce, the top lobby group representing corporate CEOs at the expense of people and the planet, and then visited many sites of climate destruction throughout the city. Activists marched to the American Petroleum Institute, banks funding climate destruction such as Bank of America, and lobbyists for oil companies like Shell, Chevron, BP and Conoco Phillips. Mini-rallies were held outside the buildings.
At each location, speakers at the mini-rallies splashed cups of the water from melting glaciers on the floor or outside of the buildings, demanding that representatives at the businesses cancel their plans to travel to the Copenhagen climate summit. Speakers also debunked corporate-led false solutions to climate change such as “clean” coal, nuclear energy and carbon offsets, promoting real sustainable solutions such as wind and solar energy.
Marchers chanted “Corporations out of Copenhagen” and “stop your looting, polluting and lobbying,” circulating through the K Street corridor where energy companies, lobbyists, and climate change funders have their offices.
â€œThe Copenhagen climate summit must be about our future, about survival of the worldâ€™s most vulnerable people, not corporate profits,â€ said Julie Erickson, an organizer with the Mobilization for Climate Justice. â€œThese climate criminals, corporate polluters and their lobbyists should cancel their plans to go to Copenhagen next week and get out of the way of a clean energy future.â€
The Washington DC march is part of the nationwide Mobilization for Climate Justice to demand real, just and effective solutions to the climate crisis. It is one of several actions today in cities across the US, including Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, New York, Portland, ME and Washington, DC. These actions were called for and organized through the Mobilization for Climate Justice (www.actforclimatejustice.org).
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Photos available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/climatejusticedc/sets/72157622777575235/
For more information on the Mobilization for Climate Justice: www.actforclimatejustice.org
Top 5 Reasons Why Corporations are Climate Criminals:
1) Corporations put profits before people, often exploiting people of color, low-income communities, and Indigenous people â€“ We need to put people before profits!
2) They are the biggest carbon polluters. By extracting and burning oil, coal, & natural gas, they perpetuate our addiction to fossil fuels â€“ We need a clean energy economy!
3) They seek to profit from climate change through lax carbon regulation, tax loopholes, and public financing for private industry projects â€“ We need binding emissions targets, not corporate handouts!
4) They have weakened and stalled U.S. climate legislation through millions of dollars of lobbying, reducing the likelihood of a fair, ambitious, & binding treaty at Copenhagen â€“ We need strong climate legislation from Congress now!
5) They work with the World Bank and IMF to expand free trade policies that damage local economies, ecosystems, and communities â€“ We need free people, not free trade!