BC Students Join Hundreds Asking National Grid to Save Cape Wind

Upon the announcement from National Grid and NStar (now EverSource) that they would not honor their contracts to purchase electricity from Cape Wind – effectively sabotaging the project – Massachusetts residents rose up under the banner Save Cape Wind. BC students joined a rally at the Boston Commons calling on National Grid MA President Marcy Reed to Save Cape Wind.

Below is a video from the rally.

 

Intervention: It is Time for BC to Break Up with Fossil Fuels!

Kickoff of the rally>march>vigil is here.

15 seconds of song here.

15 seconds of chant here.

Intervention: It is Time for BC to Break Up with Fossil Fuels!

February 13th, 2015                                                           

Contact: Erin Sutton; erincsutton@gmail.com 508.981.7205

Website: climatejusticebc.com

Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA

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On February 13th, 2015, undergraduates, graduate students, and alumni gathered outside O’Neill Library and marched to President Fr. Dr. Leahy’s main office, as part of a call for Boston College to withdraw its investments from fossil fuel companies. Organized by the group Climate Justice at Boston College (CJ@BC), this action was carried out in coordination with climate justice organizers for Global Divestment Day, calling for a Valentine’s Day “breakup” between BC and the fossil fuel industry. The day of action follows Thursday’s at the Massachusetts State House and at Harvard. This global coordination of action displays the growth of divestment campaigns and their increasing pressure on decision-makers to stand for a stable climate and a just economic system. CJ@BC joins thousands of students across the country who are calling for their respective universities to divest from fossil fuel companies that have polluted the scientific process, our democracy, and our communities.

Before the vigil, students gathered in front of O’Neill library for a kick-off call and response. Alyssa Florack (‘17) described the destructive relationship Boston College maintains with the fossil fuel industry, and called for a breakup, “A long time ago, BC began its investment relationship with fossil fuel companies. They were making tons of money, and BC was happy. Or so it thought. Eventually, the affair started to heat up, and that’s when BC found out about global warming. Despite institutional pressures to maintain the status quo, many are realizing the dangerous consequences of this relationship. And the relationship doesn’t just hurt BC; it hurts all of humanity.” BC’s investments in the fossil fuel industry are not only unethical, but also risk the futures of the students the college claims to be educating to “shape the future”.

After the rallying speech, students marched to McElroy and down College Road to Botolph House. During the march, students sang rewritten verses from Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” and Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” playing on Valentine’s Day and repeating the call for BC to “break up” with fossil fuel companies that perpetuate climate chaos. The group of 45 were respectful, peaceful, and in high spirits, reflecting hopes for a better future. Students held signs with phrases like “It’s not me, it’s you,” “Pick a side” (with Boston College pictured on one side of a broken heart, and the Koch Brothers on the other), “This is an intervention,” and many more.

During the vigil outside Fr. Leahy’s office, a somber and solemn mood took over. Students shared their hopes for Boston College to be the best that it can be. Bobby Wengronowitz said, “BC claims ‘to exercise careful stewardship of its resources’ but what about the land on which the college sits? How is investment in fossil fuels, which contribute to rising sea levels, which may soon threaten to submerge the college, ‘careful stewardship?’”

Delia Ridge Creamer (‘16) said, “I have been working on this campaign since my freshman year at BC, and it’s inspiring to see how much momentum we have gained in the past year alone.” Erin Sutton (‘16) said: “As a student who relies on financial aid that Boston College provides for me, I feel ashamed accepting money that’s supposed to be building my future when it comes from the very corporations that are destroying it. I want to go to a Boston College that I can be proud of.”

CJ@BC has been organizing for over two years, calling on Boston College to stand for climate justice. In addition to divesting from fossil fuels, CJ@BC has been calling for more investments in renewables and efficiency, as well as more climate-related programs that would generate student-faculty collaboration and prepare students for work in burgeoning fields.

Climate Justice Alliance Statement to World Leaders

Climate Justice @ Boston College stands in solidarity with frontline communities in the US and abroad. See more at http://www.ourpowercampaign.org/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  September 23, 2014

Contact: Marjorie Childress   505-410-8487   marjorie@ourpowercampaign.org

World Leaders prefer photo ops with community members rather than real talk

New York City — Two days before today’s UN Climate Summit 400,000 people made history on the streets of New York City – joining together to take part in the largest march ever on climate change. But world leaders continue not to listen. They’ll take their photo opportunities in the street, but refuse entrance into the actual halls of power.

Today, the Climate Justice Alliance attempted to bring a statement from the people to world leaders, but were refused entry. Community voices were silenced, even while frontline climate-devastated communities and the 400,000 others who marched on Sunday called for climate action that works for Main Street, not just Wall Street.

“We’re being exploited, assaulted on an everyday basis, by industry that surrounds our community,” said  Yuditha Nieto of T.E.J.A.S., an environmental justice organization in Houston, Texas. “We don’t get any support from our representatives. We have to put our two cents in and let them know that we are here.”

The exclusion of community members who live on the frontlines of the climate crisis show that today’s climate decision-making arenas have been taken over by a corporate agenda that prioritizes destructive profit driven policies over the wellbeing of families, workers and communities.

“Those within the UN Climate Summit need to start thinking about ways to change people’s relationship to the earth, ways to change the definition of prosperity and well-being to something that’s not about money for a few people, but for a good livelihood for everybody,” said Jihan Gearon of Black Mesa Water Coalition on the Navajo Nation.

For decades, frontline communities have been cultivating real solutions that move away from an economy of endless growth that exploits people and nature to one that links climate change and human rights, recognizes the rights of Indigenous peoples, and the self-determination of frontline communities.

“We demand that world leaders support and move money to our community-led priorities and local infrastructure needs to build sustainable community economies, energy democracy, zero waste, food justice, public transit and affordable housing – pathways that can create millions of long-term jobs and put our communities back to work,” the Climate Justice Alliance said in the statement they attempted to deliver to world leaders.

“We support Indigenous peoples, our brothers and sisters of the North and the Global South, in their climate justice struggles linking land and water rights, land title and the full implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

Climate Justice Alliance: Statement to World Leaders and President Obama at the United Nations Climate Summit

This Sunday, over 400,000 people marched on the streets of New York City in solidarity with communities around the world living on the frontlines of both climate change and the exploitative systems driving this planetary crisis. Thousands more took direct action yesterday by “Flooding Wall Street” to target the polluting corporations and their financiers profiteering from such global harm.

Today, as world leaders gather at the United Nations Climate Summit 2014, we – members and affiliates of the Climate Justice Alliance—duly note that these climate arenas are taken over by a corporate agenda that continues the onslaught of business-as-usual, the global expansion of fossil fuel development rather than action to cut greenhouse gases at source.

In place of genuine climate action, the UN Climate Summit 2014 is little more than a pep rally pushing carbon trading offsets and weak voluntary or limited pledges for emission cuts leading up to the global climate treaty negotiations in Paris next year. Today, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon stated a goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020. On the surface this appears good. In reality, it is thinly veiled language for the promotion of market-based and destructive public-private partnership initiatives such as REDD+, Climate-Smart Agriculture and the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative – which will further exploit human and natural resources to expand the profits of the world’s most wealthy.

As communities first and most impacted by the storms, floods and droughts, we are also at the forefront of the fight against the pollution, the poverty, the police violence, the land grabs, the water shutoffs, the forced migration and the human rights violations symptomatic of the climate crises. Which is why our communities are uniting for a Just Transition away from the “dig, burn, dump” economy and towards local, living economies that meet the material needs of people and where communities and workers are in charge.

For decades we have been cultivating real solutions where we live, work, play and pray. Our solutions define a new system that moves us away from an economy of endless growth that exploits people and nature to one that seeks harmony between humans and nature. We need a system that links climate change and human rights; that recognizes the rights of Indigenous peoples and the self-determination of frontline communities.  Our planet, Mother Earth, and her natural resources cannot sustain the increasing greed, consumption, extraction, pollution and waste associated with the 1%. We require a new system that addresses the needs of the majority and not of the few. To move in this direction, we need a redistribution of resources and a new definition of wellbeing and prosperity for all life on the planet in recognition of the limits and the rights of our Mother Earth and Nature.

We demand that world leaders support and move money to our community-led priorities and local infrastructure needs to build sustainable community economies, energy democracy, zero waste, food justice, public transit and affordable housing – pathways that can create millions of long-term jobs and put our communities back to work. We support Indigenous peoples, our brothers and sisters of the North and the Gobal South, in their climate justice struggles linking land and water rights, land title and the full implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Sunflowers serve to remove harmful toxics from the soil, while providing nutrients and shelter for animal life above ground.  We present these sunflowers to the global leaders at the UN Climate Summit as a symbol of the community-led solutions we are growing.