Close to two hundred people marched through the streets of downtown Chicago visiting some of the nation’s worst climate criminals as part of the November 30 Global Day of Action. With its own marching band, puppetistas, signs and banners, the Chicago coalition of activists and environmentalists delivered “citations” to the EPA, JP Morgan Chase, Midwest Generation, and the Chicago Board of Trade for their part in contributing to destructive environmental practices and false, market-based “solutions” to climate change, such as the cap and trade and carbon offsets. Check out the Act for Climate Justice website for more photos and information from Chicago.
The day’s march and rally culminated at the Chicago Climate Exchange, North America’s largest carbon trading system for greenhouse gases and the epitome of capitalism’s willful ignorance of the folly of market solutions for dealing with the ever-present reality of climate change. Activists took to the streets, blocking police officers and traffic as 12 women and men locked themselves together and blocked the intersection leading to the CCE in protest of the false hopes promised by government and business leaders. The blockade drew hundreds more onlookers and passer-bys wondering what the point of this protest was. Leaflets and conversation ensued as we spoke about the need to put pressure on leaders for the upcoming international talks at Copenhagen, the hoodwinking of public resources by private industry, and government aid and complicity in mountain-top removal and rainforest destruction. The protest had high energy as we danced and sung and marched our way back to Federal Plaza, grateful for the witness of men and women willing to put their bodies on the line and try their convictions in court.
Today’s action followed a weekend’s worth of teach-ins, skill sharing, organizing, nonviolent direct action training, and community building. Hopefully events and actions such as this, following the October 24 “350 ppm” day of witness, will continue to go deeper into nonviolent resistance and engage in creative conflict with the corporate criminals whose insatiable greed for the market is destroying our earth and its peoples.