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Be Prepared to Protest because We Have to Speak Up For The Earth

by Sarah Beattie 2 years ago in activism
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50th anniversary of Earth Day

America is a lot of things but it is also the place where if you do not like a law or if something is happening that you do not agree with then you can change it. This is an amazing thing when the government or business overstep and hurt American people.

As the human race, we have never been particularly good at treating our earth with care but this could never be truer for American businessmen who only care about making money. During the industrial revolution and up to the present day these businesses still mistreat the Earth and in many cases hurt the people who live nearby. In honor of Earth day this year and our inability to march I wanted to compile a list of the most iconic and pivotal marches for climate change and environmental regulations in the United States.

  • March for Science or what once known as Scientist March on Washington. This march was first held on Earth Day in 2017. As for location it was held in Washington D.C. but also in 600 other cities around the world. The main reason it is on the list is that many people believe that climate change is a hoax or isn’t happening. We need to listen to scientists more than politicians and businesses. This once annual/should be annual again event should be a reminder that evidence-based science should be brought into consideration when making environmental laws and regulations.

  • 2014 People’s Climate March - This march was to advocate for global climate action against climate change. It was held in New York City on Sunday, September 21, 2014. This event with an estimated 311,000 participants was the largest single city climate change march in history. This march was scheduled before the UN Climate Summit and had many peripheral events that happened in NYC and around the globe before and after this one.
  • September 2019 Climate Strikes - These happened all over the world but every state in the United States had a strike planned. There were a 1,000 strikes overall planned throughout the United States and territories. The US Youth Climate Strike Coalition, an alliance of eight US-based youth-led climate groups came together through the mobilization of Future Coalition to plan the US marches and together they demand five things from World Leaders and the US Government. These were:
  • "A Green New Deal: Building on “the” Green New Deal resolution in Congress, this calls for transforming the economy to 100% renewable energy by 2030, while creating jobs and ending leases and permits for fossil fuel projects.
  • Respect for indigenous land and sovereignty: Honoring treaties protecting indigenous land by ending resource extraction in and affecting those areas.
  • Environmental justice: Investing in the communities affected most by poverty and pollution.
  • Protecting biodiversity: Protecting and restoring 50% of the world’s lands and oceans and stopping all deforestation by 2030.
  • Sustainable agriculture: Investing in regenerative agriculture and ending subsidies for industrial agriculture."
  • The First Earth Day, April 22, 1970. This protest started with 20 million Americans taking to the streets to protest environmental destruction. More than 1,500 college campuses and 50,000 participated in the first Earth Day or rather five-day “teach-in”. The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor attracted the greatest turnout.
    • Santa Barabra Oil Spill- This protest or rather several protests throughout 1969 came from college students at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Santa Barbara. These students formed some of the first environmental organizations and peaceful protests after the Santa Barabra Oil Spill. It was this oil spill and these students work that lead to Earth day being formed.
    • Save the Redwoods League- This one is less of a large scale protest but more of we have the money and nobody else is doing anything so we are going to do something about it. It is this type of person I aspire to be one day. Three conservationists on a road trip discovered Redwood trees being logged to create commercial goods like vineyard stakes, shingles, and railroad ties. To halt further destruction, they purchased the land to preserve the ancient trees and created a network of 66 parks totaling more than 200,000 acres of Redwood forest. They had the foresight in 1917 to protect the Redwood forest for future generations and without them, we would not be able to visit the Redwoods today.

    • Ward Valley Protest- Native American lands have long been targeted as a dumping ground for nuclear waste as well as storage and testing of atomic weapons. From 1995 - 1999 one of these proposed sites was the home of a large scale protest. Activists from the five Colorado River basin tribes—Fort Mojave, Chemehuevi, Cocopah, Quechan, and Colorado River Indians—built an encampment to prevent such an action from taking place. The site they had in mind for the nuclear waste to be placed was the main water source for surrounding communities and was considered by many tribes to be central to their traditional creation narrative. After four years the tribes succeed and the nuclear waste site was not built.

    • The Dakota Access Pipeline Protest - The Keystone pipeline, a massive multi-phase oil pipe that runs from Texas to Canada, was set to be routed through lands belonging to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Protests started at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in April 2016 and numbers dwindled in February 2017 after the harsh treatment of protestors and several arrests. Much to the dismay of the protesters, the pipeline was completed in April 2019 under the Trump administration.
    • Earth Day 2020- This year is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day and we spent it inside. Arguably this was the best way to spent Earth Day because there has been a drastic drop in pollution, but as soon as we are allowed back out pollution will start rising again. We need to start enacting policies that are based on science that protect our Earth. We spent Earth day inside but as soon as we get out we need to elect politicians who have the best interest of our Earth in mind. We need to work on another large scale protest to tell our leaders and elected officials that we care about the Earth. Dr. Seuss said it best in the Lorax when he said: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”

    So for the remaining time you are in quarantine you should use this time to prepare yourself to stand up for the environment. To start looking for ways to be greener and reduce green house emissions. When we get out of quarantine we should celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth day with another large protest to let our leaders know that we care about and want to protect the earth.

    We only have one Earth, one planet to call home, one place that holds everything that we know and love. That should be protected and cherished at all costs.


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    About the author

    Sarah Beattie

    I am 26 and nothing is going according to plan. The last few years have had a lot of ups and downs as I navigate through a quarter life crisis.

    Follow me on Instagram @Beattisa

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