Gratitude

This morning started out rough as the weight of all we’re enduring hit me. Sometimes I wish I could live in a happy state of denial (“the pandemic is over and X, Y, Z aren’t happening, either!”), and eagerly greet each new day. Alas, I’m not wired that way.

The good news is, I’m feeling better now.
The birds are singing and the sun is shining.
Gratitude!

Backyard. August 4, 2022

And I’m forever grateful that sunflowers exist.

Update on yesterday’s STOP the Dirty Deal post

Happy news, people! The organizing power of 600+ environmental organizations and frontline community groups has won the day. Because of our calls and emails in opposition to the dirty side deal that would have gutted bedrock environmental laws, eliminate public input, and fast-track fossil fuel projects, Senator Joe Manchin asked Senator Schumer to delete the permitting language from the Continuing Resolution (which is the funding to keep government running) that will be voted on this evening.

Why did he do this? Because his dirty deal did NOT have the votes to pass.

People power for the win!!!!!

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Thank you to everyone who called and emailed representatives! You made this happen! Good things happen when people stick together.

Solidarity! ✊🏽

Climate Movement Monday: STOP the Dirty Deal!

Welcome back to Movement Mondays! Today my time-sensitive ask is that you make quick phone calls to your representatives AND/OR send emails regarding Senator Manchin’s side deal portion of the Inflation Reduction Act that would gut environmental regulations (Clean Water Act!) and accelerate the federal permitting process for energy projects. This legislation is a gift to the fossil fuels industry and Manchin’s #1 project priority is the Mountain Valley Pipeline.  [NOTE: more background info and links below.]

Basic message: Vote NO to this side deal that will accelerate the climate crisis and is just a gift to the fossil fuel industry.

CALL
917-791-2257 will give you a brief script then connect you to your Senators (thanks to the People vs. Fossil Fuels Coalition).

202-224-3121 is the Capitol Switchboard where you can ask to be connected to your senators and representative.

You may also, of course, call directly to your representatives’ DC and local offices

EMAIL
If you aren’t comfortable making phone calls, you may use your representatives’ email contact form to send your message.

BACKGROUND INFO:

This action is VERY important and phone calls from constituents carry a lot of weight. PLEASE take the time to urge your representatives: NO to the permitting side deal!

Solidarity! ✊🏽

Climate Movement Monday: in support of Puerto Rico, Western Alaska, + other frontline communities

Welcome back to Climate Movement Monday in which I highlight frontline communities in need of support. The climate crisis is on full display this week with hurricanes and typhoon-related storms causing mass destruction. I’m listing local organizations that accept donations. Every bit helps, no amount too small.

WESTERN ALASKA was hit on Friday and Saturday by the remnants of Typhoon Merbock with hurricane-force winds that put coastal villages and towns underwater.

A massive storm battering Western Alaska brought floodwaters to the steps of the local school in Golovin on Saturday. (Courtesy Josephine Daniels)

PUERTO RICO which still hasn’t recovered from Hurricane Maria (exactly five years ago) is now flooded after Hurricane Fiona caused mudslides that knocked out the power grid. Much of the island has no power (it was privatized one year after Maria) and people are in desperate need of drinking water.

Puerto Rico. Stephanie Rojas/Associated Press

Note: Hurricane Fiona is now causing further devastation in the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.

Also? PAKISTAN continues to suffer from flooding after torrential monsoon rains. The people are bearing the brunt of climate change and must receive climate reparations. “Pakistan, the world’s fifth most populous country, accounts for less than 1% of global carbon emissions but ranks as the eighth most vulnerable to climate change, according to the “Global Climate Risk Index 2021,” published by the nongovernmental organization Germanwatch.”

  • Aghosh USA is the org I donated through right after the flooding began.
    Donate here

Okay, if you’ve read this far, I thank you! If you can donate a few dollars, I thank you again. As you can see, the climate crisis is here and certain vulnerable communities will suffer more than others. We need a just energy transition to an equitable world, and that means fossil fuels MUST remain in the ground.

Solidarity! ✊🏽

Climate Movement Monday: in support of farm workers

Today I’m posting to raise awareness about the plight of farm workers who are greatly affected by the climate crisis. They toil in extreme heat in order for us to have food to eat.

             Workers harvest green kale at Ratto Bros. farm west of Modesto, on Friday, July 24, 2020.                                    Photo by Andy Alfaro, Modesto Bee

Here are a few recent updates from agricultural fields in California, via the United Farm Workers’ twitter account.

I lived in Bakersfield for two years and can tell you the San Joaquin Valley is HOT. I struggled living there because of the heat and dusty air, and would not have been able to handle working in the fields. These workers perform back-breaking labor under extreme circumstances (hello, Covid!) and deserve our gratitude, respect, and support.

Right now, there’s legislation waiting for Governor Newsom’s signature. The Agricultural Labor Relations Voting Choice Act (AB 2183) would allow workers to vote for or against a union without interference from their employers.

SUMMARY
This bill amends the Agricultural Labor Relations
Act to facilitate the ability of farmworkers to vote
for or against unionization. The bill expands voting
options for farmworkers by allowing them to
choose if they want to vote at a physical location,
or vote by mailing or dropping off a representation
ballot card to the Agricultural Labor Relations
Board (ALRB) office. Farmworkers would be able to
receive assistance in filling out and returning their
representation ballot card as long as the person
assisting them co-signs it, and it is returned to the
ALRB office in a sealed and signed envelope.

President Biden has come out in support of AB 2183: I strongly support California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Voting Choice Act (AB 2183), which will give California’s agricultural workers greater opportunity to organize and collectively bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. (full statement here)

Some of the workers marched 335 miles last month in blistering heat to gather outside the capitol in Sacramento to urge Newsom to sign the bill. Please call Governor Newsom’s office (916-445-2841) OR email to demand he do right by the people who feed us. Do it for Maria and the others.

Solidarity! ✊🏽

Climate Movement Monday: supporting Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson is the capital city of Mississippi. The population is 82% Black and, for decades, politicians have kicked the “water” can down the road in terms of financial investment to upgrade the crumbling infrastructure. On August 28, heavy rainfall caused the Pearl River to overflow its banks. The water treatment facility failed and 150,000 people are now without water.

No drinking water.
No cooking water.
No bathing water.
No water to flush toilets.
No water to put out fires.

Flooding on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Canton. wjtv.com

This is a classic example of environmental racism. This type of precarious water situation is happening around the country and will continue to happen to frontline communities in the climate crisis. We need an immediate energy transition that is just and equitable!

Right now, we can all pitch in to help the people of Jackson.

CooperationJackson.org: Donate here.
Immigrant Alliance for Justice and Equity: Donate here.
Mississippi Rapid Response Coalition–Water Fund: Donate here.

Thank you in advance for standing in solidarity with the people of Jackson. ✊🏽

Climate Movement Monday: in support of Healthy Gulf

Today is the 17th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the 1-year anniversary of Hurricane Ida. These devastating storms destroyed Gulf communities that are still struggling to rebuild. The storms were climate-induced, but the negligent government response was 100% man-made. [Note: Below is a Twitter thread re Katrina along with an article that includes profiles of people in Louisiana coastal parishes fighting to rebuild after Ida. I highly recommend reading both.]

Photo by Jerry Brown (HUD) aerial view of impact of Hurricane Katrina 9/12/2005

Healthy Gulf is a coalition of five states along the Gulf of Mexico. Their core values include Environmental Health: We believe that supporting the environmental health and ecosystem richness of the Gulf region is necessary to secure quality of life, sense of place, economic vitality, and social justice within all Gulf communities.

Today’s climate action is to send a letter demanding no new oil and gas leases in the Gulf. As always, the template is there for you to send as-is, or personalize. The most important thing is to lend your name and voice to this fight.

Here’s the link to some background information and the petition.

Thank you in advance for standing in solidarity with coastal communities. We can and must protect them from further needless pollution and catastrophe. ✊🏽

READ BELOW for eye-opening & heart-breaking personal accounts of living through Hurricanes Katrina and Ida.

https://southerlymag.org/2022/08/29/they-want-us-gone-black-louisianans-fight-to-rebuild-a-year-after-ida/

Climate Movement Monday: stop the Willow Project

Welcome to the second “Movement Monday” post in which I provide info on how to take quick and direct action in support of frontline communities. As I posted here, the Inflation Reduction Act includes “poison pills” that adversely affect poor communities of color and Indigenous people. It’s vital that privileged people such as myself lend support and voice to their fights. I hope you’ll join me.

Today’s climate action is in solidarity with Sovereign Iñupiat for a Living Arctic (SILA) in their fight against the Willow Project, a massive oil project pushed by ConocoPhillips in Alaska’s fragile western Arctic. (Here’s more background info on the Willow Project).

More then an oil reserve. This land is rich with what has sustained the Iñupiat Peoples since time immortal.
Photo by Keri Oberly

What I’m asking today is for you to take a couple minutes to demand the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) revoke ConocoPhillips’s permits. Here’s where you can find the letter template to submit your comments. As always, it’s okay to send the letter as-is! It’s also much appreciated if you can personalize the letter a bit. (Note: I often rework the first paragraph or two, and then leave the other wording as is or delete it. The point is, you want your message to be “NO to the Willow Project!”)

Thank you in advance for taking climate action on behalf of a frontline community!! ✊🏽

“This project being pushed in our current climate crisis is devastating. The Bureau of Land Management continues to be the yes-people for oil and gas exploitation, no matter the cost to health or our climate. Although oil companies are making record profits, the message being pushed is our administration needs to open more leases to reduce gas prices. We do not have time to debate overseas or domestic oil extraction, we have to transition away from new fossil fuel projects. Biden made a promise to the people who voted him in and is failing at keeping his word. Biden can still be on the right side of history, someone who stood up for a livable earth for future generations.”

– Siqiñiq Maupin; Sovereign Iñupiat for a Living Arctic

Climate Movement Monday: stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline

Welcome to the first “Movement Monday” post in which I’ll provide info on how to take quick and direct action in support of frontline communities. As I posted here, the Inflation Reduction Act includes “poison pills” that adversely affect poor communities of color and Indigenous people. It’s vital that privileged people such as myself lend support and voice to their fights. I hope you’ll join me.

Today’s quick action is on behalf of Appalachian people in West Virginia and Virginia who are fighting the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). The 303-mile natural gas pipeline is billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule.**

The Mountain Valley Pipeline under construction in Virginia. Courtesy of Wild Virginia

In the past several months, two separate federal permits were revoked, but they’re expected to be resubmitted to Biden for approval. This is where we come in.

Here’s a link for contacting the Biden administration. A draft letter is supplied and you can add your name and send that letter as-is. You can also rework the letter to  personalize it. The most important messages to send:

  • Cancel Mountain Valley Pipeline’s federal permits
  • NO to Mountain Valley Pipeline

Thank you in advance for your time and energy on this! Solidarity!

**More info available from the POWHR coalition (Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights)

Climate & the Inflation Reduction Act

In case you hadn’t heard, this past weekend the Senate voted to approve the Inflation Reduction Act which contains climate policy. There are good components to that policy, but there are also horrific pieces. No surprise there since coal-baron Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and his fossil fuel buddies pretty much wrote the policy that has Exxon, Shell, and BP executives jumping for joy.  A “climate” bill that makes oil and gas happy is not a good deal for the planet.

For instance: solar and wind projects are contingent upon expanding oil and gas drilling . . . millions of acres on and offshore.  That’s right, the very thing driving the climate crisis — fossil fuels –will be expanded.

And who will suffer most? The frontline communities. The people already impacted by fossil fuel projects are completely abandoned by this climate policy. It is absolutely vital that all of us who care about people and planet show up for them in their fights.

So. Starting next Monday, I’m going to institute “Movement Mondays” in which I post a climate action we can take in solidarity with communities around the country. This might be making a phone call or contributing to public comments about a proposed project. Whatever these communities need, we must add our voices to theirs. Everyone deserves clean air and clean water.

If you’ve read this far . . . solidarity! I hope to see you in the fight.

P.S. Here’s a Twitter thread that contains many of the concerns from many of the impacted communities around the country.

P.P.S. Here’s a bit from Kate Aronoff  in The New Republic:
Multiple things can be true at the same time. The Inflation Reduction Act—the first piece of climate policy to pass the Senate ever—is a historic achievement and vitally important given that Democrats may not get to govern again for a decade. It also consigns more people to living next to more fossil fuel infrastructure for longer; in many cases, that means consigning more people—predominantly poor people, Black people, and brown people—to disease and death. We don’t fully know what the bill will do. The IRA’s passage doesn’t close the book on U.S. climate policy so much as open it. As ever, the best guides to navigating what comes next will likely be the people who won it in the first place, and who’ll have to live the closest to its consequences.

What’s the plan

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
~ Mary Oliver

June 22, 2022

I don’t know about you, but the events of the past weeks have cranked up my attention-deficit tendencies as my brains thinks “I need to work on that issue which affects this and this issue, and then there’s this other issue which is also connected to this that and the other issue, but they’re all so so important and need immediate attention, so where to focus?”

And that’s how they want it. They’ve intentionally created chaos and hardship in order to grind us down. A whack-a-mole world in which we’re forced to constantly swing our mallets at the problems, diluting our energies and coating us in a thick layer of despair. (Brace yourselves for an upcoming SCOTUS opinion on the EPA and the end of environmental regulations.)

But, as Mariame Kaba says “Let this radicalize you rather than lead you to despair.” [Note: one of the best books I’ve read, ever, is Kaba’s We Do This ‘Til We Free Us]. And as for my ADD thoughts about where to put my efforts, I found this Twitter thread immensely helpful:

The gist is: keep on doing what you’re doing PLUS be intentional about strengthening ties with other organizations/efforts to create more collaboration. Build on what you’re already doing.

Personally, my current plan is to continue revising my middle grade novel that’s a friendship story set against a backdrop of PIC abolition and restorative justice. Doing that work helps me avoid despair. Creativity has always brought me peace and balance, so add a pinch of radicalism in the content plus weave in some of what I’m continuing to learn, and I’m (currently) feeling solid re my focus in this one wild and precious life.

Please, reach out if you think your efforts/interests might align so that together we can build something bigger and stronger. ☀️

On rabbits and drought

When glancing out my window the other day, I briefly thought someone had tossed a rabbit carcass in our yard. Happily, this bunny was very much alive. The same can’t be said for our “lawn.”

May 15, 2022

The neighborhood has been bunny-rich for the past several years and they’re slowly eating away the grass, leaving behind larger and larger bare spots. Fine by me. Colorado is in extreme drought (I learned this morning that the current statewide snowpack is 53 percent of median) and none of us should be dumping water into lawns. The good news? We’re supposed to get rain (and snow!) on Friday. I’m hoping for more rain than snow because the trees and shrubs are leafed out and that extra weight will break limbs. Still, let it rain OR snow! Whatever needs to fall from the skies is one hundred percent welcome here!

Here’s one more bunny pic to calm the climate anxiety. These two started fussing with each other and became so aggressive they frightened the above dirt-lounger into hiding. They chased and tussled all over the place, including in the iris fans and lavender.

Here’s hoping they’ll be tucked away somewhere warm and dry during Friday’s storm.

Feathered friends

Today the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued what is basically its final warning to governments (“it’s now or never” regarding greenhouse gas emissions), and my heart is pounding as I type those words. We the people need to rise up and demand radical action. Unfortunately, here in the U.S. our so-called leadership is actually talking about ramping up fossil fuel production. It’s insanity.

And when reality gets to be too much, I turn to nature. Today, it’s birds. Here’s a Limpkin I had the honor of communing with at Kapok Park in Florida:

May 6, 2019

Here’s a petite Bushtit outside my Colorado window:

September 24, 2021

Here’s a Turkey Vulture doing its important clean-up work in Cave Creek Canyon in Arizona:

May 15, 2019

Finally, here’s a Common Grackle singing its song in Nebraska clover:

June 2, 2020

And now I’m going to use the energy I’ve borrowed from those wonderful birds and head out for a run on the trails where I’ll drink up more of this glorious world.

This is a climate emergency!

Another wildfire in Boulder, Colorado.
In March.
Following the Marshall Fire in December.

NCAR Fire on March 26, 2022

Zippy and I were heading out of a very windy Boulder this afternoon when he saw the smoke and exclaimed, “Wildfire!” As I drove, he took the above photo at 2:30 (about 30 minutes after it started.) At times, we could see the bright red-orange flames. As we continued driving south on Highway 93 with our windows rolled up,  smoke odors permeated the car. The air was hazy. Our beautiful afternoon was suddenly filled with anxiety.

This was our first time in  Boulder since the Marshall Fire and our appointment had taken us past areas devastated by that fire. Blackened trees reaching for the blue sky next to homes that were nothing but smoke-stained brick and concrete foundations. Rubble. We’d gotten emotional at those sights and then, an hour later, saw the smoke of yet another wildfire. It was happening again.

The climate crisis is a collective trauma for everyone, but especially those who just three months ago experienced a wildfire. My heart is with the people of Boulder. I’m not sure what it’s going to take for those in power to make radical changes to avert the worst of what’s to come. So far, the crisis has accelerated to wildfires any time of year.

Dear Democrats

As Congresspeople return from vacation to their well-paying jobs today, there are actions around the country in support of #SealTheDeal for the full $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill. Because I’m unable to join the others on the streets today, I want to say this:

and this:

and this:

and remind Congress of this:

Lastly, in regards to the Parliamentarian spewing nonsense about not being able to fund items in that reconciliation bill:

We see you, Democrats.

#NoClimateNoDeal

It’s fitting that smoke obscured this photo of a coal plant I took as we drove past on Saturday.

Craig Station. August 7, 2021

We’d been camping at Rifle Falls State Park and woke to the valley filled with wildfire smoke. We quickly packed up and left. Turned out, the entire western half of Colorado was (and continues to be) choked with smoke from wildfires in the northwest. There was no escaping it.

I’ve spent much of the past several days closed off in my bedroom with an air purifier. My climate anxiety was already high and then the UN released its climate report yesterday. (Just typing those words sent a surge of anxiety throughout my system.)

I called my Senators and Representative today, all wealthy white men from Colorado which has been experiencing the worst air pollution in the world, to urge them to drop their incrementalism and vote to save humanity. The Democrats stuck us with a bi-partisan infrastructure bill (something the loathsome yet highly disciplined Republicans would never, ever have done) and we desperately need the reconciliation bill that addresses climate and poverty. The Progressive Caucus in the House is saying #NoClimateNoDeal if climate is stripped from the reconciliation bill and I can only hope they, for once, hold firm. However, I’m not naive enough to believe they’ll use their power to do the right thing. Time and again, they go along with the status quo that’s currently killing us.

Still, I think it’s well-worth a couple minutes of everyone’s time to call their representatives to demand they vote for the people and planet. Demand they keep the reconciliation bill intact. The Capitol switchboard (202) 224-3121
#NoClimateNoDeal

Thank you in advance.

Twofer Tuesday

I struggled to get out of bed this morning, knowing air quality was abysmal and that temperatures would (again) reach the high 90s. I finally hauled myself upright and for the second run in a row, ran inside on the treadmill. While I’m grateful to have that option, it’s unnerving to run inside during the summer.

I’ve dipped into the photo archives from the days of yore, when wildfire smoke didn’t choke the air and I could spend hours outdoors. Here are two of the many American White Pelicans I saw paddling around at Barr Lake State Park last April:

April 8, 2021

I find them quite stately despite those bumps on their bills. I hope they continue to do well, wherever they are.

Oh Be Joyful

We did end up going to Crested Butte last week and were blessed with rain almost the entire four-hour drive. That much-needed precipitation cleared the air of wildfire smoke and the drive over Cottonwood Pass was absolutely delicious. Green-green-green with a smattering of wildflowers.

We spent one of our nights at Oh Be Joyful Campground and hiked partway in on the Oh Be Joyful Trail. Here’s a taste of what we saw:

July 15, 2021

The wild asters were more abundant than we’d ever experienced, but this wild rose also caught my eye.

Zippy and Emma

The five-mile afternoon hike was balm for our souls. And after running three-plus miles that morning, we eagerly welcomed bedtime.

Especially the short-legged doggo who  could barely keep her eyes open after we returned to camp.

A truly joyous experience.

Frogs in boiling water

This morning I woke to Unhealthy air quality due to wildfire smoke and so chose to run inside on the treadmill. The good news is the 25-minute run worked its usual endorphin magic and I felt much better afterward. The bad news is that while we’re clearly and obviously experiencing climate collapse, we’re all just going about our daily lives.

By James LeeFormerIP at en.wikipedia 

The young people of the Sunrise Movement, desperate for a chance at a livable future, worked their asses off to help elect Biden who, compared to Tr*mp, at least gave lip service to climate change. But is Biden really better than a climate denier when his administration boosts a tar sands pipeline that will cross indigenous lands? (While also, by the way, further enriching the already incredibly wealthy Susan Rice, who is an aide to Biden.) You either believe we’re in a crisis and use the enormous powers of your position to enact policy to mitigate the worst effects OR you say all the right things while continuing to coddle the fossil fuel industry.

Boiling frogs.

Zippy and I planned to head to the mountains tomorrow for cleaner air and cooler temperatures (which I recognize is an absolute luxury not available to most people), but now we’re torn. Because does it make sense to drive to Crested Butte when that area is also experiencing Unhealthy air quality? Will we even want or be able to hike out to see the wildflowers?

Apologies for being a downer, but I cannot pretend the climate crisis isn’t happening. This frog wants cooler temperatures.

Climate Collapse

This weekend has been deathly hot in the Pacific Northwest. You know, the part of the country known for moderate temperatures and lots of moisture?

Parts of Michigan are flooded right now after receiving 7 inches of rain yesterday. SEVEN INCHES OF RAIN IN ONE DAY!

Detroit. June 26, 2021

In a sane world, the powers-that-be would be mobilizing to address the climate crisis. They’d be making huge changes RIGHT NOW to minimize climate collapse. I mean, they see these photos. They live on this planet with the rest of us. Sure, they’ve got money and power, but their lives and the lives of their children and grandchildren will be affected. They can’t all take rockets to Mars.

What’re they doing instead? Bowing down to institutional tradition. Bloviating about bipartisanship and preserving the filibuster. They care more about appearances and being the so-called adults in the room than working to ensure a livable future. The Democrats have ALL the power and refuse to wield it.

Why? Because they don’t care.

I loathe the GOP with every fiber of my being, but I give them credit for using their power to advance their agenda. The Dems are just spineless upholders of the status quo. Unfortunately, that status quo is quickly marching us toward an uninhabitable planet.

When the going gets tough

We woke in the middle of the night to the smell of wildfire smoke. Zippy shut off the swamp cooler and closed all windows. It’s only June and wildfire season has begun.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Since early May, I’ve run every other day and that routine has been crucial for my mental health. I haven’t yet missed a running day and when I got up this morning, I felt so many emotions about the climate crisis and the lack of political will to do anything about it. My despair mounted and, more than ever, I needed to run. The good news is we have a 20+ year-old treadmill (that’s gone through multiple running belts over the years) and I ran on that for 25 minutes. I pounded out the miles, my mind clearing as sweat slicked my skin.

This afternoon I made the mistake of going on Twitter where I came across this tweet:

And I began to spin some more, the anxiety and rage building. So, did I hop on the treadmill again? Nope. This time I began rereading one of my very favorite books:

I highly recommend any book by Cynthia Kadohata, but especially THE THING ABOUT LUCK which is funny and tender and makes my heart sing. *happy sigh*

I have to keep reminding myself that electoral politics is not going to save us. We the people must rise up as one and stand together against the rich and powerful. In the meanwhile, I’m focusing on mutual aid in my community in addition to lots and lots of running and reading.

This day’s been hard, but I’m still standing.

Life-giving snow

We love the sight of the brown and ruddy earth;
it is the color of life, while a snow-covered plain is the face of death.
Yet snow is but the mask of the life-giving rain; it, too, is the friend of man,
the tender, sculpturesque, immaculate, warming, fertilizing snow.
                                                        ~ John Burroughs

Out my window, February 25, 2021

Today I’m grateful for the foot of snow we received during the night. Colorado is experiencing extreme drought and wildfires are definitely in our near future, but right now I’m embracing this gift from the skies. And because this is a climate emergency, I don’t care if this sounds greedy: “More, please.”

‘Merica, amirite?

On our way up the street for a hike in the open space (our much-needed break from the coup attempt by the terrorists** white nationalist fascists), I was disappointed but not at all surprised to see this sign still prominently displayed in front of a house:

In case you missed it, this sign loudly proclaims POLICE PROTECT US and
VIOLENCE IS NOT THE ANSWER.

Sure, dude.

I can’t help think about how Standing Rock protestors fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline were hit with water cannons, tear gas, and rubber bullets during the Obama administration.

Or how over the past year of historic protests and marches for Black Lives, militarized police forces around the country brutalized protestors.

Or how almost exactly one year ago, 37 climate activists and I were arrested and jailed for singing a song outside the Colorado chamber as Governor Polis (Democrat) gave his State of the State address. We later learned from a former CO state legislator about an incident in which a spectator yelled a death threat during a legislative session. That person (a white male) was merely escorted from the building. No handcuffs. No fine or charges. No jail time.

What’s happening today as the entire world watches? Cops are taking selfies with the terrorists** white nationalist fascists who broke into the capitol.

This isn’t a shock. An armed militia entered the Michigan capitol in April 2020 , legislators in session wearing bullet proof vests, and nothing was done about it. Violence has not only been tolerated, but encouraged, throughout our nation’s history. This country was built on genocide and white supremacy, and only certain kinds of dissent are allowed. The police only protect a certain demographic.

Same as it ever was.

** edited to replace my use of “terrorist” after reading this tweet:
https://twitter.com/bodega_gyro_ao/status/1347245711482646530
absolutely not my intent to amp up the “war on terror” with added policing, surveillance, etc. that would target other groups