By Keith Fullerton, member of Center for Coalfield Justice.
I’ve always felt separated. In my “hometown” of Aleppo Township, Greene County, there aren’t many opportunities for a young environmentalist, such as myself, to express themselves and get support from other like-minded folks. I moved to Waynesburg at 19, and although I knew I was geographically closer to others like me, I didn’t know how or where to find them. Thus, I continued to feel that I was the only one in the entire county who cared about mining or fracking.
Just when I thought there was no point in dwelling on the issues any longer, I found out more people had a concern for the environment right here than I thought. They are all wonderful people. I discovered a rich, vibrant inter-faith community in Morgantown with a deep concern for the Earth. I met other young adults who are equally as worried about their own future. I met wise men and women who have been fighting for environmental justice for decades.
I had very little demonstrating or protesting experience when September 21, 2014 rolled around, but when I was offered a seat on a bus from Morgantown to New York City to take part in the People’s Climate March, I knew I had to be there. The West Virginia Mountain Party sponsored the bus, so that is who I marched with. It probably sounds silly, but it was truly one of the most exhilarating moments of my life.
The number of people in the streets still amazes me. Hundreds of thousands of people carrying banners and signs, dancing, chanting, singing, holding hands, and taking pictures. Huge floats and giant paper mâché sculptures loomed overhead. You could feel the vibration of all that passion and determination moving through the masses of people. We were there to show the world that we were serious about climate change and the need to stop all the harmful industrial practices that contribute to it. Some estimates claim that as many as 400,000 people ended up walking through downtown that day! Plus, all over the world people held their own events to mark the occasion. If I felt separated from the world before, I most certainly did not then.
This is why I would like to encourage you to attend the March for a Clean Energy Revolution in Philadelphia on Sunday, July 24, 2016. If you feel like you want to have a deeper connection to the movement, but don’t have a lot of free time to serve on boards or committees, try being part of a large demonstration like this march. The more of us that attend, the bigger the impact and message we send to our political leaders. Let’s fill the streets of Philadelphia and let our voices be heard.
Join other CCJ members and supporters at the Clean Energy March on July 24, 2016 in Philadelphia. There are seats available on busses leaving from Washington, Waynesburg and Morgantown.
Leaves Washington at 3:55 AM at Park n Ride on East Beau St
Leaves Waynesburg at 4:30 AM at Big Lots Parking Lot
Leaves Morgantown at 5:00 AM at WVU Coliseum
Busses will return at the same locations between 12:00 AM and 1:00 AM
Please reserve your seat on one of the busses here: bit.ly/WashGreeneMoTownMCERBus or by calling the CCJ office.
Reposted with permission from Center for Coalfield Justice.