As we approach the new year, we wanted to look back on what we accomplished in 2019 and invite you all to imagine what we can do together in 2020. Keep reading for opportunities to get involved!
In many ways, 2019 was an incredible year for climate justice organizing. In March and in May, millions of young people took part in massive youth climate strikes in communities all over the world. In September they planned another strike -- and this time they invited all of us to join them.
Here in DC we answered that call.
On September 20th, thousands of young people marched in the streets of DC to demand climate action. Then on September 23rd thousands returned to the streets to shut down business as usual. We blockaded 22 intersections around the city bringing traffic to a standstill while we forced a conversation about the climate crisis.
Then five days later, hundreds of us hit the streets again to visit some of the worst climate actors in town including the EPA, the Trump Hotel, Wells Fargo and Blackrock. We kept the action going throughout the fall with pop-up disruptions, direct action training and base building organizing. Then on December 6, in collaboration with Jane Fonda and Fire Drill Fridays and other partners, we deployed simultaneous actions at the banks financing the climate crisis, shutting down business as usual at BlackRock, Wells Fargo and Chase.
But even as millions of people around the world take to the streets and the global consensus that we are in a climate emergency grows, the governments that claim to speak for us are further than they have ever been from taking meaningful action to address the climate crisis.
In 2020 we plan to take this movement to the next level. The survival of our planet depends on it.
The rich and the powerful know that we are on the precipice of catastrophic climate change, but they can’t find a way past their quarterly balance sheets and asset portfolio ledgers to take action. So it’s up to all of us to shut down business as usual so we can open up space for real solutions.
Starting the year strong:
We know that if we’re going to build a more powerful movement in 2020 we’re going to need to have lots of tough conversations with lots of people in our communities. Join us on Saturday, January 4th for a Grassroots Organizing Training, where we’ll practice having one-on-one organizing conversations with our friends, family, co-workers, classmates and neighbors, helping them move past despair and defeat to tap into our collective hopes for the future and make concrete plans to take action. Click here for more information or to register.
Then on January 13th we’re going to start the year strong by sounding the alarm about the climate crisis with coordinated banner drops at dozens of highway overpasses around Washington, DC! Sign up here to participate or help make the dozens of banners we need to get the message out.
Planning something big!
Young people around the world are once again calling for global climate strikes this spring. Different youth networks are still making plans but most seem to be settling on calls to action around April 22nd--the 50th anniversary of Earth Day--through April 24th.
Here in Washington, DC we plan on answering that call once again!
We’re excited to see what our friends from youth-led organizations like Fridays for Future DC, the Sunrise Movement and Zero Hour come up with for April 22nd to the 24th! And we are starting to imagine how we can create a space for people of all ages to answer the youth’s call for action by disrupting business as usual--either before or after Earth Day.
Because we know that many of the communities that are most directly threatened by the climate crisis have historically been excluded from parts of the climate movement, we’re taking our time to consult with local racial justice, immigrant justice, women’s, LGBTQ and other organizers in DC to hear what type of action they would be excited about seeing this spring. We’ve got a list of more than 65 different organizations that volunteers have been reaching out to and setting up meetings with. If you know of a group that we should be talking to or if you want to help with this consultation process, shoot us an email and let us know how you want to participate.
In the next few weeks we’ll be announcing a series of meetings to brainstorm and workshop an action framework for this spring. The possibilities are really wide open so start imagining what we can do together! Here are some important questions we can start thinking about:
What are some actions we could do to create the most possible disruption to business as usual? (Gridlocking traffic, occupying offices, etc.)
Should a #ShutDownDC mobilization happen before or after (or overlapping with) the April 22-24 youth mobilization?
May Day (International Workers Day) is the Friday after the youth mobilization. Should we try to combine a climate strike mobilization with a May Day action?
Should we do one big day of action? Or several days? Or a week?
In September we really focused on mobilizing people here in DC and didn’t put out a big call for people to come from other cities around the country. Should we focus on a DC-based mobilization again or should we put out a broader invitation to come to DC?
How do you personally want to push yourself to make a historic action happen this spring?
What types of skills do you want to develop to get ready for a mobilization like this?
2020 will be a seminal year in the fight for climate justice, and we need you with us. Sign up for one of the events above and if you can, make a year-end donation to ShutDownDC to help us continue to plan impactful actions, build community, and push the public and decision makers to fight for climate justice.
Happy holidays to all who are celebrating,