We mothers of Massachusetts stand with the courageous young people and with parents everywhere who want hope in their children’s lives. We are determined to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and preserve a livable future for all children.
Rachel Wyon, mother of Mario (29) was arrested at the White House to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline in the summer of 2011. She has been a teacher of international elementary and high school students in the Boston area, in Nicaragua, and in India. “I believe that all children deserve to live in a world that can sustain them and our future generations.”
Susan Redlich, mother of a 23-year old daughter, has been an environmental planner with wetlands restoration projects in Massachusetts and with international projects of public access to water. “I see young people as having tremendous creativity and ingenuity for transitioning to a fossil-fuel free future that values social justice.”
Susan Lees is the grandmother of 5, Eduardo, Aidan, Daisy, Anthony and William, and a longtime peace and justice activist. She has recently been engaged in the effort to reduce the spiraling military budget and redirect the savings to urgent human needs, including renewable energy. “I believe we must end our fossil-fuel use, in order to safeguard our precious earth, its manifold creatures, and the smiles and hugs of children for generations to come”.
Minga Claggett-Borne, mother of Elias (20) and Asa (24) and godmother of Autumn (30) and Lucy (10) is determined to be one of the many to stop the greed of the few. “My sons didn’t want to waste time in high school learning to drive because they could go most places on Boston’s subways. I don’t want to manacle my children to coal, gas or tar sands. Our family loves going hiking on mountains with the carbon in the ground, not in the air.”
Andrée Collier Zaleska (45) is a climate activist, co-founder of the zero-carbon homestead JP Green House (JPGH.org), and mother of sons Kuba (14) and Simon (11). “I was raised in Los Angeles in the 1970s in a society of scientists, naturalists, mystics and activists. I believe in defending God’s creation, Evolution, and the rights of future generations to a living planet. ”
The following youth were arrested on March 11, 2013 for acts of civil disobedience in protest of the Keystone XL pipeline .
Anna (19) is originally from Northern Michigan and currently lives in Vermont. She is a sophomore at Middlebury College where she studies Sociology and Elementary Education. She has been fighting the fossil fuel industry for several years since speaking out against a proposed coal plant in her community as a child, and sees all corporate destruction, from fracking exploration in her home state to new pipelines in Vermont, as connected. She feels overwhelmed by both the present and future devastation of fossil fuel extraction and climate change and is trying to do what she can to honor the stories those living in the path of the pipeline and near oil-refineries have shared with her.
Rachel Bishop (21) is a senior at Brown University, majoring in neuroscience. Growing up in Chicago, she has been largely protected from feeling the effects of climate change so far, and is disturbed by the complacency this insulation so easily yields. Rachel is fighting the Keystone XL Pipeline because she believes its construction will commit us to a path of uncontrollable climate change, and she fears the immense suffering this future holds for her generation and for that of her children. She hopes widespread peaceful protest can inspire the sense of urgency amongst national leaders that this devastating prospect demands.
21, from Michigan, Junior at Green Mountain College
I am acting to stand in solidarity with frontline communities across the globe, to unearth the past and secure a livable future. It is from those frontline and marginalized communities that I have just begun to learn how to resist these destructive forces. I won’t stop.
Today I take a stand against extreme energy extraction, risking arrest for the first time in my life. As a young person today, I have much more to lose from the climate crises than the authorities in charge. If the Obama pipeline is approved, then by the time I am President Obama’s age, I will be standing on a planet that will not be viable, and will not support human life. I am willing to put my body on the line and resist the pipeline and resist tar sands because this is an existential issue, a moral issue. We are not environmentalists, we are survivalists, and we will fight with everything we’ve got so that we can inherent a planet to live on. The resistance is growing, and we will win.
Anna Lello-Smith (19) is a junior at Tufts University studying Biology and Geology. She got involved in climate activism from an ecological perspective, but worried that mass extinction and ecosystem collapse weren’t tangible enough to move people to act on climate. She is shocked that climate change effects are already hitting the U.S. – that extreme events like the drought that scorched the Southwest last summer, or the Superstorm that left parts of New York City under 15 feet of water – have begun to drive home the very human, very immediate implications of the climate crisis. She is outraged at the fossil fuel industry for throwing money into denying climate science and blocking our transition to a renewable energy economy, and believes that nonviolent direct action will strengthen the movement toward a just and livable future.
Heather Marsh (19) is from Massachusetts and is a sophomore at Green Mountain College interested in natural childbirth. She feels that it is foolish and unacceptable for corporations such as Transcanada to deny the innate value of the earth by constructing pipelines that destroy natural systems. There is no way for humans to understand the implications of actions such as this. After meeting people from communities directly affected by the fossil fuel industry and hearing about the cancer and birth defects and myriad other health problems involved in living on their ancestral land she feels now more than ever that she has an obligation as a person of privilege to lay her body down in solidarity with people that have been battling the fossil fuel industry every day to survive. She is humbled by the efforts of frontline communities to stand up against injustice.
I am a freshman at Tufts University, but I represent a growing movement that is unsatisfied with the lethargic politics of climate change denial and climate change do-nothing. The dire urgency of climate change is not being taught, and it’s certainly not being shown on news stations and it is absolutely not reflected in our politics. It scares me to death that the education I am receiving now will be useless in the future that fossil fuel corporations and our current legislature are looking to allow, where the status quo of dirty energy will push our planet’s climate beyond a livable future. It outrages me that the profits of the few – the wealthiest-and-still-greedy – are being won based on a racist and injust paradigm, one that marginalizes communities and peoples with little legal or financial ability to fight back. In solidarity with these communities, in solidarity with students and activists worldwide and in solidarity with all of humanity, I lay my body on the line today for climate justice.
Molly Pearlman (19)- Molly is a first year at Brandeis University majoring in Social Justice and Social Policy with a minor in Environmental Studies. She is from Upstate NY where the destructive practice of hydraulic fracturing is used with little say from communities. Molly is compelled to act in solidarity with those working against the Keystone XL Pipeline because although it should be enough to fight for our earth, like all environmental issues, this is also a grave social issue. Giving up is simply not a viable option.
Sam acts in solidarity with communities defending their lands and livelihoods. He recognizes environmental racism guiding the pipeline’s construction and did this action to stand with communities working for environmental justice. He hopes Monday’s action will inspire others to join the struggle, and make sacrifices to stop the act of terror which is the pipeline. The time for speaking is over, the time for action is now.
Jay acts in solidarity with communities defending their lands and livelihoods. He recognizes environmental racism guiding the pipeline’s construction and did this action to stand with communities working for environmental justice. He hopes Monday’s action will inspire others to join the struggle, and make sacrifices to stop the act of terror which is the pipeline. The time for speaking is over, the time for action is now.
Krista Shugart (20) is an eco-feminist in her second year studying at Green Mountain College majoring in Psychology and Sociology/Anthropology. She stands in solidarity with the front line communities of people who are being directly affected and exploited by the fossil fuel industry every single day. Krista looks forward to a future where clean and renewable energy sources are looked at as real alternatives.
Rachel Soule (23) is a recent graduate of Brandeis University. She studied Language & Linguistics and Environmental Studies. In a perfect world, Rachel would spend all her time working with children, learning all the languages known to man, and meeting new people all over the globe. But she knows the severity of the climate crisis, and she knows how much people of power in her own country have to do with causing it. Everyone she’s ever regardless of their language, nationality, or life story, may see the changing climate multiply their fears, threaten their safety, and imperil their loved ones. And so she fights in whatever way she can.
The more I study agriculture, the more I am affirmed that this planet was not built just for us. To keep it a beautiful green, blue and white planet we must cooperate with our environment. In NYC, many of my friends and family have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. It is the working class and poor who have to pay the real consequences for the atrocities perpetrated by a wealthy minority. If we leave it up to the government and the wealthy elite to fight for what we believe in, we won’t have a future. The only way to get people motivated to fight back is to lead by example. I hope others who are scared and unsure will take direct action like I and so many other have.
Lucy acts in solidarity with communities defending their lands and livelihoods. She recognizes environmental racism guiding the pipeline’s construction and did this action to stand with communities working for environmental justice. She hopes Monday’s action will inspire others to join the struggle, and make sacrifices to stop the act of terror which is the pipeline. The time for speaking is over, the time for action is now.
Lisa Young (24) holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Boise State University (Boise, Idaho) and recently moved to Massachusetts to pursue graduate studies in Environmental Policy. After learning about the indisputable scientific evidence for anthropogenic climate change and its devastating impacts on the environment, economy, and public health, Lisa was determined to use her education to help link good science with good policy decisions to halt the combustion of fossil fuels and implement innovative clean energy solutions. But it quickly became clear to her that policy is primarily shaped by money–not by science–and that the masses would need to lead the fight against the fossil fuel industry for a just and sustainable future. Lisa continues to be inspired by the vision and will of this global people-powered movement and the strength of that community right here in Massachusetts.
The following individuals were arrested on March 11, 2013 for acts of civil disobedience in protest of the Keystone XL pipeline.
I’ve been working as a volunteer with 350.org and 350MA. I started out as a cultural anthropologist working with people in rural India, having a real sense of what the stresses and deprivations of their lives were. Now that we’re facing climate change, people of limited means are going to be horribly impacted. Also, since I’m bumping 70, I would really like to have a world where young people could live in a world that’s as wonderful as the one that I’ve been inhabiting.
Americans have fought long and hard for independence, ending slavery and the Vietnam War, and defending the environment and promoting other good causes. This is the latest chapter and I’m proud to be part of the struggle against this very dirty fuel, tar sands project that is already making people sick and killing people in front line communities. There are cleaner, safer ways to provide fuel, and my hope is that our actions can stop Keystone XL and shift priorities to renewable fuels that will give us jobs, keep us warm, run our cars, fuel our businesses, and protect our health.
Eli Gerzon (29, Arlington, MA) is self-educated, has traveled and lived in over 20 countries, and founded the company Worldschool Travel Tours. His dream has been that free, responsible exploration of this wonderful world will, eventually, lead to people creating real changes for the better. But it’s now clear to him that direct action is needed immediately, or climate change will spiral out of control and destroy this world he loves. The growing climate movement gives him determined motivation and hope.
Peter Malagodi, 38, is the voice of the band Melodeego, a teacher, a husband and a father of three. He cares deeply about the future of the planet for his children and for others growing up. Because of this, he believes the TransCanada Pipeline’s potential massive CO2 emissions along with its likely spillage must be stopped! He is inspired and determined to spread the movements message through song and activism.
Greg Reinauer (28) is a Boston musician and member of the band Melodeego. Greg feels that this is the defining moment of our generation, and a privilege to have the opportunity to rise to the occasion. Greg would like to share this quote from a Drew Dellinger poem:
It’s 3:23 in the morning and I’m awake because my great-great-grandchildren won’t let me
My great-great-grandchildren ask me in dreams
“What did you do while the planet was plundered?
What did you do when the Earth was unraveling?
Surely you did something when the seasons started failing,
as the mammals, reptiles, birds were all dying.
Did you fill the streets with protest when democracy was stolen?
What did you do once you knew?
I was arrested on Monday with 24 other activists for mourning our future and the future of our unborn children if the Keystone XL pipeline goes through. If Obama approves the pipeline, we will be put on a path to disastrous climate change that would create a world without food security or a healthy environment, and widespread death from famine, natural disasters, and diseases. In order to stop that world from becoming a reality, I am willing to my body on the line. Because if I wait to act until my children are born, it will already be too late. This act was in solidarity with all of the people who are in the frontline communities, whose health is unfairly compromised on a daily basis.
Mark, 27, is the guitarist for the band, Melodeego. The band long ago decided to dedicate its music and actions to the movement for environmental justice, but it’s through no obligation to his band that he’s here today. Mark grew up in North Texas, a stone’s throw from where part of the Keystone XL pipeline has already been built. He’s watched, comfortably from his heated living room, as people time and time again stood up to defend his home. Now, he’s done watching. Now, he, too, is stepping up to do what he can, to defend his home, his friends, and his family.