The largest youth climate conference in the country gathered in Pittsburgh this past week for a four-day meeting that culminated Monday with a massive march through the city to demand corporate polluters embrace clean energy and a just economy.
We Are Power Shift
brought an estimated 7,000 youth activists from all over the country to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center over the weekend. It was the first such summit to be held outside of Washington, D.C. since the inital one was staged in 2007.
Pittsburgh was chosen for the region’s commitment to a green energy and the city’s ban on gas drilling, leaders said.
We Are Power Shift is a grassroots online community that seeks to empower youth to become catalysts in the promotion of clean energy economies and environmental justice in moving the world beyond the use of fossil fuels.
The activist were inspired by keynotes from leaders like McKibben, co-founder of 350.org, and Kim Wasserman, director of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization. There were ninja activist training sessions, panels and workshops.
Music and entertainment featured BIG K.R.IT., Yuna, Nosaj Thing, Ninjasonik, Chippy Non Stop, Teachers, Uncle Ron, and Catzie Vilayphonh.
On Monday, activists gathered at Allegheny Landing Park on the North Side, waving signs, and marched across the Roberto Clemente Bridge where a massive banner was dropped reading “Don’t Frack Our Water.” The crowd then moved on through downtown, stopping at a PNC Bank branch to demand an end to mountaintop removal mining.
Seven arrests were made during the protest. On the water, a Consol Energy tow boat circled the water with signs of its own: "Welcome to Coal Country" and "Support American Energy, Support American Jobs."
"There can be no democracy until we have freedom from fossil fuels," Josh Fox told a cheering audience before the showing of his latest anti-fracking documentary, Gasland Part II.
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Power Shift