On May 14th 2016, protesters, community members, and solutionaries converged in Thornton, CO, to call for an end to fracking developments that threaten local neighborhoods and schools while accelerating climate change. We were joined by renowned environmentalist, author, and journalist Bill McKibben and Jonny 5 of the band Flobots.
Bill McKibben shared stories he has acquired while traveling the world participating in direct action against environmentally destructive practices. Shortly afterward, Jonny 5 led us in a group activity in which we explored the use of song and chant as a means to powerfully and gracefully confront the challenges of our day.
The protest was part of the global platform to Break Free from fossil fuels, a coordination of independently organized actions in over two dozen countries across six continents to keep fossil fuels in the ground and promote clean renewable energy.
This protest was the second of two in Colorado that are part of the Break Free platform. On May 12, there was an action in Lakewood, CO protesting the Bureau of Land Management auction of public lands for fossil fuel extraction. These mounting actions illustrate the urgency felt by mountain strong Coloradans about the extensive and sickening damage brought by fossil fuel extraction and climate change, and their readiness to participate in nonviolent civil disobedience to protect their homes and families. Passions were intensified after the May 2 Colorado Supreme Court ruling that communities in Colorado do not have the right to regulate fracking at a municipal level.
CU Boulder is known to many Boulder residents as the stomping ground of irresponsible, rude, and ruckus-making kids. On Earth Day 2016, we demonstrated that a different narrative is possible. Some said that it couldn’t be done, that there were too many moving pieces and that it would be difficult to engage the right people. We proved them wrong.
EarthFest was an ecosocial music festival held on the terrace of the University Memorial Center. With support from the CU Environmental Center, the Cultural Events Board, and the City of Boulder, Solutions Voyage worked with the CU Biomimicry Club to bring 7 musical acts, over 20 community organizations, collaborative murals, a permaculture-inspired panel on relationship building, a student skit on menstruation, a poetry workshop and more to the CU campus.
Full gallery available on Facebook (Fabian Productions).