The Voice of the Streets

Restoration, conservation easements and even deed restrictions protect habitat, yet repair and preservation of the nation’s lands is not enough to address the climate and species extinction crises. The mindset of the nation — the entire world — must undergo an immediate and radical change if we are to avoid the end of civilization, as we know it. This won’t happen unless a massive street voice forces those in positions of power to recognize the urgency of these crises. To quote Franklin Delano Roosevelt: “Go out and make me do it.”

Resistance to the status quo and change is anchored is physical occupation of the streets: people reclaiming public space and making a difference possible and audible. Every community provides the opportunity to force the status quo to change and do the right thing. In Silver City, Fridays for the Future protest at Gough Park gave the streets a voice every Friday for over a year before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the suspension of the weekly protest. Everyone needs to step-up and keep the admonition and this sketch in mind.


In opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline

More than 1,100 activists participated in “The Voice of the Streets” at the White House in 2011. Everyone in this photograph – Lucinda with a hat in the lower right corner – was arrested, handcuffed, taken in patty wagons to jail and paid a fine. September 11, 2011.

A Grim Sign of the Times

Along with more than a thousand climate-crisis activists, James Hansen was also arrested. Dr. Hansen worked at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and as of 2014, he directs the Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. After alerting President Johnson to the implication of the greenhouse effect, he became well known for his 1988 U.S. Senate testimony where, for the first time, he brought the warming climate to the world’s attention -  stating that he was 99% certain the earth was warmer that it had ever been measured to be and would worsen if not addressed.

Picture: Nasa Scientist James Hansen being arrested at the White House.

You have to love this woman.

We spent time with her after our release from custody. Her daughter and son-in-law had jobs and kids, couldn’t attend, so they paid her way to the protest. The climate and extinction crises and the various contributors – like fossil fuel pipeline contractors – require people to meet up with others they don’t know, may have little in comon and do things they have never done before. That is what this woman did. This was her first protest and she was extremely pleased with the small part she played in what Wes Jackson believes: “We live in the most important moment in human history.” September 11, 2011.

Yes, stand up and don’t give up.

“Speak Out, Don’t Co-Operate, Participate Fully.” Aldo Leopold Charter School and others at the Friday’s for the Future weekly protest in Silver City, New Mexico, March 29, 2019. These protests occurred on more than 52 consecutive weeks until the COVID-19 pandemic forced suspension of the protests. The younger generations realize this planet is our only home and that they have no future if humankind continues on the path of “business as usual.”

No one is too young or too old to join The Voice of the Streets.
July 5, 2019