Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Power is Starting to Shift

This past weekend I had the honor of participating in two events in Washington D.C. The first was a conference called Power Shift which brought together 12,000 young folks (many of whom were college students) to learn and take action on the energy and climate crisis. I have to say that my expectations for this event were far exceeded. Most panel and workshop discussion were having to turn people away because so many folks were intersted in attending. The workshops had speakers who discussed science, local initiatives (several mayors presented in one of the panels I attended), and even faith/spirituality (which of course I thought was superb, but of course I am not biased at all). The best part of Power Shift for me was on Saturday evening after the Roots performed when at least 8,000 of the participants did not leave the convention center. Instead they all lingered in the lobby chanting and singing for about 45 minutes, calling for bold action on the climate and energy crisis. They were chanting for carbon reductions, equitable green jobs, and a focus on devloping a clean energy grid. It not only recharged my grassroots organizing batteries, but it gave me hope that these young adults are serious about taking action on the energy and climate crisis. On Monday morning, this was confirmed when D.C. saw the most snow it has encounterd in several years. Still, thousands of these individuals went to speak with their elected officials on Capitol Hill. It was an awesome site to be walking around the Capital and to see that 95 percent of the people I passed were from Power Shift. Many of them had their green hard hats on with their suits and certainly looked ready to speak truth to power.

My Monday then continued after briefly participating in the Power Shift rally on the Capitol law, by walking towards Justice Park to participate in a protest again the Capitol Coal Plant. I have to say that this is an event I am having trouble explaining, because the energy I felt in this crowd of 2500 people is hard to put into words. All I can say is I encourage you to go to the website: and check out some of the video and pictures posted there. I have included a picture of the affinity group I marched with from the Carbon Free Nuclear Free Alliance. It was an honor to spend my afternoon with them and I think we added the added voice that nuclear power is also not a smart or viable option in energy production. I believe this was only the begginning of a growing movement of folks who are no longer willing to accept business as usual in this country. We cannot sit on the sidelines while mountains are blown up, communities ravaged by sickness and disease from mining and coal plant emmissions, and while the climate science continues to grow bleeker by the day.

I was proud to be a part of these two events this past weekend. I look forward to continuing this fight with everyone who was in D.C., for those who were supporting us from their homes, and for those who will join us in the future. It was truly an honor to have participated in what I saw as the continuation of a power shift in this great nation.


Jesse Glickstein
Faiths Untied for Sustainable Energy (

1 comment:

mary said...

Jesse, Great conference. Great name for a conference! Great energy from the conference. I hope each participant became energized to keep the power moving to motivate positive changes toward a more healthy environment. I just became a FUSE member today. I look forward to reading great articles from other movers and shakers, like you. I look forward to being able, someday, to write an article about such a great experience as you just had and shared! Mary, Seminole, Florida