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Final PR on Earth Day 2015 –

medicine logo whiteNEWS RELEASE- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE APRIL 27, 2015

CONTACT: Abram Loeb abram@frackfreenation.org   607-345-4865

WHAT: EARTH DAY RALLY

WHERE: West Capitol Park – Albany, NY

WHO: Organizations, elected officials, grassroots activists and performers

from Capital Region, Akwesasne, around NY State, and Planet Earth

WHY: ENERGIZE DEMOCRACY FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE

Part of Earth Day Network’s Global Day of Conversation on Sustainability

Present at a 10:30 AM Press Conference were – Abram Loeb Frack Free Nation Founder, Michael Conners Albany County Comptroller, Joel Tyner Duchess Co. Legislator, Leah Golby Albany Common Council, Doug Bullock Albany County Legislator, William Reinhardt Bethlehem Town Council, Dan Maloney President of UAW Local 1097, Mark Schaeffer Capital Region 350 Climate Action, and more…

Coordinated by Frack Free Nation, in partnership with the Earth Day Network

COMPLETE LIST OF PARTICIPATING & ENDORSING ORGANIZATIONS, SPEAKERS & PERFORMERS AT BOTTOM OF ARTICLE    Photos Available HERE        More Photos HERE     3 Main  Positions On Earth Day 2015

Energize Democracy Climate Justice Rally & Action Earth Day 2015

On Earth Day 2015, Wednesday, April 22nd, Frack Free Nation, partnering with The Earth Day Network coordinated the Energize Democracy Climate Justice Rally and Action at West Capitol Park, Albany, NY. This event was endorsed by over two dozen local, statewide, and national grassroots organizations from many environmental, peace, and social justice movements. Capital District participating organizations included Capital Region 350 Climate Action, Citizens Environmental Coalition, MoveOn.org New York Councils, Occupy Albany, People of Albany United for Safe Energy, Solarize Albany and Solarize Troy, Solidarity Committee of the Capital District, and Women Against War.

Frack Free Nation invited the public to celebrate Earth Day by standing up for Mother Earth. Approximately 300 -400 members of the public attended.  The day was family friendly, and filled with science, innovation, education, as well as activists and “solutionist” voices, socially conscious music, guerrilla theater, and meaningful actions. The rally was  part of The Earth Day Network’s Billion Acts of Green program and part of a Global Conversation on Sustainability.

NY State is still being endangered by Fossil Fuel infrastructure. Frack Free Nation has  gathered support from people across the Northeast and Midwest working to stop pipelines, LNG export, storage of radioactive fracked methane gas, gas fired electrical power generation, and Bakken oil bomb trains, to unite in calling for an end to the fossil fuel and nuclear energy paradigm. Earth Day 2015 was part of  a Day of Global Action to send a powerful message to people and leaders of the nation and world:

“It’s a Crime to Poison Us: End all Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Energy– Renewables Now!”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and all governors have a decision to make that will affect our air, water, farms, food and climate for generations. The EPA suggests Governors meet carbon limits by building 300 new Gas Fired Electrical Generation facilities which release methane, a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. That could lock us into 30 years of fracking. Instead, Frack Free Nation  proposes a massive green jobs program with just transition to build 100% renewable, clean emission free community owned power. . “We just need a political climate change,” said Abram Loeb, founder of Frack Free Nation.   “While many are saying this can be accomplished in 10 – 15 years, Frack Free Nation’s position is that with the right political will, technologies exist to get the job done in 5 – 7 years.”

 

The technology is available, per Dr. Mark Jacobson’s Solutions Project,  Governor Cuomo could bring good paying green jobs back to our ailing Southern Tier, Central, and Western NY economies, and set an example to lead the nation in the renewable revolution. This could have a great impact on the Paris Climate talks in November, 2015.   Dan Maloney, UAW Local 1097 President, said, “GM has the hydrogen fuel cell ready to go; 3 ½ million miles road tested,” as he spoke for the need of government funding for infrastructure and green jobs.

 

“On Earth Day we encompassed many related issues affecting the sustainability of a healthy earth community. We had speakers on many climate related issues, including-War & Peace, Environmental Racism, Indigenous and Women’s Rights, GMO’s, factory farming and pesticide use, and the very root – A Corporate takeover of our government – money in politics, and secret so-called “Free” Trade deals like TPP, TiPP, and TiSA, that threaten to take away all our sovereignty and destroy our ability to hold corporations accountable. These trade bills would even allow for privatization of our water,“ said Loeb.

 

The day began with a press conference. Albany City Council member Leah Golby, arriving by bicycle, spoke of the need for more public and human powered transportation.  Dutchess County Legislator Joel Tyner touted the merits of Mark Jacobson’s Solutions Project, while Albany County Legislator Doug Bullock, who is also VP of the Albany Central Labor Council and a longtime labor activist, spoke on the need for public power to replace corporate utilities.  Bethlehem Town Council member William Reinhardt, speaking for both Solarize Albany and Solarize Troy, let the public know of the programs both groups offer to help get solar panels on homes in the Capital District.

 

Albany County Comptroller, Michael Conners, succinctly summed up the win-win, cost-saving, green-jobs, clean-air, carbon-cutting, zero-waste solution he’s proposing for Albany County– to radically increase recycling and composting there– at the same time saving literally millions annually for local taxpayers. “ We need to dramatically improve recycling efforts. Italy diverts 90% of all Municipal Solid Waste and we should be able to do the same herein the capital region. Stay tuned for Albany County Resource Recovery Cooperative waste diversion, recycling and reuse of products instead of relying upon Trash Mountains, and definitely not on incineration.”

 

The rally began while members of People of Albany United for Safe Energy(PAUSE), rode by West Capitol Park on a bicycle parade to raise awareness of the issue of Bakken Oil Bomb Trains endangering inner city neighborhoods.Members of PAUSE joined the rally at the conclusion of their route shortly thereafter with PAUSE member Gregg Bell speaking on the issue.

 

Susan Weber of MoveOn.org spoke out against the TPP which would allow corporations to sue governments for lost profits, in secretive tribunals and overturn environmental regulations that serve to protect us.  Susan Dubois of The Solidarity Committee spoke to the effects the  TPP would have on labor.  Susan Dubois added,”Millions of jobs in the U.S. have been lost due to trade agreements, from NAFTA 20 years ago to the much more recent Korea trade agreement. Workers in the U.S. should not be forced to compete with under-paid, exploited workers in other countries. And even the workers in other countries have not benefitted from the trade agreements – – NAFTA heavily damaged Mexico’s agricultural economy and contributed to the growth of sweatshops. Trade agreements like NAFTA and the TPP benefit the major corporations, not the people.”

 

Michael Messina-Yauchzy of Move to Amend CNY, stated,  “The Supreme Court’s conferring upon corporations of the so-called ‘rights’ of ‘corporate personhood’ has been one of the foundations of their ability to both despoil the environment and dominate environmental policy. We must act to redefine corporations as what they once were–limited, chartered entities required by law to serve the public good. Move To Amend’s ‘We The People Amendment’ to the U.S. Constitution would allow us to do just that.”

Maureen Aumand of Women Against War and Joe Lombardo of The United National Antiwar Coalition both spoke to the fact that the U.S. Military is the largest single contributor to climate change with unprecedented carbon emissions.

Varushka Franceschi, actress and film maker, spoke on how fracking for gas has been fracturing our communities, and our relationships.   “Fracking is not the only area where unbridled greed has taken its toll…. Our very humanity is at stake.”

Another area where corporate greed is endangering a sustainable future is Monsanto’s GMOs and toxic pesticide use.  “Genetic Engineering is based on an understanding of genetics that’s more than 20 years old, when scientists thought that the parts of the genome they didn’t understand were “junk DNA”. There is no such thing as “junk” in nature, but there can be a lot of unintended consequences when playing with the fabric of life,” said Prisca Foures of GMO Free CNY.

The Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) and other Indigenous peoples were an important part of the celebration and actions.  Roger Kanerahtiio of  Akwesasne Great Law Longhouse reminded the crowd that in order to solve our current problems we must get back to the root of the matter.  “The Two Row Wampum must be remembered and honored,” referring to one of the original treaties signed between his nation, The Haudenosaunee and European settlers.

Rose Wapiskwa Muhegan, who is Cree spoke on behalf of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and how these atrocities are related to the struggle to stop the rape of natural resources in Canada.  Indigenous Rights – Anonymous – Wikileaks activist Swampy Cree, of Canada spoke on Environmental Racism and the need for healing between the races and our relationship with Mother Earth.  An Idle No More Round Dance took place as part of the day’s  actions of unity.

Folk Musician Marc Black, performed “Sing For The Silenced”, a tribute to all victims of fracking.  Jeremy Alderson, author of The No Frack Almanac, and the first person arrested and jailed for NVDA in the resistance to  block the Crestwood LNG storage facility at Seneca Lake also spoke and performed for the crowd.

Green Party 2016 Presidential Hopeful, Darryl Cherney, spoke to the crowd via phone from California, and had the crowd cheering while putting forth his campaign promises, which include freeing Native American political prisoner Leonard Peltier and covering the White House in solar panels.   Aligned with Frack Free Nation’s message of the day, his campaign slogan is, “Jill Stein says the future is in our hands.  I say it is in our hearts.”

Peaceful Direct Action was postponed for a later date.  We have a letter to be delivered to Governor Cuomo.  If he does not respond to our request for a meeting by June 1st, we will proceed with our original plans,” said Loeb, “ This is  part of a strategy to let our Governor know we are serious about blocking pipelines, bomb trains and other fossil fuel infrastructure.”

While most of the scheduled speakers and some of the musical performances went on as planned, the celebration ended early due to unseasonably cold weather and rain.  Native hip hop artists, jam bands, and a few other musical acts were unfortunately canceled, some already en route to Albany.   Professor B and The Army of Love, a world reggae band with eight members, were ready to play when the rain forced a shutdown of the sound equipment which had been provided at no charge by Alan Thompson of  Metro Sound.   The entire day was orchestrated by a grassroots effort with little funding involved, and inspired in part by Capitalism vs. Climate author  Naomi Klein’s directive on the need to coalesce our movements in her article,  “How To Build A More Kick Ass Climate Movement”.

For more information, please visit www.FrackFreeNation.org. where you can take the “frack free pledge” and sign our petition to our elected leaders.

Frack Free Nation

Earth Day Network

Warriors Everywhere Unite for Mother Earth (W.E.UNITE4M.E.)    –    Tamra Cook

Frack Free New York                                              –   Abram Loeb

Frack Free Genesee

Frack Free Pennsylvania

Frack Free MD

Sharon Springs Against HydroFracking          –    Lisa Zaccaglini

Citizens for Clean Water                                     –   Vera Scroggins

– Susquehanna, PA

Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox                              –     Cindy Sheehan

Friends for Environmental Justice                   –       Elaine Tanner

– Ohio, Kentucky coal fields

Friends Of Water

– National Grassroots Organization

The Same Boat Radio                                     –       Rachel Marco-Havens

O.W.S. (Occupy Wall Street)

–  Special Projects Affinity Group                  –      Mark Apollo

Warriors Society of New York

American Indian Movement                         –    Margo Thunderbird

North American Climate,Conservation and Environment(NACCE)     – Jerry Rivers

Arkansas Anonymous                              –        Daniel Damascus Kimery

A Call To Actions                                      –         Bobby Lee Vaughn  Jr.                   –

O.W.S. Peoples’ Kitchen

Deep Green Resistance NorthEast

Idle No More NY

Black And Indian Alliance

Lehigh Valley Gas Truth

Safe Water Society                             –        Julie Ann Edgar

Beyond Nuclear

NYCActivism.org / Occupy Wall Street – Union Square

Move to Amend  CNY                         –      Michael Messina-Yauchzy

Popular Resistance                           –      Margaret Flowers

Plan to Save the Planet                     –      Glenn Sanders

Creative Co-op Rosendale              –      Staci Lipari

Women Against War                          –      Maud Easter

United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) . –  Joe Lombardo

Global Justice For Animals & The Environment     –    Adam Weissman

Trade Justice Metro of NY

Enviro Radio Show                                                    –   Don   Ogden

Western Broome Environmental Stakeholder Coalition       —  James Little

Protecting Our Waters                                                   –       Iris  Marie Bloom

GMO Free CNY                                                               –        Prisca Foures

Fossil Free & Green NY                                                –         Stacey Smith

MoveOn.org New York Councils                                    –         Susan Weber

PAUSE(People of Albany United for Safe Energy)          –      Sandy Steubing

Occupy Albany

Solidarity Committee of the Capital District                    –     John Funiciello, Chairman

No Frack Almanac                                                         –    Jeremy Alderson

MENS COUNCIL OF KANIENKEHAKA KAIANEREKOWA KANONSESNE –

– GREAT LAW LONGHOUSE –    Akwesasne Haudenosaunee Nation

Beyond Extreme Energy                                              – Jimmy Betts

Solarize Albany                                                            –  William Reinhardt

Solarize Troy

SkyderALERT                                                            –   George Barnes

UAW Local 1097 (Rochester)                                –    Dan Maloney – President

Capital Region 350 Climate Action                      –    Mark Schaefer

Citizens Environmental Coalition                         –    Tom Ellis

Green Education and Legal Fund (GELF)

Darryl Cherney 2016 Green Party Presidential Exploratory Committee   –  Darryl Cherney

NY ELECTED OFFICIALS

Dutchess County Legislator                                  –     Joel Tyner

Albany County Legislator                                     –    Doug Bullock

Albany City Council  Member                              –     Leah Golby

Bethlehem Town Council                                    –     William Reinhardt

Albany County Comptroller                                 –      Mike Connors

SCHEDULED SPEAKERS & PERFORMERS  INCLUDED

11:00 – Abram Loeb – Opening Statement “Time For A Shift”

11:05 – Vera Scroggins & Tammy Manning – PA Victims of the shale fields

11:25 – Iris Blume – Pilgrim Pipeline

11:35 – Jeremy Alderson – Seneca Lake – Speech & Music Performance

11:45 – Jimmy Betts – Beyond Extreme Energy – Fighting the #FERCus

11:50 – Wendy Goetz – A Message from The South – “GulF Justice Now”

11:57 – Marc Black – Song for The Silence

12:00 – Maureen Aumand – Women Against War – “The Pentagon & Climate”

12:10 – George Barnes – SkyderAlert Filmmaker – “Ban Geoengineering”

12:20 – Erin Scholl – GMO’s & The Sacred Seed of Life – GMO, RoundUp & Corn

12:30 – Loran Thompson – Honoring Treaties & The Great Law of Peace

12:40 – Michael Messina – Yauchzy – Move To Amend – Climate & Poverty

12:50 – Joe Elmo – Musical Performance

12:55 – Dan Maloney – UAW Local 1097 President – Hydrogen Fuel Cell – GREEN JOBS NOW!

1:05 – Marc Black – Songs for The Silenced

1:10 – Glenn Sanders, Lisa Zaccaglini, Michael Shuster – Plan to Save The Planet

1:20 – Rose Wipiskwa Muhegan – MMIW – Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women

1:30 – Leadhorse – Sacred Places & Solidarity with Mauna Kea(Hawaii)

1:40 – American Indian Movement A.I.M. Song & Song for The Ancestors –

1:45 – Varushka Franceschi – Healing Our Fractures

1:55 Darryl Cherney – Green Party Presidential Hopeful – via phone from CALIFORNIA

2:00. Greg Bell – PAUSEnergy – BOMB TRAINS

2:05 Susan Weber – Solidarity Committee – TPP Violates Sovereignty

2:10 Susan Dubois – MoveOn.org TPP & Labor

2:15 Swampy Cree – INDIGENOUS RIGHTS, TTIP, WIKILEAKS, ANONYMOUS, & Internet Freedom

2:30 IDLE NO MORE UNITY ROUND DANCE

2:45 Margo Thunderbird – American Indian Movement – Standing Up For Mother Earth

2:55 Abram Loeb – Die-In With The Stars – Peaceful Direct Action Training – Followed by

3:30 Action Outside Governor Cuomo’s Office

3:00 Michael Reality Childs R & B – Musical Performance

3:15 Prof. B & The Army of Love – World Reggae – Musical Performance

3:40 Prisca Foures – GMO’S & Monsanto

3:45 Tom Ellis – Fukushima, Indian Point, & Ending the Nuclear Paradigm

4:00 Mark Shaeffer – Divestment Campaign – 350.org/Albany

4:05 Joe Lombardo – Solidarity Committee – Peace & Climate

4:20 Joe Barton – Woodstock Radio – HEMP FOR VICTORY

4:30 BULLY GANG – Musical Performance – Hip Hop

4:40 Prof. B & The Army of Love –  Musical Performance – World Reggae

5:10 Tate Lowery – Musical Performance – Hip Hop

5:25  –  Steve Breyman – Jacobson’s Solutions Project

5:30 – Just Wingin’ It – Jam Band – Musical Performance

6:00 – Curtis Tall Bucks – Hip Hop – – Musical Performance

6:15 – Just Wingin’ It – Jam Band – Musical Performance

7:15 – Deygot Leeyos –  Native Hip Hop – Musical Performance

7:30 – Upstate Tone – Hip Hop

7:40 – Off The Dome – Jam Band

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