by Laura Smith, State Focal Point, The Green Umbrella
This afternoon, hundreds of youth leaders took to the streets in Albany to issue a critical demand to Governor Cuomo: ban fracking and lead ambitiously towards a clean energy economy.
As we marched, our chants boomed throughout the capitol building: “We are unstoppable, another world is possible!”
We delivered a letter to Governor Cuomo, signed by 18 national and local youth-led environmental organizations, and presented him with a petition from thousands of young people to declare that youth voters are rising up to ban fracking, and call on on the Governor to rise to the moment.
Earlier this morning, a rally kicked off today’s action with exhilarating speeches from Jackson Morris, Daniel Morrissey, Tim Woodcock, and a hydrofracking poem from myself, setting an invigorating tone for the day’s events.
A series of powerful and witty theatrics followed – we staged a mock wedding in full attire between government (the bride) and Big Oil and Gas (the groom), exposing big money’s relationship and the back door dealings between gas corporations and politicians. This stunning spectacle was set against the revealing backdrop of the DEC and Chesapeake buildings, and after the groom (Big Gas) and bride (Government) kissed, he dropped her – coughing – to the ground, proceeding to walk smugly away.
Government knew she needed to escape this fatal matrimony before it killed her, and so did we. The bride, furious, led us in a march to the capitol, where, on the Million Dollar staircase, we chanted for Cuomo. An activist posing as Governor Cuomo appeared and – to glorious uproar from the crowd – annulled the marriage, reigning in the gas industry and banning fracking, spearheading the way toward a clean energy economy.
This action capped off Power Shift New York, a weekend-long convergence of 150 youth leaders from across the state, training to build the movement against fracking and for a clean energy economy. Young people statewide are increasingly mobilizing for action with passion, professionalism, and creativity – will Governor Cuomo meet us in the middle, living up to the commendable actions of his imposter today?
With Joy & Solidarity,
The Green Umbrella Team