In Sacramento on Saturday, March 15, two busloads of "fractivists" from Fresno and Merced joined many other groups from around the state for a huge, well-organized anti-fracking rally. Young people as well as raging grannies and everyone in between were there with a great outpouring of creative signs and props. Unfortunately, my camera battery ran low before I could get a picture of a woman dressed as a shower with flames pouring down on her. But I did manage to get a few pictures.
At the beginning of the program, members of the Winnemem Wintu tribe of Northern California emphasized the need to protect water resources and to oppose raising the Shasta Dam even higher. I recognized some of the people from the documentary Dancing Salmon Home and was able to congratulate them on that extraordinary film.
Idle No More was present. This is a protest movement which began in December 2012, "originating among the Aboriginal peoples in Canada comprising the First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples and their non-Aboriginal supporters in Canada, and to a lesser extent, internationally."
A press release by 350.org explained that the rally was organized by "the statewide coalition Californians Against Fracking and more than 80 individual environmental and public health organizations." Many of the signs and speeches were directed at Governor Brown, contrasting his support for fracking now with his green environmental record during his terms as governor from 1975-1983. Among the many speakers, Lupe Martinez, the assistant director of Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment and former member of the United Farm Workers Union said:
As an organizer I know that the only way we are going to create change is with one united voice, like we did with Cesar Chavez. If Cesar was here, he'd be telling Governor Brown to do the right thing.Last weekend at the Democratic convention, Governor Brown was heckled by fractivists. Moreover, as the L.A. Times reported:
California Democrats broke with Gov. Jerry Brown by calling for the legalization of marijuana and a ban on "fracking" in the state party's official platform Sunday.The 350.org press release quoted Zack Malitz, CREDO's campaign manager against fracking:
"Last weekend, Governor Brown heard from the Democratic Party faithful that he is on the wrong side of his political base when it comes to fracking.... Gov. Brown must keep his promise to lead a crusade against climate change -- starting with a ban on fracking -- or continue facing escalating protests by the very same Californians he is urging to confront climate change and the fossil fuel industry."Zack was instrumental in New York's decision to impose a moratorium on fracking, as shown in this sign:
The leader of 350.org's campaign against fracking, Linda Capato said:
"Thousands of Californians are at the Capitol today urging Governor Brown to legislate against this toxic practice. Talking about being an environmental leader who is working to address climate change and actually being one are two different things. And we intend to be a thorn in his side until he makes the right decision for those he serves."You can read more about the rally here: