The world is facing an
unprecedented global crisis

It is a crisis of economy, climate, human rights, racial injustice, income inequality, educational injustice and so on. We are teetering on the precipice of disaster in several ways, whether it be rising global temperatures or skyrocketing healthcare costs. There’s never been a time where the corporations have had so much power. There’s never been a time where the voice of the individual has been so easy to ignore.

That’s why there has also never been a more crucial time for progressive movements to unite. Josh Fox, Oscar-nominated director of How to Let Go of the World and Love All The Things Climate Can’t Changehas been travelling around the world in order to inspire us to do just that. The #ClimateRevolution joined us Saturday, 9/24 in Cleveland, with special guest Nina Turner and fired us up so much that it might have a negative effect on climate change 😉

Cleveland is one of hundreds of cities that Oscar nominated director Josh Fox has brought his Revolution to. His documentary Gasland focused on the effects of natural gas drilling on communities and galvanized climate activists all over the country in the fight against fracking. How to Let Go celebrates the tenacity of the human spirit as it fights against its darker side, with stories of everyday people engaging in activism all over the world.

We are treated to some incredible creative talent. Damien McClendon (website here) performs a moving spoken word piece incorporating injustices in the racial, health and criminal “injustice” systems. Find a link to the poem here. We are also fortunate enough to have Gabriel Mayers and Josh Fox himself perform for us. Gabriel is the artist featured in How to Let Go. Josh speaks a little about discovering Gabriel when he was running to catch the train in New York and being struck by the beauty of his lyrics. We feel the same way, and have been captivated by his voice and deeply moving songs. We suggest you take a listen to a sample of his work here.

The event also includes several impressive speakers such as one of Ohio Revolution’s founders Jason Edwards, who speaks about how vital it is for people to show up and give a shit, as well as the impact of climate change upon Emerald Ash borer beetles. Due to warmer temperatures, the beetles are not dying in the winter, allowing their larvae to thrive. This is killing an estimated 10% of our trees in Ohio and is sure to have severe financial impact on taxpayers, in addition to the obvious deforestation issues as well. Cuyahoga Progressive Caucus Operations Director Tristan Rader tells us about his organization, the fight for $15 in Cleveland (Vote YES on May 2nd!), and the importance of coalitions for furthering our movement.

We then listen to the incomparable Nina Turner, who continues to be “an all around badass”, as she is so aptly described. She tells us that the Climate Revolution is about making sure that our future generations can inherit a place that is better than what we received. She tells us that we have the capacity to heal the destruction that we have inflicted upon the earth. Nina sees the power of the individual to ensure real change as long as we remember our purpose – which is to band together to revolutionize the system. “The moment is now, and we are the people who will make the changes for ourselves and for the future”, she says.

Following Nina is the man of the hour, Josh Fox. Quoting Bernie Sanders, Josh quips about how the only thing he doesn’t like about Nina is speaking to an audience after her. But his speech is uniquely rousing also. He starts off by asking us how many of are still Feelin’ the Bern. Naturally, most of us are. Josh tells us that the U.S. is currently a nation of movements, from the climate movement to the racial justice movement to the native rights movement, all of which are fighting against the oligarchy. Josh emboldens us about the necessity of solidarity between movements, the strength that lies in numbers, and how we must find ways to break boundaries and coalesce based upon our similarities. The racial justice movement, native rights movement, reproductive justice movement… all of these movements must unite.

Josh talks about the power of change, and how it happens mostly in small community gatherings much like the one we are currently at. That this is how movements must come together, neighbor to neighbor, friend to friend. Real people have real power, Josh says, and it’s up to us to ensure we keep fighting and amplifying our voices. He stresses how important it is to continue the Political Revolution, regardless of who becomes president, although he does throw in a quick mention of the Supreme Court and how vital a liberal appointee is for our future.

Puja Datta
Puja Datta

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