Hi!

I write on the eve of of perhaps the most important day of my young adult life — Monday, March 2nd.  It’s time to make history. We know there is a climate crisis. We know we have to stop it. We’ve organized, lobbied, educated and agitated. Now it’s time to take our action to the next level. With the arrival of a new administration and a new Congress, we have a window of opportunity. But we must open it — together.  We’re taking our action to Washington, D.C.’s Capitol Power Plant — a plant that powers Congress with dirty energy and symbolizes a past that cannot be our future.  The Capitol Power Plant is a symbol of the stranglehold dirty energy, coal first-and-foremost, has over our government and future. Even though clean alternatives are readily available, coal is still the country’s fastest growing source of global warming emissions. The Capitol Power Plant is the national stage for our movement.

Tomorrow we will gather around the Energy Action Lobby Day Rally where 12,000 youth activists from Power Shift will celebrate their lobby day on the Hill.  We’ll have bright banners and lead people to the Spirit of Justice park where our rally will commence with Vandana Shiva speaking and many others there like Al Gore, James Hansen, Daryl Hanna, Wendell Berry, many indigenous elders and interfaith groups.   We’ll then march around Congress and the Capitol Coal power plant while different groups pull out and shut down the four different entrances to the plant until we effectively shut down the power plant.

We’re expecting between 3,000 and 5,000 people. It is going to be COLD. A high of 29 degrees forecast for tomorrow, with 3-5 inches of snow. Buuurrrr. I am on support role which means I run around bringing activists food, water, blankets, hot liquids, etc as needed. I will be in bloc yellow near the main entrance. We’ve had multiple meetings discussing all the logistics, and I must say, it is incredibly amazing and mind-blowing to see the detail folks have worked out for this action. We trained 1,500 people in the LAST TWO DAYS in non-violence at the warehouse theatre across from Power Shift! Amazing!

Power Shift has been quite inspiring — 12,000 empowered youth activists sharing stories and skills.  As a trainer and helping run the CCA table I did not get to attend a single workshop or panel but I still got to see tons of old friends and students which was amazing! Last night I stood on a street corner in front of the art build warehouse and danced in the snow, holding hands with friends, as a four piece Bluegrass band from the Appalachian areas most affected by mountain top removal and coal mining, something like “the Long Haul.”  They were soooo good, it was one of those magical moments in life where you look up to the heavens, feeling snow flakes fall on your face, feeling the bluegrass pulse through your veins, your heart afire, dancing up and down to keep warm, smiling so hard your cheeks hurt, looking around at all the beautiful faces surrounding you, realizing that trouble really does melt like lemon drops when you’re in those blissful moments fully tasting life’s nectars.

So here I sit, sick in bed with a stupid cold(just got sick today!) after 13 days of Power Shift recruitment campaigning and 5 days of CCA prep, excited and exhausted.  Cheers to all that my amazing brothers and sisters have worked so hard to create!!!! This is f’ing phenomenal! Every major media outlet in the country will be watching tomorrow. Git ready partners. Here we come!!! No idea if I’ll get arrested or not, going to see how everything pans out but I seriously doubt it as there will be so many people risking arrest!

I’ll put pictures and videos up as soon as I fly home Tuesday.

To watch a short news clip featuring 2 of our GOT students, watch this:

http://americannewsproject.com/videos/coal-action-heats-capitol-hill

Ashlita

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