I watched the poll numbers roll in, and as the tides started to turn away from Hillary I froze. I went to sleep hoping I’d wake up from a nightmare, and since, the reality of a Trump presidency is starting to sink in. The best words to describe how I’ve felt is heartbroken. I’m heartbroken and I am also angry. Angry that so many people– those I love, and those I’ve never met– are hurting and afraid. But I also wasn’t in entire shock: this is what happens when our politicians continue to prioritize elites over working people, when we use racism as a dividing line in our politics.
This week has been hard but with each passing day I am reminded of what I told myself even before the election results rolled in: We will fight for our climate harder than ever starting day one after the election. It is clear that our work becomes much harder now, but it’s not impossible and I refuse to give up hope.
A few days ago I was eating dinner with a friend sharing how deeply moved I’ve been by the indigenous leaders at Standing Rock. The water protectors defending the land and water from the destruction of the fossil fuel industry. It has been one of the most courageous stands against the industry I’ve never seen and it’s only growing bigger and stronger. Their powerful resistance gives me hope amidst my anger and sadness.
Donald Trump’s presidency will threaten many of the people and things we care about most – this includes indigenous rights and the climate. This also means that our movement, more than ever before, has a responsibility to fight, and a responsibility to win.
We know that institutions, like our universities, cannot continue to comply with the rogue fossil fuel industry. Sometimes this means not cooperating with their business as usual and sometimes this means using the power we’ve built to shut down dangerous fossil fuel projects. Fossil fuel divestment showed up strong to stop the Keystone pipeline, and we must show up again, this time in solidarity with Indigenous leaders to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.
So here is what we can do right now:
- Stand with Standing Rock: There is a call from leaders at Standing Rock for us to take the streets on November 15th, one week after the election, to demand that President Obama’s Army Corps of Engineers and the incoming administration stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. (The Army Corps are the ones that “fast tracked” this pipeline in the first place, before President Obama intervened and blocked the final permit.) By rallying at the Army Corps offices we’ll send a strong signal to the Obama Administration that this pipeline must be stopped before Trump takes office. We’ve heard the call — find a local action in your city or start one if there isn’t one already being organized. The response to this call from Indigenous leaders at Standing Rock has been enormous. So far, over 150 actions are planned in 43 states. Over 11,500 people have signed up to attend and the numbers are growing by the day.
- Join Student Walkouts: As you’ve seen there have been a number of student walkouts across the country. There is a call for student walkouts on November 16th following the day of actions.
We know that elections and individuals alone don’t create change — movements do. That’s why we’ll continue to fight until our institutions refuse to comply with the destruction of the fossil fuel industry, native sovereignty is honored, Indigenous rights are protected, and our communities’ water and climate matter more than fossil fuel profits.
Thank you for being a part of this movement. See you in the streets on November 15th.