Courageous Leadership: Civil Disobedience and Climate Disruption

tar sands action 2013
photo by Chesapeake Climate Action Network

A community forum preceding the screening of Bidder 70 at CST on Earth Day

Who: Sponsored by the Virginia Sierra Club’s Shenandoah group, the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley, and iMatter: Kids vs Global Warming.  Special guest speaker will be Allison Chin, President of the Board of the National Sierra Club.

What: A panel discussion held in conjunction with the showing of Bidder 70.  The film follows Tim DeChristopher, a University of Utah student, who on December 19, 2008, in a dazzling act of civil disobedience, derailed the outgoing Bush administration’s illegal Bureau of Land Management oil and gas auction.  The panel will address the history of civil disobedience in the United States in general, and the reasons for its recent adoption by protestors against the forces behind global warming, particularly the Keystone XL pipeline carrying tar sands crude oil and mountain top removal coal mining.

When: Before the 9:00 PM showing of Bidder 70:  7:30 – 8:40 PM
Introductions by moderator, Les Grady
7:35-7:55 PM Allison Chin, President of the Board of Directors of Sierra Club
7:55-8:00 PM  iMatter youth climate activist Grant Serrels
8:00-8:10 climate and mountain top removal activist Lara Mack
8:10-8:40 Q&A, moderated by Les Grady, Chairman of Climate Action Alliance of the Valley
8:40-9:00 Break and networking.

Where: Court Square Theater, 61 Graham St., Harrisonburg

Cost: Included with $6.00 admission to film showing

Why:  After endless and unsuccessful lobbying, demonstrations, and marches, many climate activists have begun to wonder if civil disobedience is the only way to get the attention of legislators and a public too distracted by other matters both large and small and reluctant to make necessary changes. In the long list of historic reasons for civil disobedience in the US, which range from an unjust tax on tea to slavery and Jim Crow laws, civilization-killing climate change looms larger than all the rest.  The stakes are too high and the time for action too short.

Questions?  Contacts:    Ralph Grove, Sierra Club, 540-433-1323
Joni Grady, CAAV, 540-209-9198
Cathy Strickler, CAAV, 540-434-8690
Valerie Serrels, iMatter,  540-405-9201

Find this event on facebook here.

The Daily News Record’s Candace Sipos reported on this forum in an April 26, 2013 article: Environmental Panel Discusses Civil Disobedience, JMU Alumna One of 12 Arrested in Protest  A DNR subscription is necessary to view this article.


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