Thanks to all who attended our Coal Export Action Roadshow last night! The event was sponsored by the UO Climate Justice League and the Survival Center, and was facilitated by our friend and CEA organizer, Lobo.
Lobo began by telling his personal story of getting attacked and arrested by Portland police on Mayday, then shared photos of Chinese workers at Foxconn (a sweatshop for Apple products), as well as indigenous people in India who were killed for trying to defend their land from being mined for resources. He asked how violence related to coal exports, Foxconn and resource mining – and why people in the US weren’t outraged about all of these things happening.
Various responses included that because we’re so privileged in the US, we don’t have to deal with the same life-threatening decisions as others around the world; our media keeps us insulated and unaware of these issues; most of us have never known anything else besides our industrialized, capitalist culture; and in general, people in the US are quite apathetic to these issues, thinking we’ll never be able to solve them on our own. In ways, our lifestyle protects the evils that perpetrate these systems of violence, injustice and oppression. Some of us don’t know what to do or whom to blame; we may not know what action(s) to take because we’re afraid to fail or have no model of success to follow.
After watching videos of Monday’s anti-coal rally in Portland, as well as one on current coal exports in Montana, the group concluded the event by realizing that while there isn’t just one solution, tackling the root of the problem (for coal exports, this would be coal mining in Montana and Wyoming) seems like the most effective way to start.