On May 20th, University of Maryland students participated in the national day of action “Crude Awakening” to mark the one-month anniversary of the offshore drilling disaster. More importantly, it was to call attention to the fact that we have a morally bankrupt energy system based on fossil fuels that needs to be replaced through an aggressive transition to clean energy, NOW!
Our action involved 15 of us pinning a letter to each of our caps at our senior graduation, along with a couple of people with nothing on their hats representing spaces. We spelled out “Clean Energy Now!” for the crowd of students, families, and faculty that watched the ceremony from overhead. As you can see from the pictures, it’s hard to capture an angle at a split second where the entire message can be seen, but message could definitely be seen from the crowd. Family members who were unaware that I was doing this action texted me during the ceremony asking if I was wearing one of the “Clean Energy Now!” hats. I suppose I’m predictable here…
Afterwards, another group of us help up some of the letters to spell out “Clean Energy”
All in all, I think think this was a very creative action, and I want to congratulate fellow student and committed climate activist Danny Berchenko for coming up with this idea, organizing us, and providing these photos from a friend.
I also want to say that at least for me, and hopefully for other youth activists around the country who are graduating and going through a transitional period towards full time jobs (or for me graduate school) is that regardless of whether I’m a leader of a student group, in college, or at a job, I will always be in this fight to stop catastrophic climate change, eliminate fossil fuels, and make right the environmental injustices of the world. As I move on from this part of my life and my role in this movement evolves with it, I’m not stopping. With one and a half feet out the undergraduate door, this was my message as I left behind a lot of fond memories and tough fights for what I believe in, and looked forward to many more.
Tell Congress and President Obama not to stop until we have CLEAN ENERGY NOW!