350 Maine, Maine Youth Climate Strikes, and Maine Youth for Climate Justice organized
Global Climate Strikes throughout Maine
on Friday Sept 20
The Climate Crisis is an Emergency. On September 20th, millions walked out of their workplaces and homes to join young climate strikers on the streets, demanding that leaders respond to this emergency and for an end to the age of fossil fuels. Thousands walked out all over Maine.
The September 20th climate strike exceeded all of our expectations. Thank you so much to everyone who have stepped into their power to shape our collective present and future.
The youth climate strike organizers had a powerful message to share with other youth as well as adults. Climate justice is racial justice, gender justice, economic justice. We must acknowledge the theft of indigenous land and water, the harms of colonialism and corporate capitalism, and build a different system. We can’t do this alone (both for efficacy reasons and the weight of climate anxiety and grief)--we have to take action together. The climate crisis is an emergency and we want our local and state governments to act like it.
We have so much appreciation for all of the students and other youth who left school or work to join the strike (we know that was not easy for some); all of the teachers and school administrators who supported their students to join; all of the parents who brought their kids and took care of other people’s kids.
We also wanted to shout out to the workers who joined the climate strikes (whether their employers approved or not) and the businesses that encouraged their employees to join (Patagonia and Ben & Jerry's in Freeport and Lush Cosmetics in South Portland closed their stores so all employees could participate in the strikes)!
Here are some of the Maine climate strikes in numbers and photos:
Climate strike in Portland - 2,000+ people. Photo by Kim Adams (from inside City Hall)
Climate strike in Machias - 50 people (2% of the population!) “Being a small part of something so big was amazing.” - Mark Brown, 350 Downeast
Climate strike in Bangor - 200 people
Climate strike in Bar Harbor - 300 people
Climate strike in Farmington - 200 people
Climate Strike in Norway - 100 people
To learn more about the September 20th strikes and see the press coverage on them, you can check out Maine Youth for Climate Justice's blog post about them here. To learn more about 350 Maine's Youth Engagement work, check out our campaign page.
Lastly, a huge thank you to everyone who has donated to support 350 Maine’s ongoing work to support youth leaders. If you would like to support us, you can do so here.
Please join us at any of the meetings and events hosted by 350 Maine groups! Some of our allies' events are also listed (RSVP may be required). You can click on the event for more information, including location and a contact for more details.
350 Maine is currently leading multiple campaigns aimed at addressing key components of the climate justice movement. Check out our Youth Engagement and 100% Campaign pages to learn more about our current initiatives, or scroll down to see our past ones.
350 Maine Past Campaigns
Youth Day of Action
About 400 Maine youth from 20 schools—elementary, middle, high school, and college—left school to demand that climate justice be a priority for all state lawmakers. The Youth Day of Action was organized by Maine Youth for Climate Justice, and supported by adult allies and organizations involved in the Maine Climate Action coalition, including 350 Maine.
Youth Climate Strikes, supported by 350 Maine, occur throughout Maine
Hundreds to thousands of Maine youth walked out of their schools or workplaces across Maine on Friday March 15th. This was organized as part of an international day of strikes for climate action. These young people ranged from elementary school to college students. 350 Maine's youth engagement team, along with many other intergenerational organizations, utilized their organizing resources to support these student organizers. Read more here.
Window Dressers Community Workshop in South Portland
Window Dressers Community Workshop in Machias
Candlelight Rally for #TrialoftheCentury
In support of #youthvgov plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States.
RISE for CLIMATE, JOBS and JUSTICE
350 Maine, Sierra Club Maine, Maine Conservation Voters, and the Maine Poor People's Campaign, led a march to a City Hall rally as part of a worldwide mobilization which took place days before the Global Climate Summit in San Francisco.
Maine Climate Protectors petition to the Department of Environmental Protection
Maine Youth and Voters get their hearing with the DEP.
Launch of 100% Clean Renewable Energy Campaign
People’s Climate Marches, Augusta and Washington D.C.
350 Maine organized art builds, bus-fills and supported members attending both marches.
Break Free (from fossil fuel) Albany, NY
350 New England joined 350 NY and NJ to stage a rally, march, and sit-in on railroad tracks to stop crude oil “bomb” trains rolling through Albany, NY endangering nearby communities and adding to the climate crisis.
Penobscot Nation – Justice for the River
In an on-going relationship with the Penobscot Nation, 350 Maine stands in solidarity in the fight to protect the nation’s river and subsistence fishing rights in the legal battle with the State of Maine. When asked to stand with them and Standing Rock in 2016, 350 Maine participated in several coalition sponsored events.
November and December 2015
Road through Paris:
Art Build and Rally, Portland: Painting signs with school children that were marched to a rally in Monument Square marking the opening of COP21
Jobs, Justice, Climate - March, Boston: In coalition with 350 NE, union, faith and other climate organizations, 350 Maine joined the rally and march on the Boston Common
350 Greater Portland formed
350 Maine joined the Sierra Club to organize the first Climate Action Team Conference in Brunswick.
People's Climate March, NYC
350 Maine organized biking and buses to bring Mainers to the march.
5th Annual Healing Walk in Alberta, Canada
350 Maine leaders wanted to connect the front line communities of Mobile, Alabama and Houston, Texas, affected by the tar sands infrastructure development, to the indigenous communities in Alberta affected by the pits and its infrastructure/pollution.
A broad coalition raised funds so the Americans could join the Healing Walk to be in solidarity with Indigenous peoples of Alberta. They witnessed the tar sands pits’ devastating impacts undermining their right to clean air, clean water.
Tar Sands Speaking Tour – 10 talks in ME, NH, VT, MA, Canada
The reversal of Portland Pipe Line Corporation’s pipeline to bring tar sands to South Portland was a threat to the city, but tar sands was a reality in Alberta. Working with a broad coalition of environmental organizations the Tar Sands Team chose to highlight this big picture to the region. They arranged presentations by First Nation Representatives (Athabasca Chipewyan and Beaver Lake Cree) of Canada and internationally awarded photographer.
Protect South Portland
Together with Protect South Portland and other environmental groups, 350 Maine backed a referendum against tar sands coming through Portland Pipe Line. Door-to-door and telephone canvassing; Hands-Across the Bridge and other large demonstrations took place.
Staged along with a flotilla of rafts and kayaks on Sebago Lake, street theater (on Route 302 in Raymond) of an ‘oil spill clean-up’ dramatized the threat posed by piped tar sands to Maine’s water supply.
Train Blockade - Fairfield, Maine
Activists blockaded train tracks in protest of Bakaan crude oil passing through to the New Brunswick oil refinery. 9 days later a similar oil train exploded in Lac Megantic, Quebec killing 47 people and destroying the downtown.
Working in coalition with others, 350 Maine organized Portland’s largest Climate Rally ever; sounding the alarm against tar sands coming from Montreal to South Portland through the Portland Pipe Line.
Bill McKibben Do the Math Tour
Standing room only at 350 Maine event at the State Theater in Portland.
Your contribution will help us build a strong movement to take action for climate justice in Maine. 350 Maine is only as strong as its grassroots network of volunteers and donors, so we sincerely thank you for your support!
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