On Wednesday, a group of students from Professor Smithey’s Climate Disruption, Conflict, and Peacemaking course observed a nonviolent action mounted by Earth Quaker Action Team. EQAT has called on the private electric utility PECO to distribute 20% of its electricity from local solar installations by 2025. Currently, solar makes up less than half of one percent of PECO’s energy portfolio.
Activists blockaded PECO service centers in Phoenixville, Coatesville, and Warminster saying that PECO is not preparing for the climate disruption crisis and is not properly investing in the region it serves. EQAT’s campaign is called “Power Local Green Jobs”.
Four activists were arrested at the Phoenixville site, where Swarthmore students observed. News coverage, including statements from EQAT and PECO, are available here and here. EQAT’s press release is here.
As I write this, Visiting Lang Professor, George Lakey has begun a week-long fast (with only water) from April 7-13 for the people of Appalachia, with a concern for PNC Bank’s funding of mountaintop removal coal mining. This is part of a 40-day fast conducted by Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT), leading up to the annual shareholders meeting in Pittsburgh.
The students of Peace Studies and Action (PEAC 077) will hold class on Tuesday at 2:45 with Professor Lakey
A Fast for the People of Appalachia,
with a concern for PNC Bank’s funding of mountaintop removal coal mining
Week-long fast with only water, April 7-13
A Message from Professor Lakey:
On April 7 I expect to start a week-long fast on behalf of the people of Appalachia who continue to suffer from the relentless actions that destroy their mountains, livelihoods, health, and culture. The mining also contributes to climate change, which hurts us all.
The fast will largely be conducted at my workplace, Swarthmore College, with public opportunities to engage with students, faculty, and staff
The first public event will be Monday at the Quaker Meetinghouse, 11.30-1pm.
The last event will be at the Swarthmore PNC Bank branch on Saturday, 10.45-12.
In between I will be on the first floor of Parrish each day for some period of time. Classes of students will visit me during that time as well as the
This is part of a 40-day fast conducted by Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT), leading up to the annual shareholders meeting in Pittsburgh. The fast is a tool for spiritual preparation and outreach. EQAT has for three years been in dialogue with PNC Bank as well as nonviolent action which shines the light on the bank’s role as a leading funder for blowing up mountains. EQAT plus allies will take action at the shareholders meeting.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Green your money: if you bank at PNC, move it to a community bank or credit union and tell EQAT.org. Over $3 million has already been moved.
Join the fast by skipping one meal or many, and tell EQAT.org.
Come to Pittsburgh to shine the light on PNC’s board of directors.
Join EQAT’s project of shadowing PNC board members when they make public appearances.
Research on PNC and the health effects of mountaintop removal available at EQAT.org.
I come from Bangor, a Pennsylvania slate mining town, and identify with the hard work, strong community, and bonding with nature in my heritage. When I visit Appalachian people I see those same qualities, but I also see the horror of beloved mountains blown up, cancer rates rising, and jobs lost.
I’m sad to imagine what it’s like to have your water and air contaminated by poisons, your town on the skids, the jobs disappearing, and 500 mountains destroyed while more mountains are on the kill list.
I was proud to join others in starting the Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) in 2010 with its first campaign targeting PNC Bank: Bank Like Appalachia Matters!PNC is one of the major funders of mountain top removal coal mining.
I also figured that I was doing something for the future of my four great-grandkids, who will join the miners in the catastrophes of climate change if PNC and our country don’t convert to renewable energy.
In the beginning of this year I was led to step up my own commitment. I felt called to walk to Pittsburgh to challenge directly the corporate CEO of PNC Bank: “Why would you rather fundfewer jobs – while blowing up mountains and spreading cancer – than fund more jobs for clean wind power from those same mountains?”
EQAT supported my calling, and is initiating the
Green Walk for Jobs and Justice
Start: April 30 in Philadelphia, walking 200 miles of the route
Arrive: May 16, at PNC Bank’s headquarters in Pittsburgh
Stops at PNC branches along the way.
Please sponsor me on this walk, and join me for part of the Walk or events along the route if you can. Financial sponsors are needed to make the Walk possible.
I also want to know from bank officials: “If PNC calls the destruction of Appalachia ‘responsible banking,’ why should any of us do business with you?” I pledge to close my account in PNC on June 1 if it does not promise to stop funding mountain top removal coal mining.
The Earth Quaker Action Team (eqat.org) is committed to Shining the Light on PNC Bank’s investments in companies that practice mountaintop removal coal mining — a practice that has devastated Appalachian communities, causing increased rates of poverty, unemployment, health symptoms, cancer and birth defects.
George Lakey,Lang Research Fellow and Visiting Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, along with about seven other core walkers from EQAT, will be making the 200 mile journey on foot, holding nonviolent actions at PNC Banks and collecting Green Your Money pledges from consumers who are ready to move their accounts.
Quakers practice a Testimony of Simplicity that is embodied in their “Leading” to walk across the state of Pennsylvania for an end to mountaintop removal. The goal is to build a statewide movement of people of conscience. The walkers will be meeting with Quaker Meetings, allied congregations, fracking organizations, student groups, and others along the route who share an interest in helping PNC become the “Green Bank” it claims to be.
Their schedule is as follows:
Depart from Philadelphia: Monday, April 30, 2012
Day of Action In Harrisburg: Monday, May 7
Arrival in Pittsburgh: Tuesday, May 15
Final Day Of Action: PNC Headquarters, Pittsburgh: Wednesday, May 16
Earth Quaker Action Tea will secure logistics, hospitality, and events for the walkers, and invite all interested Friends and friends of Friends to walk alongside the walkers for any length of time — and to join them during their days of action.