Earth First! group calls for eco-action during RNC in Tampa
by Clinton Tyree
Organizers from Everglades Earth First! (EEF!) invite eco-activists far and wide to join us in bringing our message to the RNC this month.
While we stand in solidarity with those who will be out struggling for social and economic justice, we also feel there is a need to contribute an action-based analysis which views the ecological crisis as a central concern for those of us struggling to change the direction of this society.
Our primary intention is to bring a message of fighting the energy empire, which controls politics in service of its own agenda. On the local front, corporate energy giants and Republican politicians have pushed to open Florida’s coast to off-shore drilling for oil and gas, permitted thousands of megawatts of new fossil fuel power plants in the state, and collaborated on plans to fuse the biotech industry with energy giants. On the national agenda, Republican politicians and lobbyists are promising industry heads support for tar sands exploration, gas fracking, coal mining and new nukes.
Most groups planning to protest the Republican National Convention next week have focused on the wealth gap and the economy in general. But the history of failed civilizations show us that economic crises begin and end with ecological crisis.
Our environmental message of protecting the planet from industrial pillage is needed here and now, more than ever.
All of us working on issues of pollution, water, development, energy, climate, greed, and the corruption that ties it all together, should be out in the streets of Tampa and St. Pete next week. (And out to protest the Democratic Convention the following week in North Carolina, for most of the same reasons.)
EEF! plans to have a presence throughout the RNC events. In particular, local organizers with ResistRNC.org in Tampa have called for August 30th to have a theme “promoting Environmental efforts.” We invite other environmental activists from across Florida and beyond to join us in taking action on this day to expose and confront the ecocidal elite.
We’ll be having an open meeting for those in South Florida wishing to discuss plans and make props for the RNC on August 22, 5pm at the Night Heron Grassroots Activist Center.
We may also re-convene in Tampa/St. Pete on the 29th to discuss plans for the 30th, Details TBA.
We are working on a series of flyers, posters and other EF! literature to circulate during the week. Please get in contact if you are interested to assist with producing or distributing these.
As mentioned, EEF! plans to participate in the scheduled marches and rallies (see list below), and to stay flexible for opportunities to express our solidarity with other movements and our outrage at the industrial nightmare driven by the corporate politics represented by the RNC.
Get in touch: evergladesearthfirst [at] gmail.com
Anti-RNC events we know about:
Occupy Tampa and World Food Not Bombs gathering site, for food and tent space. Check here for details
Romneyville camp – All Week. Check updates here and find out how/if you can stay there
12pm, Rally of the 99% at Gaslight Park, Tampa (410 N. Franklin)
5:30pm, Kick-off Party for “March on the RNC” group, 719, Arlington Ave N. St. Pete
6pm, Crashing the “World’s Largest Cocktail Party”, at Tropicana Field, St. Pete
10am – 4pm, March on the RNC, starting at Perry Harvey Sr. Park, Tampa
3pm – 5:30pm, March For Our Lives, by the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (details TBA)
11pm – 12pm, Roving Radical Dance Party, 1800 East 8th Ave, Ybor Centennial Park
5pm Voter Suppression Rally, at 1800 East 8th Ave, Ybor Centennial Park
Undocumented youth from the Latino community from across the state of Florida will organize hand-in-hand with African American leaders for a march against voter suppression that aims to rob the vote from communities of color. Across the country, lobby corporations like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) who pushed racially discriminatory laws like SB 1070 in Arizona and HB 56 in Alabama are now trying to push voter suppression laws.
“Shut Down Bain Capital” Day of Action (details TBA)
12pm Send off for caravan leaving to march on the DNC in North Carolina (details TBA)
A reminder from the folks at ResistRNC.org, who are calling for decentralized direct actions: “Those skilled in war bring the enemy to the field of battle and are not brought there by him.” -Sun Tzu, Art of War
End the Energy Empire
Stop the Industrial Nightmare
-Everglades Earth First!