I just watched the President’s speech about Operation Decisive Sweep and our nation’s response to global warming. I can’t write for long, but I have to say a few things or I won’t be able to sleep.
This is the first full speech that the President has given since the raids started. In each of our three Synergy Centers, we had a live showing of the speech. The one here at Synergy Central was indoors and mostly just consisted of fellow Synergists. There were a few dozen of us crowded into an expanded apartment that we’ve turned into a conference room. But the showings at Synergy Havana and Synergy Roads were public. They projected it onto big screens on the side of their buildings so that people from the neighborhoods could watch it. Most people still don’t have power at home, so it was a big event. There were over a hundred people at Roads and several hundred at Havana. I’ve even heard that a Bastion team patrolling near Roads stopped nearby and watched from a distance. Everybody wanted to hear what he had to say.
It was mostly bad news. Honestly, I don’t know how else to put it. Bad news.
One of the reasons I voted for him was because I thought he would actually do something serious about global warming. This was before Hurricane Florence, of course, so I wasn’t as adamant about it yet. But I grew up in Miami while the ocean was slowly but surely reclaiming the city. I knew that we had to do something. It’s now or never. And he gave such good speeches about how important it was to take action on global warming.
But now he says that we’re not ready to quit fossil fuels. He says we need more time to transition to clean energy. He says that he sympathizes with “reasonable” people who advocate for clean energy, but that it’s “unreasonable” to demand we stop using fossil fuels entirely within the next decade or two. He also says that as long as we’re using fossil fuels as a major energy source, anyone who’s engaging in direct action to shut down fossil fuel infrastructure is a threat to national security and must be treated as a terrorist.
He has such a way with words, doesn’t he? My mother used to call it “pico de oro”. Gift of the gab. Silver-tongued. He tells us that hundreds of thousands of Americans may need to be disappeared, but he makes it sound like he’s on our side. He wants to help us, but his hands are tied. So instead, he arrests us.
If you care so much about global warming, Mr. President, then why are your agents and officers coming for us instead of the fossil fuel tycoons?
I know it’s not easy being in your shoes. There are people in this country who would try to impeach you if you sided with us against the fossil fuel industry. And who knows, they might succeed. But you’re supposed to be a world leader. Follow the leadership of your people. Make the difficult choice. Work with us instead of against us.
But of course, the President has many advisors telling him to be “reasonable” too. And we all know who writes their paychecks.
Honestly, even the good news that he had to share was bad news in disguise. His so-called good news was that the government is going to release the names of the detained and make an effort to try each of them for specific crimes in a timely manner rather than just detaining them indefinitely. Some of them will surely be home in a couple of months, he says, and they’re being kept in humane conditions until then. But he has not relinquished them to civilian courts and will not be doing so. They’re being tried as terrorists. And any future Americans who engage in direct action against fossil fuel infrastructure will also be tried as terrorists. He even pointed out that people convicted of terrorism can’t hold office, making a reference to the political candidates who have been arrested. Not good news.
And he didn’t say this, but everybody knows that Congress and the Supreme Court are even more conservative than he is. They won’t be challenging him on this anytime soon. Some will try, of course, but they will be outnumbered. For now. And some of the people who might have shifted that balance are currently detained, whereabouts unknown.
Before he even finished speaking, I knew that millions of my fellow Americans had to be thinking what I was thinking.
It’s time for a march on D.C.
Sure enough, as soon as the speech ended, people started sending out all sorts of declarations and calls to action. Some of them must have been typing while they watched because they sent out these messages within moments of the end of the speech. The first call to action I read was sent by some members of Rising Tide who have evaded arrest so far. I keep seeing new statements each time I search. If you haven’t had time to actually read any of the statements yet, the general idea is to reject the legitimacy of the President’s approach and declare a march on Washington D.C. the weekend before the elections, which is coming up quickly.
It’s going to be a crazy couple of weeks. I feel very torn about what to do personally. I can’t imagine leaving Miami so soon after returning, especially when there’s so much work to do here. But I’m sure at least some of the Synergists will go to D.C. to participate in this march.
It’s a tough call, really. We need as many people as possible in D.C. to make this march count. If only a few thousand show up, they’ll all get disappeared. We need to make this the largest march on D.C. in history. But we also need to keep as many people as possible in our local communities to make sure our various community projects don’t get shut down or run out of steam while we’re away. Doing both will take millions of very active and possibly high-risk participants. I bet everyone involved in any form of community organizing is making some tough decisions now. I’m no exception.
I need to get some sleep. It will still take me a while to fall asleep, but I’m tired, and I have to sleep so I’ll be ready for the day tomorrow. Maybe I’ll go out on the roof and sleep in what’s left of our garden so I can see the stars and look out over the ocean. The ocean has always been a source of strength and comfort for me. And I could use it now more than ever. There are some rough waters ahead.