Bearing Witness is Not Enough
Last month, EQATers came together to organize our neighbors in Norristown, PA to speak truth to power. This was our second action around PECO’s proposal to increase rates by 10% for our region - a decision that would overwhelm our low-income neighbors who have been hit with economic hardship from the pandemic and who feel the burden of both a changing climate and fossil fuel extraction.
Last month, EQATers came together to organize our neighbors in Norristown, PA to speak truth to power. This was our second action around PECO’s proposal to increase rates by 10% for our region - a decision that would overwhelm our low-income neighbors who have been hit with economic hardship from the pandemic and who feel the burden of both a changing climate and fossil fuel extraction. EQAT member Amy Covill tells her story of the “Stop the PECO Rate Hike” action in Norristown:
I was worried about finding parking near the busy intersection where we were gathering. I had made my own sign for the first time (I am relatively new to the organization) and was trying to decide whether, on this hot and humid day, I should wear a mask. The heat and the ongoing pandemic were both reminders of what’s at stake if those in power continue to ignore the climate crisis.
I found parking and joined a good-sized group of green-shirted EQAT-ers. I asked a member of the group if my sign seemed okay: “PECO: $1 million/day in PROFIT isn’t enough? Shame on you! NO RATE HIKE!” It was nice to get the “thumbs up,” and to once again feel like I was part of a group that is kind and supportive to all who convene at these actions to express concerns about the climate…
This summer reminds us why we need to organize - we’ve watched communities around the globe experience record temperatures, drought, and another season of devastating wildfires. Our climate is changing and the need for corporate power holders to act is even more present. The rapid spread of the Delta variant also reminds us that the COVID pandemic is far from over. As our communities struggle to get this public health crisis under control, those of us most impacted continue to be excluded from the conversation - on the pandemic, on climate, and on the need for a just transition.
The Power Local Green Jobs Campaign has spent six years pressuring PECO to do the right thing. Because of our bold vision and actions, PECO has taken significant steps that have boosted the local solar economy - something no one thought was possible. But these steps are incremental to the necessary shifts we know PECO needs to make. As PECO chooses to drag its feet, communities locally and around the globe are left with the escalating effects of a warming climate.
We are under the weight of the climate crisis. It’s not enough to bear witness to the impacts of pollution, fossil fuel extraction, and rising temperatures. EQAT’s rebel energy and use of non-violent direct action are needed now, more than ever. We will always push corporate power to take urgent, justice-centered, action on climate. We ask that you continue to support us at home and in the streets. We are much more powerful together.