Colorado has a long and checkered history with the fossil fuel industry, as does much of the West.
This past May, 350 Colorado participated in a Breaking Free event. The goal is to break free from an industry that’s driving the climate crisis and throwing our seasons out of whack. We’re breaking free from an industry that poisons our air and water. We’re breaking free from an industry that doesn’t respect our right to keep dangerous industrial processes away from homes and schools.
We’re breaking free — and mobilizing to keep massive amounts of fossil fuels underground.
This country is at a crossroads: we can either continue auctioning off public lands for fracking, or we can decide to keep over half of fossil fuels in the US underground forever. Colorado is also at a crossroads, with the fossil fuel industry vying to keep communities from protecting themselves with fracking bans and moratoria.
On May 12th, the Bureau of Land Management held a fossil fuel auction — and the movement was there in force to tell them to keep it in the ground! Hundreds of folks from Colorado came to protest this unfair system of giving our land to polluters for pennies.
Then a few days later on May 14th, in a community working to defend itself from fracking near Denver, a protest was held at a fracking site adjacent an elementary school in Thornton led by special guest to Colorado, Bill McKibben.
And it turns out that more than just the media took notice. We later learned that the peaceful protests had spies among us, as reported by the Colorado Independent, undercover agents joined us from local and federal law enforcement agencies. While on one hand, it’s frightening to think that our taxpayer dollars are being used to support industry so overtly (and covertly), on the other hand – it shows that People Power is a force with which to be reckoned!
Representing a coalition of communities and organizations across Colorado and the Mountain West, we showed our strength in numbers and sent a message against fracking, while standing up for frontline communities defending themselves. Many of us participated in these direct actions and we were noticed!