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Occupy EPA Launches the American Spring!
"Protect the Planet for a Sustainable Future!"
Washington, DC - Occupation, civil rights, environmental, and communities groups from around the country will gather on Friday, March 30th to rally and launch the American Spring (AS) with a demonstration at the headquarters of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“What kind of future will our children have if the EPA keeps caving in to corporate demands and allowing exploitation of people and the planet?” said Dr. Margaret Flowers, a pediatrician and organizer for NOW-DC.
“On March 30th, the American people will occupy the grounds of the EPA and demand an end to corporate interference in public policy over the needs of people,” said EPA whistleblower Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, referring to the recent decision by the Obama Administration not to sign lifesaving smog regulations that would have, according to an EPA scientist, saved over 7,100 lives. The business community successfully lobbied the White House not to sign the smog regulations.
The demonstration will start at 12:00 noon at Franklin Square Park (13th and I Sts, NW, Washington, DC) and the march will head down 12th Street to the EPA Headquarters. The rally in front of the Administrator’s office on the EPA lawn will feature national speakers and leaders, such as Dr. Helen Caldicott, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and known for her anti-nuclear weapons activism. In addition to featured speakers, there will be numerous groups concerned with clean air and water, and protection of our environment.
EPA was cited as failing to process discrimination complaints from community groups on environmental issues, such as the case of the Rosemere Neighborhood Association against EPA, in which the Judge stated that EPA did not even follow its own procedures and complaints have been languishing in the civil rights office some for up to 15 years. Civil rights does not appear to be a priority at EPA because for decades they have refused to address findings of discrimination, findings by the Office of Special Counsel against them for retaliating against whistleblowers, and violations of civil rights laws and regulations.
A recent EPA whistleblower, Susan Morris, recently received a finding of retaliation by the Office of Special Counsel against the agency for exposing the agency’s failure to follow civil rights laws. As a guest speaker for Women’s History Month on radio WPFW with Verna Brown, she said, “It is unbelievable that the first Black President and Lisa Jackson, a black female, would look the other way as communities of color suffer. It’s time for EPA to turn around their decades of corruption and do the right thing by its employees and the American public. The increase in many of our serious illnesses can be traced directly to our inability to get corporate America from polluting our environment for greed.”
The Occupy EPA and NOW-DC groups have stated nine demands from this administration starting with the reversal of the President’s decision to step down on smog regulations that may result in as many as 7,100 deaths Americans and 10,000 emergency room visits. Their demands include a halt to the trans-Canada pipeline), mountain top removal and fracking that is occurring throughout the country.
“We need this administration to meet their obligations and keep their promises, which were made to us when we voted them into office. The President should step forward and use this opportunity to reverse years of abuse of our air, land and water, all non-renewable resources,” said Dr. Coleman-Adebayo for the OccupyEPA group. Susan Morris added to those sentiments by saying, “We will see corporations come and go, billions made and lost, but we cannot get back our oceans, rivers and streams, polluted forever for material gain. These people will get rich on the backs of our children and grandchildren. What kind of world are we leaving them, fraught with disease, environmental disasters and war?”
Further demands included: Immediately promoting and implementing climate change policies, reducing Co2 emissions; a moratorium on nuclear power plants; labeling all Genetically Engineered foods; an end to green crimes; and an end to the attacks on whistleblowers and victims of discrimination and retaliation at EPA.
Jacksonhas been accused of fostering an environment of retaliation against employees who have been discriminated against and whistleblowers. EPA recently rejected two findings of retaliation against whistleblowers and is forcing civil rights employees into District Court. “The cost to these outstanding employees is enormous,” said Susan Morris, “but the real cost is to the taxpayers, who will be paying in the millions of dollars for this. I expected more from President Obama and his administration – but I feel it is never too late and I still have the hope that he will take immediate action to fix the horrendous situation at EPA, particularly in the Office of Civil Rights, that continues to get worse.”
Schedule of Events
March 30 – April 30, 2012
Friday, March 30:Travel to Washington and set-up at Franklin Square
12:00 Noon - march from Franklin Square Park to the EPA for a rally called "Protect the planet for a sustainable future" with OccupyEPA
1:30 pm - march with OccupyDOE (Department of Energy) to the Capitol to end privatization of public schools
Saturday, March 31: Peacekeeper Nonviolence Training
"Bail Out America" Direct Action Training
Occupy DOE Teach-ins
First NOW-DC General Assembly, Franklin Square Park
Doo-wop Dance Party
Gray Panthers Social Justice Gala
Sunday, April 1: Veteran’s Peace Training
Veteran's Peace Team training (must apply and be accepted by Veterans for Peace, limited spaces available for non-veterans)
Occupy DOE Teach-Ins
Monday, April 2: Housing Direct Action
8:00 am – 6:00 pm - The Center for the Study of Responsive Law will be holding the “Control the Corporation Conference” at the Carnegie Institute of Washington. This conference is open to people attending the NOW DC -- all occupiers welcome. The conference will be held at 1530 P Street, NW, Washington, D.C.
Tuesday, April 3: Education Direct Action
Tuesday-Thursday - April 3 to 5: NOW DC Social Forum: Phase I
Friday-Monday - April 6-9: Occupy Faith Weekend
Saturday-Wednesday - April 10-14:NOW DC Social Forum: Phase II
Wednesday-Thursday - April 14-15:Celebrate Occupy Power with Music, Arts and Speakers
Friday, April 16 Onward: NOW DC Direct Action(s) - Nonviolent Marches and Rallies
Saturday - April 17: A17 Occupy Congress Mobilization
Saturday - April 24: Occupy DOJ (Department of Justice)
Thursday-Friday, April 29-30- Clean-up, After-Action and Depart
TUESDAY, MAY 1, 2012 - National Day of Work Stoppage