The Big Week Ahead

Happy blustery Sunday to you. What a busy time of year, eh? There’s no letup in store for climate warriors this next week, with four events in the next three days. But first a big THANK YOU to everyone who donated arctic gear to the people at Standing Rock. All of the gear, with the exception of 100 pounds of potatoes donated by the Missoula Grain and Vegetable Company, made it to the camp, no small feat given the weather and the repression from federal and state authorities.

For those who are thinking about getting involved in local climate movement leadership, 350 Missoula’s leadership team is meeting at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow, Monday, December 5, on the second floor of the Union Hall. The agenda includes approving new two leadership team members, preparing for a strategic planning session on December 17, and some news about a public educational program about renewable energy technology and long-term energy storage tentatively scheduled for the week of January 20.

At 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Roxy Theater in Missoula the International Wildlife Film Festival is inviting 350 Missoula supporters to the screening of the UN’s ambassador for peace, Leo DiCaprio’s documentary film, “Before the Flood.” The is a National Geographic special and there’s more information about the film at www.beforetheflood.com. One of our leaders, Jerome Walker, said of the film, “It should be very informative. The happy ending is up to us.”

On Tuesday, December 6, two car-loads of Missoula folks are going to Fort Benton to bear witness to the court hearings for Leonard Higgins and Reed Ingalls. Leonard is one of the “valve turners” who, on October 11, shut off all five pipelines bringing tar sands oil into the United States. Reed is a videographer who did not enter the restricted area and got arrested and charged with a felony anyway. I think we still have room for two or three more folks if anyone else wants to brave the winter-time roads. We’re leaving at 6 a.m. The hearing is at 11 a.m., and we’re driving back that afternoon. Get ahold of me at yswolfhowl@gmail.com if you’re wanting to support what Leonard calls the “moral necessity of protecting life.” There’s more information at www.350montana.org and on the 350 Missoula facebook page (yes we do have a facebook page!).

The night after their court appearance Leonard and Reed will be in Missoula for a potluck supper and presentation. Again, this is at the Union Hall, 208 East Main, on Wednesday, December 7 beginning at 5:30 p.m. Civil disobedience has a long history in this country, going back before the Revolution, but also has important chapters during the Indian wars and the movement of Indians to the West during Andrew Jackson’s presidency. Also, the abolitionists’ decades-long fight against slavery, Henry David Thoreau, women’s suffrage, organized labor’s remarkable marches and strikes, and the incredible movements for civil rights and an end to the Vietnam War. Is this where the climate movement is headed?

I hope you can bring a dish and join us for what promises to be a very blustery discussion.

Jeff Smith, Chair, 350 Missoula