This Sunday, a RAMPS contingent joined more than 40,000 others at the Washington Monument for the Forward on Climate rally and march around the capitol. We marched in a unit with other mountain justice activists from all over Appalachia, representing our battle as a piece of the greater fight. Likewise, representatives from almost every justice struggle imaginable across the nation marched under their own colors, banners, and carefully chosen words.
Sometimes coming together is hard. To be honest, marches in circles around DC aren’t really our style. But more important than what we did or where we walked on Sunday was that stood in solidarity with so many others from so many distant corners of the movement for environmental justice. Mountaintop removal is, among many other things, a climate issue. The climate crisis demands that humans come together in a way that we never have before, which means disciplining ourselves to a unity that defies many of the natural lines of affinity that we have been able to rally behind throughout the rest of history.
Just as all of us need to be a part of the climate movement, the climate movement must arrive hand-in-hand with all other forms of justice. We hope that the climate movement refuses to be seduced by the lies that those who profit from killing our planet and its inhabitants try to tell us. No “green” technology will allow our species to eternally expand its consumption, or allow the rich to eternally expand their profits. Many false solutions will be tossed at the climate movement to distract us; one sign of these will be that they make the poor bear the burdens of change and allow the accumulation of capital to continue. Climate justice will only be realized as an equalizing force, realistically inseparable from social justice, economic justice, and justice for nonhuman creatures.