Three climate activists peacefully disrupted a meeting of the Bolingbrook branch of Black Lives Matter.
Just as the meeting was about to start, three activists stormed on the stage and pulled the microphone away from the facilitator.
“The Earth matters!” One protester yelled. “It’s time for you to shut up and listen to us! Humanity is doomed unless we limit global warming to less than 2 degrees celsius!”
When the audience started chanting, “Black Lives Matter,” one of the unidentified protesters replied, “there are no living black people on a dead planet!”
The organizers of the meeting decided to let the activists speak for thirty minutes, rather than risk calling the police. The activist spent that time warning BLM members about droughts, dangerous storm, and resource conflicts due to global warming. Many in the audience booed.
When the activists asked for a moment of silence to honor the species killed off by humans, a man in the audience yelled that police officers were killing African Americans at twice the rate as whites. He also mentioned that African Americans are incarcerated at six times the rate as of whites.
“We’re fighting for our lives, and you’re disrupting our meeting and telling black people what to do! You need to shut up, set aside your white progressive privilege, and listen to us!”
The lead protester countered back. “Island nations are drowning! Polar Bears are dying! Syria is bleeding because of climate change. You need to shut up, confront your first world privilege, and listen to the planet!”
“How can we care about a bunch of trees when we’re struggling to survive?” Asked one audience member.
“In a few decades, everyone will be struggling to survive!” The lead protester countered. “What good will ending racism do if your homes are swallowed by the ocean, or blown away in a super storm.
When the activists finished, the crowd once again started chanting “Black Lives Matter!” The protesters walked away, chanting “Our planet matters!”
BLM member Robert, who refused to give his last name, was angry at the protesters. “I understand that you have to be disruptive, but they nearly canceled our meeting. I work long hours as is, and this is the only time I can spare to work on a cause I believe in. They acted like they didn’t care about us when they barged into our space to push their message! Fortunately, we were able to make our plans for confronting Mayor Roger Claar to get him to commit to making Black lives matter in Bolingbrook!”
Protester Amber, who claims that’s her real full name, feels their climate protest strengthened the group’s resolved to stop climate change.
“I’m sorry the police are killing their children, but so are their cars, and their electronics, and their homes. Our carbon based society is destroying all lives, and we need to be as disruptive as possible to get the message out! Once we save the planet, then we can go back to worrying about trivial issues!”
Paul, who asked that we not use his real name, said he was saddened by the protest. “They raised some good points, and one of them seemed interested in our issues. Our causes are important, but I guess after today we won’t be working together. Don’t get me wrong. Disruptive protests are effective, but we don’t need to use them all the time. Some people will listen to us without having to shout at them. To put it another way, a hammer is a great tool but sometimes all you really need is a thumbtack.”
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