This Thursday, November 16th, at 4:30 PM (although some may arrive as early as 3:30PM) as many of us as possible will take a stand against API, the American Petroleum Institute. It is having its annual conference Thursday-Sunday, but we all plan to protest on its first day, Thursday, at 4:30 PM.
API is one of 500 members of the Atlas Network, a network of think tanks propagating free market and conservative causes, which typically places them as strong ideological opponents of all movements working to protect the planet. The American Petroleum Institute is one of its members. It is paid basically to lie to Americans about climate change, since it represents the economic interests of a few people who will benefit financially from keeping fossil fuels going for as long as possible, while jeopardizing our future. The API and the wider Atlas Network will tend to oppose environmentalists, painting them in the media as “Nazis” and otherwise opponents of “freedom.” It is really surreal to imagine these otherwise educated people mulling around their hotel actually believing such clap-trap.
In reality they do not believe in freedoms at all. They are a shady group of business people willing to sacrifice American rights, expressed poetically in our Declaration of Independence, as “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” by insisting on continued dependence upon fossil fuels which will cause droughts, water and food supply shortages, floods, toxic smoke from worsening forest fires, and other delightful horrors. This is the freedom that they wish to enjoy while drastically curtailing and abolishing the freedoms of their fellow Americans. Therefore, their idea of freedom is really just a catchword for the freedom of the few to generate profits for whatever time we have left from unsavory means while citizens around the world are desperately trying to secure a green economy. The freedoms of this small gang are at the expense of whatever freedoms most Americans and planetary citizens will have lost after all the damage they will have wrought our natural world.
We don’t know how many of us will turn up this Thursday, but please take a stand, and tell as many people as you can to turn up. The members of the API who are coming for their annual conference will probably hear the shouts we will utter outside the Hyatt Regency Hotel as so many annoying flies buzzing outside their window, something relatively easy to tolerate. They will treat our cries for a livable future as the small price they must bear for leading lives based on greed. I’m sure many are good Christians who don’t even see a contradiction between the teachings they profess to live by, and the wasteland they are turning our planet into.
However many of us turn up will be standing there to inspire others around Chicago and the country to put survival and the quality of life ahead of the short-term financial interests of a few criminals, as of course they will be seen as as our natural world continues to degrade. These are people who care nothing about their fellow Americans, or either the people or other living creatures living elsewhere.
The address of the protest will be:
Hyatt Regency Hotel• 2233 South Martin Luther King Drive, Chicago , IL 60616 US
We hope that as many of you as possible will turn up just to take a stand, even if you have no signs or banners, to make it clear that a rising tide exists in this country, as it does in others, toward prioritizing our future and that of other species, if we are going to have one at all. Such a future will depend on transcending fossil fuel. That may not be the only change required to establish a more sustainable future, but a highly significant one. We certainly invite you all to study, research, and imagine, ways of living that will bring us into a more harmonious alignment with the natural world of which we are a part.
However, API, more than almost any other big-business think-tank, will not be working, as it morally should, to transform the fossil fuel industry from an agent of death to one that will support the energy needs of the future. Instead, it seems its members’ only stance right now is to let that gas flow to the last drop so its clients can keep getting rich, able to buy exotic mansions and luxury yachts in what beautiful places the world may still offer, while starvation, drought, toxicity, floods, mass immigration, global political instability, ravages around the rest of us (and them too, as there will be no escape). The API is not made up of people with courage, these are frightened, confused, and cowardly Americans working like good slaves to market their fossil fuel clients and keep them rich for as long as possible before the house of cards falls forever, which they know it sooner or later will.
See you all there!
Extinction Rebellion Chicago