Native American water protectors resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) may seem remote. From here in Eugene, Oregon, it is about 1,500 miles to Standing Rock, which is the gathering site this year of thousands of indigenous people and their allies from all over this hemisphere. But there is a way this climate crisis issue is directly in front of me and many people throughout the U.S.A.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is one of the main groups championing DAPL and the petrochemical industry rape of Earth. The climate defender group 350 has asked that local Chambers assert their independence and say, “The U.S. Chamber doesn’t speak for me.” Unfortunately, only 56 out of 3,000 of these local Chambers have spoken up. Rather than viewing this as a failure, I look at it as a challenge.
Several activists and I have petitioned the local Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, but despite many emails, peaceful protests, and outreach, the leadership has maintained silence about the climate crisis and the U.S. Chamber. You may read about some of these protests by finding my blogs:
- We protest Ninkasi brewery because one of their leaders is local Chamber chair.
- In 2015, we did a peaceful protest at the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce.
- In 2014, we gave a fun award to the Eugene Chamber, the Golden Ostrich!
In 2017, the newly elected chair of the local chamber will be Mandy Jones, who is the Chief Executive Officer for Oregon Consumer Credit Union. I’ve been a proud member of OCCU since 1988. I encourage OCCU, as a member-owned entity, to ask the local Chamber to speak up about the climate crisis.
I would like to encourage you to send a brief, strong, peaceful email to OCCU about the climate crisis and speaking up. You may use the OCCU website here.
For more info about the protectors at DAPL, you may click here: