May 23, 2012 by SCNCC
The founder of 350.org spoke at Trinity Church in Manhattan Tuesday. From the pulpit, Bill McKibben discussed the origins of 350, the only global, grassroots organization whose primarily focus is combatting climate change. According to McKibben, there have been 350 demonstrations in every country except North Korea. McKibben also touched on the ways Occupy Wall Street has changed the political landscape.
The site of the talk was a bit ironic since OWS had sought sanctuary on property owned by Trinity following the encampment’s eviction from Liberty Square last November. Trinity, the third largest real-estate owner in New York denied permission to Occupy to set up camp at a vacant lot the church owns at Duarte Square on two occasions.
On November 15, immediately following Liberty’s leveling and on December 17, the three month anniversary of the movement’s birth, activists together with leading members of the clergy in New York sought sanctuary and were arrested, and in some cases beaten, when the church gave police free reign to defend their empty piece of land.
The struggle for a world weaned off of fossil fuels and the struggle for a just and democratic world are one and the same. We will not have one without the other. This struggle will entail a shift in ownership from the private–corporations, banks, colleges, and churchs–to the commons.