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29 Jan, 2010 21:48

DC youth groove for climate action

Youth activists in Washington, DC staged a dance party protest outside the White House, hoping to get US officials to act on climate change.

A bunch of high school and college students gathered outside the White House grooving and dancing to tunes, but it wasn't a typical dance party. They're using their partying to send a message to President Obama that it's time to take a stand for climate justice.

"We're having a student power dance party to protest the corporations that are holding out on climate justice. It happened in Copenhagen and now it's happening in the senate and we're showing that youth have power to make their voices heard," said participant Drew Sherlock.

They're climate activists and peace protestors rolled into one.

"We're here to protest against the military industrial complex that has caused global warming and things like that. That is instituting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to fulfill their own capitalist needs," one young activist said.

They took their message from the White House to the offices of the big corporations just a few blocks away. They said it's the corporations that are really pulling the strings in Washington and they've had enough with big businesses running the show.

"The same corporations that profit in the wars also profit from using fossil fuels and exploiting natural resources. The United States military is one of the biggest purchasers of oil in the world so whenever the military is out there doing its thing they make money," another activist said.

And like many things young people get involved in, the protest started late and got the attention of local police. But the activists say they aren't out to disturb the peace, they just want US President Barack Obama to listen to them.

"He came into office on the promise, the pledge, to close Guantanamo, which he has not done yet, within one year. He's escalated Afghanistan, which will only increase violence against the world. He hasn't done anything to help the environment lately and he's apathetic and the youth is here. We're the ones who brought him into power and we're the ones who will be protesting against his inability and his ineffectiveness," one activist said.

They're even starting to believe they may have more in common with the enemy than their own man. Just days ago, Osama bin Laden allegedly released an audio tape that blamed all industrial states for global warming, including the United States.

"I know it's not politically correct to say that Osama bin Laden is right, but unfortunately the science agrees with him – that the developed countries are the ones who polluted the atmosphere and now we sort of have a responsiblity to the devloping countires to allow them room to develop their economies and give them aid and develop in a sustainable way,"  said Drew Sherlock.