Dec 16, 2017 Miriam Kashia – Press Citizen
Feb 22, 2017 Miriam Kashia – Press Citizen
October 6, 2016, Press-Citizen, Bakken Resistance May 13, 2016
Miriam’s earlier op ed’s are arranged with newest first. Endings marked = = so search for = =
Ecology protest was a very invigorating experience
Two years ago when I began a 3,000-mile walk across American with the Great March for Climate Action, it was hard to find a story in the mainstream media about climate change, fossil fuel disasters or any other important environmental topics. On April 22, the 46th anniversary of Earth Day, voices across our nation rang out loud and clear that our earth is in jeopardy.
That is why I dusted off my worn walking shoes and on April 2 joined the Democracy Spring movement that included a march from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia to the steps of the Capitol, “The People’s House,” in Washington, D.C. Chaotic, noisy and challenging, our culturally diverse group of about 130 ordinary citizens, youth to elders, chanted, “This is what democracy looks like!” along the 140 miles.
Citizens around the world are demanding action. The consequences of climate change are endemic and critical. Despite the general disregard of the U.S. mainstream media, this grassroots uprising is vast and growing dramatically.
Climate change is the most imminent and threatening of the many issues pressing for solutions. Our broken systems — social justice, health care, immigration, education, incarceration, endless wars and income inequity — cannot be put right unless and until we change the way we finance our political system. The game is rigged and those that pay play.
After reaching the Capitol on April 10, we were joined by several thousand more in front of “Our House” (“The People’s House, not the Corporations’ House”). Among them were 1,400 diverse citizens from all over our country who sat peacefully but illegally, blocking the Capitol steps. Our supporters stood across two police lines from us calling encouragement and chanting support as we were arrested and taken away.
We were arrested for demanding that campaign finance be reformed, that Citizen’s United be overturned, that voting rights be restored and that this country becomes a real democracy, not an oligarchy for the one percent.
I’m proud that at 73 years of age I can add “arrested” to my resume. History demonstrates again and again that when “We the people” step outside our comfort zone, put ourselves on the line and demand an end to exploitation, intolerance and corruption, real change starts to happen. This is just the beginning.
Miriam Kashia is a resident of North Liberty.
Miriam Kashia’s LTE – DM Reg, March 19, 2016
Civil disobedience is key element to inciting change
Miriam Kashia, North Liberty, Letter to the Editor 12:02 a.m. CDT March 19, 2016
State Rep. Ralph Watts [Don’t let IUB’s work on pipeline become undone, March 7] seems to have a problem with the idea of civil disobedience in the name of sustainability being used to right injustices or protect the citizens of Iowa. May I remind him that is what it took to undo slavery, give women the right to vote, move forward on civil rights, and give gay and lesbian people the right to marry whom they love. This is how we create change in a democracy when partisan, gridlocked legislators and our system of law obstructs our legal protections. Because of the community rights movement, 200 communities in nine states have protected their families from encroachment and extraction practices they did not want threatening them.
The Iowa Constitution says “All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security and benefit of the people, and they have the right, at all times, to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.”
Paul Cienfuegos has been an educator in this movement for 20 years, and he was invited to Iowa by 100 Grannies for a Livable Future, a growing eastern Iowa organization whose motto is “Educate, advocate and agitate.”
— Miriam Kashia, North Liberty
= = end of March 19, 2016
M. Kashia’s Press release 12/2/2015
Miriam Kashia, North Liberty
This event was sponsored by:
IA350, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Iowa City Area Sierra Club, Green Sanctuary of the Unitarian Society of Iowa City, League of Conservation Voters,
And 100Grannies for a Livable Future
For Release December 3, 2015
As thousands gathered in Paris on the same kind of cold morning experienced in Iowa City yesterday (Dec. 2), at 7:30 a.m. a small group of women of a ‘vintage’ age unfurled two banners from the Riverside Drive/Burlington Street pedestrian bridge proclaiming “Climate Action Now” and “Clean Energy Now.”
Acting in hopes of a paradigm shift at the United Nation’s climate summit conference that will spawn an accord, members of 100Grannies.com for a Livable Future braved the elements to catch the attention of drivers in the morning rush hours. More than 100 heads of state and numberless diplomats, aides, and political leaders are meeting at the end of the hottest year on record, hoping to avert an even hotter future.
In cities all over the world, grassroots marches, rallies and other bold events such as the bridge banners in Iowa City are speaking for those whose voices have been banned in Paris following the massacre of Nov. 13. Instead of the massive crowds of global citizens who intended to fill the streets, demanding immediate and effective reductions in carbon emissions, the street is filled with shoes, including Pope Francis,’ neatly lined up row upon row.
Ed Fallon, former Iowa legislator, founder of the Great March for Climate Action across America last year, and leader in the fight against the Bakken pipeline, marched with fellow climate activists from Omaha Beach in Normandy to Paris.
On Nov. 29, Fallon wrote, “There is reason to be optimistic that the Summit will accomplish something of value, despite disappointment at the [French] government’s crackdown on freedom of speech on the streets of Paris. . . . Equally important work awaits us in Iowa. Indeed, if one could identify two critical geographic points for climate activism right now, one would be Paris, the other would be Iowa, where presidential candidates are as thick as flies. . . . What the candidates will take far more seriously than hearing from any single one of us, is hearing from lots of us over and over again.”
Hardy, committed members of 100Grannies braved the early morning cold to bring the message to the commuter crowd.
“Whatever the outcome in Paris,” said banner leader Linda Quinn, “this movement is growing exponentially and will not be stopped.” She encouraged others to find their role and join in helping to avert climate catastrophe
Miriam Kashia’s op ed Dec 10, 2013
Taking 7 million steps to ‘walk the talk’ on climate change
Why would anyone spend eight months walking 3,000 miles across this vast country enduring storms, heat, sore feet and who knows what else? Here are 10 reasons why:
• No. 10: Heating of our atmosphere is on a fatal trajectory; climate chaos is producing devastating mega super-storms worldwide.
• No. 9: Oceans are absorbing heat and slowing the atmospheric rise in temperature, but they are becoming acidic and unsustainable for marine life.
• No. 8: Polar ice is melting and oceans are rising. Island nations and coastal cities will disappear under water. Glaciers, the only water source for millions, are rapidly disappearing.
• No. 7: Terrible flooding and increased droughts and fires are devastating large areas and threatening our food supply.
• No. 6: The planet is populated by more than 7 billion people — more than it can sustain — and will reach 10 billion by mid-century.
• No. 5: One-hundred species are becoming extinct per day. Humanity could eventually show up on that list. Everything is connected.
• No. 4: Tropical diseases are spreading. New viruses and bacteria for which we have no protection are appearing.
• No. 3: Displaced populations of climate refugees are increasing social unrest, disruption of governments, and regional violence.
• No. 2: Developing nations, which produce the least carbon, are most vulnerable to these disastrous effects; this is social injustice at it’s worst.
• No. 1: We will persist, like lemmings, toward our own destruction, or we will wake up and use our personal and political will to do what must be done to convert our carbon-based energy systems to solar, wind, geothermal and other existing, sustainable resources.
Next year, I plan to walk the Great March for Climate Action (http://climatemarch.org) across America with a small army of passionate folks dedicated to a sustainable future for life on the planet. The goal is “to change the heart and mind of the American people, our elected leaders and people across the world into acting now to address the climate crisis.”
Historically, great marches have helped produce dramatic social and political change — Gandhi’s march to the sea; the Suffragettes march for women’s right to vote; the march on Selma led by Martin Luther King Jr.; the great anti-nuclear Peace March in 1986. But never has it been more critical to take immediate action.
Many other issues need our attention. But, as one climate scientist has said, “Attending to the many other problems on our planet without changing our direction is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.” By putting our resources into helping victims of climate disasters without addressing the core issue — a lack of personal and political will — we are throwing a thimbleful of water onto a forest fire.
There is nothing more important I can do with my time, energy, resources and passion than to help bring grassroots awareness of our increasingly catastrophic climate crisis all across America by taking 7 million steps to “walk my talk.”
I will march to demonstrate the power of ordinary people to reclaim the democratic process and create the political will to do what must be done. I will march so I do not fall into despair. I will march so I can come to know all those other amazing marchers and make a difference.
I will carry a list of my supporters to remind me that I am not alone, and that there exists a great movement to do the right thing for ourselves, our grandchildren, for all life, and for our Earth.
Miriam Kashia is a North Liberty resident.
= = = end of Dec 10, 2013