We had about 130 people attend three amazing aviation justice events in the San Francisco Bay Area last week, featuring John Stewart and Dan Glass on a live video link sharing the lessons of the victory at London’s Heathrow airport.
On Wednesday, we held a small roundtable for activists from local environmental and transportation justice groups in Oakland. We had attendees from a transit agency, environmental justice groups, a long-time local airport activist, and advocates and analysts working on the international dimensions of the problem. Participants learned about the issue, and shared strategy ideas gleaned from their own work.
Thursday afternoon, we did an event at San José State University, to an audience of environmental science students and interested community members, moderated by Chris Lepe from TransForm. John told the story of the campaign, and the coalition building that went into it. Dan was amazing and funny, as he explained to the student audience the role of young people standing up for the planet and their futures. Several students came up to us later, to tell us how inspired they were by John and Dan.
Our final event was Thursday night at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, where an audience of activists and community members heard from John, Dan, me, and Rose Braz from the Center for Biological Diversity, in an event moderated by author and transplanted Londoner Raj Patel. John described the stages of the Heathrow campaign. Dan went deeper, telling the story of Plane Stupid. Rose discussed their work with the intersection of aviation, the Clean Air Act, and the European Union ETS. And I discussed the aviation justice movement, and the story of local American airport expansion battles. We loved the Q&A, with local activists in conversation with our British friends. (Topping off the San Francisco Bay Area experience, the event was even briefly interrupted by a small earthquake.)