As far as the planet is concerned, it's probably a good thing that Morgan Fitzgibbons is adept at guilt trips. Consider the Huffington Post editorial the SF neighborhood activist and founder of Western Addition's Wigg Party wrote earlier this year. You know our descendents? "They will either remember you as someone who fought for life against the greatest odds, or someone who simply neglected your most fundamental responsibility -- to pass the world on to the next generation," wrote Fitzgibbons.
In the same editorial he promised to "see you in the streets." Well ready your street-walking shoes, because that day has come: Sat/24 is Moving Planet Day, which will see 2,000 events in more than 168 countries, promises to be one of the largest global manifestations for the environment to date. People across the Earth will be speaking out, massing up, and getting loud about the need to stop our fossil-fueled ways before it's too late.
Morgan Fitzgibbons walks the walk at a tree planting in July. Photo via St. Cyprian's Episcopal Church
And you should hear the voicemail we got from Fitzgibbons yesterday. Jesus, blistering. Invoking our duty as agents of change in the Bay Area, for chrissakes. So we decided to swing into action: today, tomorrow, and next week we'll be profiling Moving Planet Day events across the planet. We'll begin close to home with Fitzgibbons explaining what will be happening in our very own city. Tomorrow: an organizer from Buenos Aires tells us what's in store down south.
San Francisco Bay Guardian: What is your role in your city's Moving Planet Day events?
Morgan Fitzgibbons: As a leader of a neighborhood based resilient community organization, I am of course a long time fan of 350.org and know from previous experience that their annual days of action are the biggest events in the whole world of climate change, sustainability, etc. So I've been doing general volunteering since May to help produce the event - anything from finding a scissor lift to media outreach to hopefully being able to say a few words on stage on Saturday.
SFBG: What inspired you to get involved?
MF: I've known and worked with the 350.org folks for a number of years now, and so I know there is no bigger event on the scene. They have done an excellent job of galvanizing the whole world to stand together, and that's really key - this is a global problem that requires a global solution.
SFBG: What does your city have planned for Saturday?
MF: Our event is going to bring together people from all over the Bay Area. People will meet in their regional cities and towns and then travel to San Francisco at 12 p.m. to march from Justin Herman Plaza down Market Street to Civic Center for a big rally featuring 350.org founder Bill McKibben and the Sierra Club's executive director Mike Brune as well as a bunch of great music, including Ashel Seasunz!
SFBG: How many people are expected to attend?
MF: We won't really know until Saturday, but we are anticipating somewhere in the 2,000-4,000 range.
SFBG: Why is this such a big deal?
MF: It's a huge deal because climate change and the related planetary crises threaten the very foundations of our society. The world's governments have obviously demonstrated that they are going to put short-term profits ahead of any long-term security and are effectively ignoring these issues. Saturday is the rare time when we can push the clueless governments out of the way and stand together as a concerned global population. Millions of people around the world are going to devote their day to standing up for this cause, because they know that the maintenance of a healthy planet is more important than anything else in the world.
SFBG: What do you hope that this day achieves?
MF: You know rallies are notoriously tricky because everyone shows up, everyone's excited, and then at the end of the day you're not always sure what came out of it. I think obviously a big takeaway is going to be knowing that millions of people around the world feel the same urgency that you do, which is extremely empowering. But what I personally hope people take away from the day is that this isn't a problem that's solved with a rally or voting for or against some bill at the ballot box. It's something that is going to require us to get out in our neighborhoods every day to organize and build more resilient communities. That's what I'll be preaching if they hand me the mic.
SFBG: How will you transport yourself to the festivities?
MF: I'm going to be riding from Tour de Fat in the morning, so I'll be taking my bicycle through the Wiggle. I wouldn't have it any other way.
SFBG: Complete this sentence: We can reverse the causes of man-made climate change if we...
MF: ...get out in our neighborhoods and organize. This must happen in every community big and small. There is no movement without this. We need no less than a cultural revolution. But as soon as people take this aspect of the work seriously... look out.
Moving Planet Day
Sat/24 10 a.m.-6 p.m., free
March starts at Justin Herman Plaza, SF
Afternoon activities at Civic Center, SF