Connecting the Dots in Boulder

posted by Josh Ran

I just wrapped up a great weekend of activism and training in Boulder!

Students for Peace & Justice invited me out to participate in their Procession for the Future weekend of workshops and speakers and, of course, the procession itself with amazing giant puppets that the Backbone Campaign is taking on tour around the country.

On Friday, I spoke to a civic engagement class at Naropa University and attended an evening event with inspirational activist poetry and prose by Margaret Randall and others.

Saturday, I met with friends at Global Response and learned about their campaign to stop Walmart from Greenwashing their “Love, Earth” gold, which in reality comes from mines established on Western Shoshone traditional territory without their consent, spewing toxins into the air and water and scaring away the wildlife that the community relies on for sustenance.

Then I attended a workshop with Matt Bear from Nonviolence United who used chocolate bars to provide a simple, effective and delicious lesson on how environmental, human rights and animal issues are all completely interconnected. Hmmm, just like the Walmart gold issue.

I gave a workshop on Strategic Corporate Campaigning, talking about how to plan and implement a markets-based campaign, like RAN’s current campaigns. Students for Peace & Justice recently launched a campaign against Lockheed, so I was happy to be able to give them some pointers.

That evening, we had a wonderful dinner hosted by a vegan coop. It was truly inspiring to be surrounded by so many people committed to living a sustainable, compassionate life and making the world a better place!

On Sunday, the weather (mostly) cooperated for an outdoor event with local activist groups, speakers and workshops on creative activism. I talked about false solutions to our energy and climate crisis, and about the real solutions that start with activism and with demanding that our energy choices are based in sustainability and respect for community health and rights. Once again, it’s so clear how all of our issues are completely interconnected.

Now I’m heading home, maybe a little sunburned, but mostly inspired by all of the smart, dedicated people I met during my time in Boulder and excited to see what they do next!