350.org is currently distributing a photo of Obama, with text, via Facebook. Nothing new about that, right? But this doesn’t show the president next to an inspiring quote, or caught in some photo op that makes him look like a hero.
This image from Huffington Post shows Obama in the Florida sunshine, playing golf with fossil fuel executives on the same day – February 17, 2013 – that thousands of protestors shivered outside the White House in what’s being called the biggest climate protest in US history. It makes Obama look really bad, as it should.
Lately, I’ve been a critic of 350.org for the over-sympathetic and under-critical messages they have been broadcasting about Obama through social media and other channels. I am glad, however, to see that someone administering their social media “gets it” enough to unflinchingly point out who and what Obama really considers priority.
How does 350.org suggest people express their outrage at Obama’s cavalier snub? They provide information about contacting the White House via telephone and email. Not exactly the stuff of revolutionary politics, but that’s okay, for now. Rome didn’t fall in a day.
The action in DC on February 17, 2013 looked, sounded, and felt like an Obama rally. That hurt the movement because it completely disgusts many of the radical people that are needed under this “big tent.” I hope the backlash from non-Democrats of many stripes – Greens, Anarchists, Communists, Socialists, whatever – has been loud enough that it doesn’t happen again. Until it does, I will try to be optimistic.
The climate movement has a tough, uphill battle. What hope we have seems reliant upon the movement being both uncompromising and uncompromisingly non-partisan.
Last night, on Occupy Boston Radio’s “The Realm News” with Frank Capone and Andrea Romig, I outlined three assumptions that I think are crippling the movement against climate change. If this is something you care about, please listen here.