A Shoe Strike for Climate Justice

July 21, 2020   Press Release (written and submitted by Adeline Bailey)

Appearing in Clutch MOV (on-line magazine):  

The Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action group is hosting a Shoe Strike this Saturday, July 25th at Parkersburg City Park. A Shoe Strike is a safer form of protest during a global pandemic. Those wishing to participate are encouraged to bring a pair of shoes and a protest sign for Climate Justice to Parkersburg City Park at 9:00 am. The protest will be on display through 3:00 pm that afternoon. Once participants have placed their shoes and sign, they are asked to leave so that they can maintain safe social distance.

If you prefer, you can donate shoes in advance at one of three drop-off locations:

  • First Christian Church, 1400 Washington Ave., Parkersburg
  • First UU Church Courtyard, 232 Third St., Marietta
  • Seventh-day Adventist Church, 1901 Park Ave., Parkersburg

Why a Shoe Strike?

Changing conditions from drought to floods to wildfires to massive hurricanes are leading to millions of climate refugees all over the world. Twenty-four million people were displaced by climate disasters in 2019, and the World Bank projects that climate change will displace 143 million people per year by 2050, unless we do something about it right now.

While the USA is among the biggest polluters causing greenhouse gas emissions, we seem to be unable to take responsibility for the consequences of our actions. Across the world and in the US, it is people of color who are being most negatively affected by climate change.

Since we cannot gather safely in large numbers due to the pandemic, Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action is holding a Shoe Strike for Climate Justice, modeled on the Sko Strejk movement that started in Sweden and is now spreading to other parts of the World. People will bring their shoes and protest signs toCity Park in Parkersburg (corner of 23rd St. and Park Ave.)on Saturday, July 25th. The protest will take place from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

The Parkersburg Shoe Strike is sponsored by Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action in coordination with Fridays for Future and other Shoe Strikes for Climate Justice! in the U.S. For more information, visit FridaysforFuture.org.

Part of a Movement

On July 25th Shoe Strikes for Climate Justice are going global with Shoe Strikes happening all over Sweden, Germany, Great Britain, the US, Canada, and parts of Africa.

With an ongoing tragic corona pandemic and economies in free fall, our Federal decision-makers are busy today. But strong leadership is also about being able to look beyond the chaotic present and act now to address a far greater challenge: the climate crisis.

While many US cities are implementing strong climate action and adaptation plans, our federal government has backed out of our country’s commitments to the international Paris Climate Accord.

In the Paris Agreement, 194 countries agreed that the average temperature increase should be limited to well below 2 degrees with the aim of limiting it to 1.5 degrees. Despite this, greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase. Since the industrial revolution, we have already raised the average temperature by 1.2 degrees.

The warming means not just elevated sea levels, but also dehydrated agricultural land and greater evaporation of our precious water. Clearly these outcomes are unsustainable. Water availability and food production are projected to drop even further in Central America, and corn production is shifting northward into Canada.

There are plenty of things that individuals do to reduce their carbon footprints. Our state and federal representatives need to take the bigger steps towards a sustainable and secure society.

At the end of 2019 the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced that they will stop making loans for projects involving fossil fuels. The World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and other major global financial institutions are now considering whether to follow the EIB’s example.

Perhaps our cities should build a more sustainable future by divesting from fossil fuels, before their value plummets. Perhaps our government leadership should build a more sustainable future for us all, by investing in the coming technologies of wind and solar power.