From Earth Day to May Day: Rising up for healthy lives and a healthy planet

Washington, DC, April 22 –In the ten days between Earth Day and May Day, activists with the ShutDownDC alliance will take bold direct action online AND in person to disrupt the interlocking systems that are threatening our collective survival. People committed to an array of social justice issues will come together to highlight the overlapping causes of the climate crisis in the United States. Across the issues of climate, race, immigration, inequality, and labor and against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of activists will demand a just, healthy, and sustainable world. 

Following the youth-led, three-day Earth Day Live online event, ShutDownDC and a host of aligned organizations will disrupt business as usual using safe in-person and virtual actions each day starting next Monday, April 27 through Friday, May 1. Each day will focus on a specific theme, including local struggles for justice, communities that are sacrificed for fossil fuel extraction, and the essential workers who are the heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nathan Moore, an activist with ShutDownDC, said, “Time after time, we’re let down by the people in charge, who decide to line the pockets of the wealthy few and throw everyone else under the bus: workers, young people, the LQBTQ+ community, the black community, poor people, people of color. We are in the midst of a global pandemic, on the edge of a recession, with a climate crisis ever present. We need radical change now, and these coming days of action are a necessary part of it.”

Each day’s theme is as follows: 

April 27 - Essential, Not Expendable

April 28 - Bail Out the People and #CancelRent 

April 29 - Hold the Corporations Accountable

April 30 - Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground

May 1 - International Workers Day

“No one is disposable in this crisis and we need immediate, direct economic relief to the people,” said Wren Patton, a member the Sunrise Movement, about the second day of action, #CancelRent. “That’s why we’re calling on the DC City Council to bail out renters -- because housing justice is climate justice!” ShutDownDC is an alliance of climate, racial justice, youth, migrant rights, frontline, and many other groups that have united in nonviolent civil disobedience to tackle government inaction on the climate crisis. On September 23, 2019, the alliance shut down rush-hour traffic in the nation’s capital with 2,000 people and 17 blockades at key intersections. The alliance demands transformative action on the climate crisis, while emphasizing the connection between climate change and other social issues including migration, war, and racial and gender justice.