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Hundreds of Virginians to ‘March on the Mansion,’ Call on Gov. McAuliffe to Put People Over Polluters on Pipelines, Coal Ash, and Climate Action


From Appalachian Voices, Virginia Organizing, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League:

Saturday, July 23 in Richmond: 
Hundreds of Virginians Will ‘March on the Mansion,’ Call on Gov. McAuliffe to Put People Over Polluters on Pipelines, Coal Ash, and Climate Action
Citizens will call for clean energy instead of new pipelines, polluted water wells, and flooded homes; Leaders — from NoVA to Newport News to the New River Valley — will represent students, farmers, and faith and social justice communities
Parade will include a mock 40-foot-long pipeline and giant puppets acting out a divorce between Gov. McAuliffe and fossil fuel companies
RICHMOND, Va. — Hundreds of people will march to and around Governor Terry McAuliffe’s house on Saturday, July 23, to demand that he put people over polluters, be a full-time champion of renewable energy, and stop supporting fossil fuels that harm communities and worsen climate change.
The “March on the Mansion” will unite people who face first-hand effects from dirty energy policies that Gov. McAuliffe supports. Farmers whose land is threatened by the proposed Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines will march shoulder-to-shoulder with Virginians whose drinking water is polluted by coal ash and coastal residents whose homes are being flooded by rising seas.
With colorful signs, chants, songs, and a parade from Brown’s Island Park to the Capitol Square, ralliers will call on the Governor to listen to citizen voices and stand up to polluters like Dominion Resources and EQT/NextEra. The march is endorsed by more than 60 groups and leaders who issued an open letter to Gov. McAuliffe on energy justice last month. The letter outlines a series of positive steps the Governor can take that are within his executive authority.
WHAT: “March on the Mansion” for Our Land, Clean Water, and Climate Justice
WHEN: Saturday, July 23, 2016, 12 noon – 3:00 p.m. Rally at 12 noon; March from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m; Closing remarks at2:30 p.m.
WHERE: Rally at Brown’s Island Park along the James River in downtown Richmond. The march will set off from Brown’s Island, go to and around the Governor’s mansion, and end at the Capitol Bell Tower. A media tent will be near the stage on Brown’s Island to connect journalists with spokespeople. Journalists are also invited to meet up or ride with the chartered buses coming from across Virginia (RSVP to kelly@chesapeakeclimate.org).
VISUALS: Marchers will carry a 40-foot-long mock pipeline, giant puppets representing Gov. McAuliffe and fossil fuel lobbyists, a 15-foot-long banner reading “McAuliffe: People Over Polluters” and dozens of colorful signs and banners.
WHO: Virginians directly affected by harmful fossil fuels, joined by hundreds of students, faith and social justice leaders, river lovers, and climate activists. Speakers will include:
  • Carolyn Reilly, Franklin County farmer whose land would be crossed by the Mountain Valley Pipeline and organizer with the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League — introduced by Ellen Darden of Protect our Water, Heritage & Rights (POWHR)
  • Dan Marrow, a resident of Quantico whose family lives near Dominion’s coal ash ponds and now drinks bottled water due to trace contaminants
  • Heidi Cochran, a Nelson County landowner who has been a leading voice in the fight against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline — introduced by Lewis Freeman, Director of the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance
  • Janice “Jay” Johnson, a Newport News resident affected by climate change and State Governing Board member of Virginia Organizing (rally emcee)
  • Jane Kleeb, a leader who helped defeat the Keystone XL pipeline and president of the Bold Alliance
  • The Reverend Weston Mathews, Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Virginia
  • Lauren Malhotra, member of the Virginia Student Environmental Coalition
  • Mike Tidwell, Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit MarchontheMansion.org to see the full list of endorsing organizations, FAQs, and other updates.

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