The Charlotte GF circle* planned and led the action grounded in our several faith traditions but our targets were the big banks which continue to fund climate destruction by their investments in fossil fuels. Using the unique gifts of our religious traditions (words of remembrance, song, prayer), we created a moving vigil/ritual that involved stopping at each bank where we called out the climate destruction they were funding — displacement of people, destruction of life, home and habitat, illness, and the health of our communities.
As we named the impacts of climate change, we placed on a white cloth something that represented that loss–a pair of shoes for the climate migrant who has left their home and traveled in hope for a better life, a piece of wood to represent the destruction of trees and homes, a mask to symbolize the loss of breathable air and increasing disease. While we walked from bank to bank, we chanted “not in our name” as we called out losses. We had moving visuals to send a non-verbal message as well–stroller painted white, pushed by women dressed in black, a coffin with images of animals and the words “RIP Hopes and Dreams”, and beautiful banners including one that reads “Banks of America stop digging our Grave”.
“Young people today are facing a grim future — the loss of hope,” said Rev. Amy Brooks Paradise of GreenFaith. “The widespread damage to ecosystems that provide us with food, air and water, as well as beauty and joy, make it hard to plan for children and the future. It is long past time for our business leaders to take bold steps and stop funding climate devastation.” (November 2, Queen City Nerve)
People along the route watched what we were doing and we shared a hand out that explained our action and the terrible record of big banks in this crisis. Participants noted how meaningful and powerful the action was for them. One of the highlights was our soloist who sang a beautiful song by Julian Lennon entitled “Saltwater” which references the tears we shed at the loss of our Earth home.
*The GreenFaith Charlotte circle includes members from Myers Park Baptist Church, Piedmont UU, UU Community of Charlotte, Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, St. Luke’s Catholic Church and Caldwell Presbyterian Church.