Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bill McKibben on The Colbert Report??!!!?!?!!!

Check out this interview with environmental writer Bill McKibben on the Colbert Report, the Comedy Channel's fake right-wing news program. The interview is about McKibben's new climate action effort called 350.org.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
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Here is what Bill said about it all in a letter today to friends and supporters:

Dear Friends,

It's rare that public humiliation and movement building come in one package, but my appearance on The Colbert Report last night was a bit of both.

The interview lasted all of four minutes, but I managed to make my pitch and survive the interview with at least 40% of my dignity intact. If you have friends who aren't necessarily inclined to earnest environmental preaching, this might be a good clip to send them as you try to recruit new activists for the big day of Climate Action on Oct. 24.

You can see my interview with Colbert--and pass it on to your networks--by using the link below:


In the span of just a few years, Stephen Colbert and his Colbert Report have become institutions in the American media landscape. But interesting institutions--the show is comedy, and it's also slightly anarchic. Colbert is brilliant, and more than a little wild: it's not like going on normal, predictable television. That's the drama, and it's why people tune in.

It's also why I was a little more nervous than usual as my evening in the guest's chair approached. i can usually predict the questions I'll be asked--I've heard most of them before. But last night they were coming fast and furious, and out of left field. "What if I start 349.org?"

With a lot of help from friends who'd coached me and psyched me up, I got through just fine--and even made Colbert laugh when I inquired if his self-styled Nation wanted to join the 80 other governments that are backing our target. Best of all, it worked--our servers hummed with thousands of new colleagues.

We're enormously grateful to Stephen and his crew for helping us spread the word-now let's keep this movement moving!


Bill McKibben

P.S. My younger and more technologically adept colleagues assure me that if you click the links below you'll be able to share the video on Facebook and Twitter-give it a whirl:

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Boycott Tactic Used In International Solidarity Campaign

In the Environmental Advocacy and Organizing Program's introductory course in "Organizing Social Movements and Campaigns," we spend time looking at a variety of campaign tactics, including organized boycotts and "buycotts." This tactic has been used effectively by such venerable nonviolent activists like Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Cesar Chavez, as well by as more contemporary groups like Rainforest Action Network, Corporate Accountability International (formerly known as INFACT), and the international divestment movement that helped bring the Apartheid regime to its knees in South Africa.

While very controversial in some circles, this campaign tactic is now also being used as part of an organized international citizens campaign to end Israel's ongoing, illegal occupation and exploitation of the Palestine people in Gaza and the West Bank. The video news report below gives some background on the current corporate campaign against the AHAVA company, which receives Israeli tax and regulation incentives to locate their operations in the West Bank. This is just one campaign by the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Campaign for Palestine(BDS Movement). Take a look at this report. It is worth debating whether such tactics might help move the Palestinian/Israeli conflict towards a genuinely just and lasting peace.