A thousand or so protesters marched by our offices on Monday, shouting, banging drums, carrying signs that identified them as environmental activists. We learned that the group came from a rally at Lafayette Square, the wind-up of something called the Power Shift Conference, organized by the Energy Action Coalition, which claimed to have attracted “5000 young Obama voters” to palaver on green energy.
There are so many factions, groups, alliances and cadres involved in these efforts it’s difficult to determine who is most accountable for the various policy idiocies (Energy Justice!, 100 Percent Clean Energy Now!), but one person clearly on record is Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO president.
Trumka shouted his slogans at the rally:
Because of your action, we’re moving past manufactured deficit hysteria. We’re moving past the same-old tired debates and toward jobs and a clean, green future.
You’re shifting America’s focus. You’re building power and political will to force our elected leaders to consider the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the jobs we have, and the future we need for ourselves and our children.
Manufactured deficit hysteria? Tell that to Standard & Poor’s.
Trumka and the other speakers excoriated the usual targets, the Chamber, Big Polluters, BP, Koch Industries, Exxon, etc.
Coal, the source of about half the nation’s electricity, was another subject of hate. Many of the marchers carried the sign featured in the photo above, “Coal is over,” and the agitprop media advisory announced the marchers planned to protest at “the headquarters of the electric utility Gen-On, which continues to burn coal in Virginia.” (Sure hope so. Without coal, Virginia gets much darker, colder and poorer.)
These activists are clear about their goal: They want to kill coal. They want to shut down coal-fired power plants.
In giving these activists his full-throated support, Richard Trumka is telling his union brothers and sisters in the coal-mining industry that their jobs don’t matter, he would as soon as put them out of work. The United Mine Workers of America have about 30,000 members, but to Trumka, these men and women are just tools of an exploitive coal industry.
What’s so astonishing is that Trumka comes from a coal mining family and was a miner himself before working his way up to President of the United Mine Workers of America and then moving to the AFL-CIO. He used to go down in the mine with men he now wants to put out of work.
When the AFL-CIO’s Trumka denounces “the same-0ld tired debates,” he’s really denouncing the jobs that make this nation run, including tens of thousands of union jobs in the mining industry. So much for solidarity.(Post slightly modified 1:20 p.m.)