On a raw and cloudy day, sometimes a bit more than cool, a number of people gathered on the steps of the old capitol in Tallahassee and spoke against the Sabal Trail. These were dedicated and inspired people who shared their inspiration with those assembled. These were leaders and teachers who comparted their knowledge and experiences with those eager to learn more. They came from far and near, from the Everglades, Dunnellon, Gainesville, Georgia, Arizona and New York.
Karenna Gore chats with Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson. Unlike many celebrities, Karenna did not speak at the beginning and fly away. She stayed for the entire event and participated and her heart was in it.
Listening to their dedication and commitment was indeed uplifting to those of us engaged in what at times seems a fruitless task. Strong winds scattered the signs, but people stayed on and listened with eager interest as strong leaders brought together by Shannon Larsen spoke of Sabal Trail, its injustices, falsehoods, violations, ram-rodded permits by corrupt agencies, and unethical land grabs.
Two relentless workers for our planet, Bobbie C. Billie and Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson. Both have left their mark, and the world is lucky to have them. These should be the role models of our youth, not over-paid athletes nor mindless celebs without discipline nor morals.
Our thanks go to Shannon Larsen and all the speakers, as well as the participants who gathered to lend support and strength to a common spirit, so needed now in these difficult times. Our thanks go to Council of the Original Miccosukee Simanolee Nation Aboriginal Peoples, Ancient Trees, and ReThink Energy Florida.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-
Kim Ross of ReThink Energy, always on the forefront
Shawn Mulford, Arizona Karen Arrington, Green Party Gainesville
Suwannee Riverkeeper and WWALS, John Quarterman, Georgia
Forces from the South, Janet Barrow, Maxine Conner and Harriet Heywood
Event organizer Shannon Larsen and OSFR members Cindy Noel and Mike Roth
Chris and Deanna Mericle of Sierra Club and WWALS, very active against Sabal Trail