March with us on FRIDAY 9/20
Look for the Community Solar - TAKE Y(our) POWER BACK Banner (below)
MEET 9.20.2019 at 11:30AM at the EAST Entrance to the Roundhouse RSVP & SEE DETAILS HERE
**Don't forget to wear red, orange, or yellow as per the call from YUCCA (Youth United for Climate Crisis Action)
As we prepare for the strike, we're reflecting on the powerful message from Boots Riley last week - we need to focus on "Capital, not spectacle"
Last Thursday night we were inspired by the revolutionary message of Boots Riley. To paraphrase, he said people are hungry for answers and ways to be involved. We need to build resistance to extreme capital - we need to join together and prevent the capitalization of our Earth and our lives.
That's what is needed. Anything less will not suffice in this final hour - as the window on hope is closing.
And as Greta Thunberg says - the youth don't want our hope - they want our action. Only from decisive, bold, action can we draw hope. Posturing progressive politics is not enough.
Both of these messages resonate so deeply with us and our work. If we want to change things - we have to address the power differential and we have to acknowledge that there are deeply vested interests keeping things just the way they are. We are going to have to confront power y'all. We just are. We have opponents in this fight. We have opponents with lots of resources and lots of influence and they are motivated by capital and profit. As we look forward to a week of Disruption, we think about the ways in which we need to disrupt this obsession with capital - and demand a different framework and a different system.
We get a lot of flack for rocking the boat and for not backing down when the largest corporation in NM starts throwing its weight around and demands that everybody fall into line. What's ironic is that what we are asking from PNM and the other utilities is simply that they follow the laws we have in place to protect us. Don't get us wrong, we are pushing for systems change - putting energy ownership and control into the hands of the people and in creating community-driven renewable energy democracy.
But to be honest, sometimes it feels so ridiculous that the standards for democracy and justice have become so eroded that this vision and our work to defend basic environmental regulations and consumer protections are characterized as "radical". Too often it feels like the spectacle of "pragmatic, incremental environmental progress" through collaboration with the energy companies is more important than the actual ground we are ceding, without so much as a fight.
That's just not who we are.
As we headed down to the Trump protest to do legal observation this Monday (photos from protest at Santa Ana Star Center below), we heard about Mariel and Jeff's trip out to Chicago for the People's Law Office's (which Jeff co-founded) 50th anniversary celebration where Puerto Rican Liberation Front members, Black Panthers, and Young Lords shared tears and laughter and recommitments to the struggle they have been in their whole lives.
And now young people are rising up all over the world begging us to to "act like adults" and do the hard work of change-making and we must rise to answer their call. Here in NM, we must all get behind the bold demands of YUCCA (Youth United for Climate Crisis Action with Earth Care) and join the Strike on the 20th!
Speaking of Spectacle Versus Capital -
We Need to Bring You Up to Date on the latest ETA vs. PRC Saga
If you haven't been following it in the news, we don't blame you -- it's hard to navigate. As you might know, the PRC has asked parties to the San Juan Case to share their interpretation and arguments for whether the ETA applies to the Abandonment Case given that PNM refused to file their abandonment application in the existing docket. PNM and friends claim that the PRC's decision to bifurcate the case into two cases - one dealing with abandonment issues and the other dealing with replacement power issues, assigning PNM's application to the existing PRC docket that pre-dates the ETA, and calling for briefing from all parties on whether the ETA should apply in this docket - is out of line. Their Joint “Motion for Clarification or in the Alternative a Supplemental Petition for Writ of Mandamus” is available here.
Basically PNM and friends are asking the Court to step in to tell the PRC to apply the ETA without addressing the issues we've raised around its constitutionality.
You can read our response [here]. We've asked the Supreme Court to deny the Motion by PNM and Joint Petitioners.
Our arguments are based on this TIMELINE of facts which we think tells the story of PNM's attempt to circumvent PRC authority quite succinctly. We also argue that their request is untimely and legally without basis.
We know there's been an incredible amount of bad press aimed at the PRC right now. We wonder - what does it mean when the PRC is the Democratic Parties punching bag and PNM is a new best friend?
The PRC is far from perfect but it's the best it's been in our time practicing before it. After years of hard evidence of PNM's malfeasance, this Commission is finally getting sound guidance from its legal team and is finally putting its foot down and protecting ratepayers from unnecessary and profit-motivated spending and other lawlessness. It makes perfect sense that being held accountable for imprudence, for backdoor deals, and for misleading the Commission in previous cases is something PNM is going to resist.
But, back to the theme of this update - it's not our job to make them comfortable and happy. It's about shifting power which means our target needs to be capital, not spectacle.
PHOTOS from 9.16.2019 - Trump Protest outside of Santa Ana Star Center Arena