For the past several weeks, protesters have peacefully held vigil in hundreds of American cities including St. Louis, calling for financial, political, and economic reform under the banner of ‘Occupy Wall Street.’ The Occupy Wall Street movement includes students, workers, labor union members, concerned citizens, and environmentalists, including members and staff of the Sierra Club.
In response, Sierra Club Missouri Chapter Chair Jim Turner issued the following statement:
“The Sierra Club Missouri Chapter stands in solidarity with the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement.
“The Occupy Wall Street protests demonstrate the struggles of working families and environmentalists are one and the same. For too long, corporate polluters like the Koch Brothers have used their massive profits to attack fundamental worker, health and environmental protections -- while suppressing advancements in clean tech which would create millions of new jobs. For too long, Big Oil and other corporate polluters have targeted low income communities and communities of color for dumping their toxic industrial pollution, and shirked their responsibility for clean-up. For too long, Wall Street and big banks have financed destructive environmental practices like mountaintop removal coal mining.
“Across Missouri, the Sierra Club Missouri Chapter is working to hold corporate polluters accountable for polluting our air, land and water, hurting our health, subverting our democracy, and strangling our economy.
“Investment in clean energy can create millions of good jobs and save working families money on healthcare. We must work together to expand economic opportunity and equality by moving America beyond dirty, dangerous coal and oil.
“The Sierra Club Missouri Chapter also supports peaceful protest and demonstration as among the highest forms of citizen engagement in our democracy – it is our right.
“We stand with the Occupy Wall Street movement against corporate greed and for a more equitable, clean and healthy America.”