Feeling helpless? How you can help people, not polluters during the coronavirus

Feeling helpless? How you can help people, not polluters during the coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has had unprecedented effects on our society. It has called for swift action from our governments, and for us to take on new public health measures to stop the spread of the virus.

Thousands are sick and people are dying. Millions are out of work and wondering how they will feed their families and pay rent. And instead of focusing on providing relief to everyday Americans, the Trump Administration has been working around the clock to give bailouts to dirty, polluting corporations.

Fossil fuels, fracking, coal and the cruise industries didn’t deserve a bailout before — and they certainly don’t need one in the middle of a public health crisis. And while the Republicans and Trump are trying to use coronavirus to prop up polluters, the administration is quietly selling off our lands and waters for drilling. They are hoping we’re all too distracted to notice.

But we see what they’re doing, and we won’t let the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress get away with it.

Friends of the Earth supporters like you are pushing back against these handouts for corporate polluters and fighting to make sure that Congress puts communities first. You enabled our policy analysts to do a deep dive into these proposed bailouts for polluters and examine just how problematic they are. That research convinced Congress to keep handouts for the polluting cruise industry out of the coronavirus aid package. You spoke out against Trump’s shortsighted and dangerous plan to “fill up” the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, keeping our government from forking over billions to buy more oil. None of this would have been possible without you.

Now, under the cloak of coronavirus, the Trump Administration is moving to suspend environmental protections and is still quietly selling off land for drilling. Together, we will flood the EPA with comments opposing the suspension of environmental regulations. As coronavirus continues, we will continue to keep an eye on greedy corporations who want to exploit this public health crisis for their own financial gain. We will hold the Trump Administration and Congress responsible for endangering the public in order to prop up polluting industries. But we cannot do it without you.

While the coronavirus is limiting our ability to gather in person together, it’s not stopping us from fighting for the environment and our communities. We are still working together – be it online – to ensure that people get the relief and aid they need during this crisis. Your support is empowering us to train volunteers on new, creative ways to get involved and fight for people and the planet. We started last week with a virtual meeting on online organizing. Activists who joined that meeting brainstormed tactics to demand that Trump and Congress put people, not corporations, first.

In the coming months, we will host multiple “digital protests” that you can join from anywhere. Your protest can be as simple as sharing a photo and hashtag on social media, watching a live stream of an event, or signing a petition online. Your power is not diminished since we moved online.

These are new and scary times, but there are things you can do to fight for our communities and our environment while also staying safe. We may not be able to take to the streets right now, but our voices are just as powerful. Together, we can still fight to ensure that people — not corporate profits — come first.