I attended the Activist Panal and discussion session on Friday, with Katherine, John Wade and John Chelen.  I thought it was extremely interesting how they all had totally different approaches towards environmental activism.  It really struck me when a guy from the audience raised his hand and asked John Chelen, “how do I get the “truth” out about an issue?”  Mr. Chelen said advertising; he replied, “Put kids on the posters”, “show the sick people”.  It’s sad to think what one has to do in order to get the truth out about a problem or company who is destroying our environment. I enjoyed listening to Mr. Chelen because he was so knowledgeable.

Next, was John Wade, who wanted to stop suburban sprawl in richmond, where Short Pump was being built.  The two links below are articles from after his trials in court.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1116370/posts

The thing that got me about this article was when the judge said, “this case troubled him. He said Linas, from a comfortable middle-class background in suburban Richmond, had “probably never missed a meal … had no reason to be angry at the world.”

What does that have to do with anything? I realize that what they did is illegal and I don’t necessary agree with it, but I just didn’t like that response from the judge.  They were trying to help the world!

http://jsnotes.com/2008/02/01/environmental-film-festival-organized-by-former-eco-terrorist/

Wow! I was shocked by this one!  This article was really trying to make John Wade “look” bad.  The title, “Environmental Film Festival Organized By Former Eco-Terrorist”, seems awfully harsh to me.  Too bad, John wasn’t even there when his friends tried to blow up a crane at the Short Pump Shopping Center.

Like I said before, I don’t necessary agree with vanalizing or using other, similar methods of activisim, but it really does get the point across. Mr. Wade had one thing in mind and that was saving the environment and he wasn’t going to let anything get in his way.  I admire him and anyone else who uses this method of activism because they are giving up alot for the environment.  He was in prison for three years and knew going into it, that he could be put in prison.  As for John, all you have to do is type in his name in google and not all of those articles are “nice”.  He really did sacrifice alot for the environment. When asked if he would change anything if he could go back he said that he would work alone and he wishes he would have gotten a few more “punches” in before he got caught.  Mr. Wade is a really interesting guy and I really enjoyed listening to him!

Katherine uses methods such as lobbying and protests to get issues across to leaders and the general public.  It was nice to hear someone, close to our age, who has always been really involved and making a difference. 

It was really interesting to watch all three guest listen and interact with each other and how they all had respect for the others’ ideas.  John Chelen even said he has tremedous respect for John Wade and the things he does.  It’s nice to know that so many people are fighting for our environment!