"Earth Matters" Planning Week of Action

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cmadigan@benningtonbanner.com

MANCHESTER — In a region lauded for its natural beauty, it's no surprise that locals are passionate about fighting for our environment.

Earth Matters, a chapter of the activist group MoveOn Manchester, is planning a "Week of Climate Action," leading up to the People's Climate March on Washington on Saturday, April 29.

The newly formed group works to support environmental sustainability and combat climate change. Earth Matters recently became a chapter of the environmental group 350.org.

"I wanted to address climate change and the environment, and when we formed Earth Matters through MoveOn we had all sorts of people interested in joining us," said Anne D'Olivio, the head of Earth Matters. "We have a core group of about fifteen members, but there are about forty people involved overall."

The series of events begins on Friday, April 21, when Earth Matters will be holding a rally in front of TD Bank on Bonnet Street in Manchester from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

"Every other week we rally outside of TD Bank to urge people to close their accounts," said D'Olivio. "TD Bank is supporting the Dakota Access Pipeline as well as the Keystone XL pipeline, and we feel very strongly that those projects should not go ahead."

There will be another protest held at the main roundabout in Manchester on Saturday from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. and participants are encouraged to attend the Pawlet Energy Fair taking place that same day from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.. At 7 p.m. Saturday the film "Before the Flood" will be showing at the Oldcastle Theater in Bennington.

On Sunday, April 23, there will be a kids booth at the Dorset Farmers Market from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., with a blessing of solar panels at the Dorset church happening concurrently. The day will conclude at the Wilburton Inn with a reading of the play "Enemy of the People," performed by the Manchester Players, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and a live stream of Bernie Sanders' "Start of the Revolution" from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. At 7 p.m. Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman will be holding a public discussion on the state of progressive politics in Vermont, also at the Wilburton Inn.

The events will continue into the week, with a volunteer event at Earth Sky time Farm from 2pm to 7pm on Monday and a screening of "This Changes Everything" at Burr and Burton Academy that same day.

On Friday, April 28, a bus to Washington DC will depart from the Town Hall parking lot in Manchester, with People's Marches taking place in both Washington, DC and Montpelier on Saturday, April 29.

"We're trying to take any action we can to mitigate climate change," said D'Olivio. "We're working on the local, national, and international levels."

For additional questions about Earth Matters, contact Anne D'Olivo at dolivoanne@gmail.com.

Reach Cherise Madigan at 802-490-6471.

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