Principles

We’re defending our communities and our future against the oil & gas industry, including the largest fossil fuel refinery on the East Coast. We oppose Philadelphia becoming a toxic fossil fuel “energy hub.” We envision an economy that serves people and planet - with green jobs, clean energy, and healthy communities. 

Our campaign upholds the following principles:

We uphold the principles of environmental justice.  Pollution and climate change affect everyone, but not equally. Communities of color, especially Black communities, working class and low-income folks, and women bear disproportionate impact from fossil fuel infrastructure and climate change. Concentrating toxins in communities of color is environmental racism. We develop leadership of those most impacted because we know this will lead to real solutions that serve everyone. We work to dismantle systems of racism, sexism, and inequality - the roots of environmental injustice.

We focus on building people power. History shows when movements gain enough active members and public support, government officials have no choice but to follow. We take action to bring more people into our movement and develop our leadership. We don’t have external representatives or advocates; we speak for ourselves. We build people power to foster communities of mutuality, respect, and democracy

We work together in circles. No one person can do it by themselves: we need other people to support each other, take action, and build leadership. That’s why we work in small groups called Action Circles - so everyone has a home, a team that has their back, and a role to play in this movement.

We take care of ourselves and each other. We believe that all people deserve love, joy, and rest. Each person’s spiritual and personal well-being is integral to the vitality of our movement.

We show up for others. We uphold a spirit of collaboration and cooperation within our campaign and across other movements for justice. We stand with other movements, such as those working for racial, economic, and gender justice. We are building a world for the liberation of all people.

See a need, Fill a need. We are all the leaders of this movement: when a need emerges, we all have the power and tools to meet it. If three or more of us are convinced that an action will serve the goals of the movement and uphold these principles, we proceed without invitation or approval.

We keep the pressure on by using nonviolent direct action. We take bold, risky and truthful action to spread our message and put our opponents in a dilemma. We pledge not to cause harm to other people, knowing this is the only way to win the hearts and minds of our fellow Philadelphians.

We focus on what unites us, and respect our differences. We welcome everyone from different classes, races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, and organizational affiliations. Diversity makes us stronger. When we struggle together, heal, and learn from each other, we become more powerful.

We are a movement of volunteers. ​We do not accept money from sources seeking to influence Philly Thrive, and stipends are used exclusively to increase volunteers’ capacity to meet the needs of the movement at a given time. We recognize and applaud the many different forms of labor and risk our movement demands.

We do not accept false solutions. We will not stop struggling until we win the Right to Breathe. We will not accept half solutions, including transitions to natural gas or ones that leave out workers. We envision a just transition away from all fossil fuels that provides livelihoods for working families. We stand in solidarity with fossil fuel workers and demand a just transition with paths to sustainable, living wage jobs. We uplift community solutions, honoring the ways Philadelphians are already rebuilding just systems of food, transportation, energy, health and care.

 


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