You could’ve seen the it halfway down Woodward Avenue, Detroit’s largest road. It read “We refuse to drive the cars driving global warming.” A blue weather balloon held the message up for everybody see, at the first day of the 2008 North American International Auto Show, here in my home city. Over fifty students from across Michigan came together to say it loud and proud: We won’t stand for anything less than the most ultra-efficient, oil free, zero emission cars, and we want to see a shift now!
I’ve been at the auto show every year for the past three years, and I’ve never seen an action this successful and inspiring. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen youth step it up like this in Detroit, let alone at the auto show, the biggest event hosted by the virtual “hand that feeds” in this area.
The action’s success proved to me something that I’ve been feeling and talking about for months now. There is an energy growing in the Wolverine State that is electrifying the students and youth here and it’s putting us into motion in a way that hasn’t been seen in decades! Students in this state aren’t only demanding alternatives to gas guzzlers–our state is in a deep recession, facing unprecedented job loss and an uncertain future to say the least. We know that a green shift is the only way out of a bleak future for ourselves and for our communities, let alone the planet.
We’re organizing and building power here more and more every day, and we’re making our message loud and clear. We’re not going to stand for business as usual, and we’re not going to settle for marginalization. We want a clean and green future that guarantees a place for everybody.
We’re a new generation rising up in Michigan and we’re being heard!