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#SanctuaryCampus: To Counter Trump, We Will Stand Together

For the millions of people that are vulnerable to the destruction of our planet, there are also millions today facing fear, persecution, and hate. The urgency to act is now.

Students and youth come together for 'Our Generation, Our Choice.' (Photo: Courtesy of

In the wake of a Trump Presidency, you, like me and all the other climate activists out there might be feeling overwhelmed, saddened, and outraged. Many of the hard fought victories over the last 8-10 years are now showing up on the short list of wreckage that is this administration's approach to climate.

From Keystone XL to the operating budget of the EPA, it seems nothing will go unscathed. Many of those attempts will be made swiftly—in the first 100 days following the inauguration. The Trump Presidency is hell bent on bringing hell into the present and destroying environmental protection, but the planet is not the only vulnerable entity in the purview of the Trump administration.

People need protecting. Immigrants, communities of color, our muslim brothers and sisters—they need us now more than ever. The climate movement is built on stopping the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time, and therefore we may initially overlook or see ourselves outside of the racist, hate-filled policies of the Trump administration. Fighting climate change is inherently an issue of justice, and it is therefore our duty to fight for and protect safe spaces for those most impacted.

That is why, when we heard the call to mobilize for "Sanctuary Campuses" a few weeks ago, well over 50 campuses, and hundreds of young climate activists with the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement mobilized with our brothers and sisters in the Cosecha Movement calling for our institutions to become Sanctuary Campuses.  Over 100 universities participated in full.

#SanctuaryCampus: Led by "Students, faculty, staff, and workers are organizing to make their campus a #SanctuaryCampus. The movement is about claiming spaces of resistance and protection for our country's most vulnerable people—including undocumented immigrants, Muslims, black people, and queer folks."

There are so many things as a movement we will do and feel called to do, but let us remember why we fight—because this world is beautiful and so are the humans in it. For the millions of people that are vulnerable to the destruction of our planet, there are also millions today facing fear, persecution, and hate. The urgency to act is now. The necessity is protection. Our institutions, in their role as apart of civil society, must stand on the right side of history by protecting people now, and protecting our futures.

We can resist; we don’t need to normalize hate; we can and must reshape our society from within and outside of institutions. We, the people, make up those institutions and we can make them work for us—for all of us.  

This will continue to be our duty, and the Fossil Fuel Divestment movement will continue to fight proactively and in solidarity to keep our country working equitably for all people. Movements are more important now than ever. The fight for #SanctuaryCampus and divesting from fossil fuels are just the beginning.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.

Kate McChesney

Kate McChesney is the US Divestment Campaign Manager for Follow her on Twitter: @mc_chesney

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