March for Clean Energy draws a wet crowd, sings sing-alongs



Following last night’s New Orleans premiere of Fuel at the Theaters at Canal Place, director Josh Tickell, along with Peter Fonda, Amy Smart and Jason Mraz — who led the crowd in a 10-minute sing-along of John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance,” replacing “peace” with “green” — marched around Jackson Square, beginning at Washington Artillery Park, with Mraz at the helm. Organizers handed out handmade placards, some reading "Loisiana [sic, see photo below] Clean Energy Meca [again, see photo]" or promoting algae as fuel. Despite the rain, the crowd circled the square and passed the amphitheater, where a school group waited in the protesters’ place. (Several excited teenage girls held out their cameras to film Mraz.) The group stopped at Café Du Monde where the Fuel bus waited.

" width=

One demonstrator, Kimberly Wolf, who has a background in environmental science, waited in the rain with several other demonstrators before the crowds gathered around the Fuel bus. Her posters read “No more Corexit” and “Put sunshine and people to work.”

“Since Day Two of this disaster I knew it was going to be a disaster, so I became an activist, instead of an environmentalist,” she laughs. “Every time I hear about any protest or any rally or any event that’s meant for information, positive information, necessary information, I’m there. Doesn’t matter whether it’s raining.

“We have urgent needs we need to yell, scream and holler about — immediate needs and long term needs,” she says.

Enter the Fuel folks — riding the algae-powered bus (that is, oil refined from algae), with Tickell demanding climate change legislation and support for alternative energies, ensuring, as Mraz says, the BP oil disaster “doesn’t happen again.” The group established a "Oil Cleanup Alliance," a collective of nonprofits, companies and others to press for alternative energies and solutions.
“There are solutions coming out of the ass,” Mraz says.

The event mirrored last month's Murdered Gulf protest, which drew several hundred at the same site — but it was noticeably more lightweight and less agressive and drew a much different and smaller crowd.

Fuel explores the history of the world’s dependence on oil and Tickell’s efforts to introduce its alternatives. It won the 2008 Sundance Film Festival audience award.

" width=

Add a comment