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Activism 101 from Ed Marston
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Activism 101 from Ed Marston

Activism 101 from Ed Marston

Today we met with Ed Marston, former editor of High Country News (HCN) and current President of the board for Solar Energy International (SEI).  Ed took us out of town to a place below the Ragged Mountains where we could look over Bill Koch’s ranch (of the famous, wealthy Koch brothers) and his private western town.  Ed successful led an activism effort to halt a legislative bill that would have allowed Bill Koch to close a public access road and privatize 1840 acres of current public BLM land in exchange for land elsewhere.   You can read about it in the Sept 10, 2012 New Yorker.

Later Ed took us on tours of SEI and HCN, where we found out not only about these organizations but how one might get an internship there.

What all of us found inspiring and amazing was how much Ed (who is in his seventies) and the rest of us (mostly teenagers) have in common.  Nobody wanted to stop talking.  To quote one participant, “Meeting Ed helped me to realize that I often don’t reach out to older people because I assume they won’t understand me or have different politics than I do, but today opened my eyes to how many inspiring resources, options and people are out there in the world.”  Somebody else said, “It was cool to realize that we younger people have the opportunity to join and contribute to movements that have been ongoing for a long time, and that we can learn a lot from older generations about how to best contribute to these movements.”

Ed Marston wrote follow up e-mails in which he said, “I was amazed at how this group of high school graduates, home-schooled and unschooled students from around the country got it. They understood the Koch fight, and they were strongly attracted to SEI and HCN. What a wonderful group.” and “Despite myself, sometimes I get hopeful about the future. Meeting your people was one of those times.”

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