Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson, who appears to be making rapid gains against President Joe Biden in the months leading up to the 2024 election, will be joined by environmental hero Steven Donziger for an event on Saturday, April 22, 2023 at 03:00 PM
Donziger and Williamson are set to appear at Ideal Glass Studios, an artist-run Film & TV Studio in New York City at 9 W 8th St, New York, NY 10011, which was founded by Willard Morgan, a performance artist and filmmaker, who is the son of opera singer Sylvia Side.
“I’ll be speaking on Earth Day live in New York and via live stream,” said Williamson, in a message posted on Twitter. Anyone who wants to attend should register for free tickets.
Artwork for the event was created by American contemporary, pop-artist, graphic designer, and director Kii Arens.
Donziger, the environmental and human rights lawyer who won a $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron over oil dumped in Indigenous lands in the Amazon rainforest, is a genuine American hero who has stood up to some of the most powerful entities on the planet without flinching.
In retaliation for its legal defeat, Chevron filed charges against the lawyer, who was prosecuted by private attorneys hired by the oil company after Justice Department officials declined a case for contempt charges.
The Harvard Law School graduate received a six-month jail sentence for misdemeanor contempt in addition to more than 900 days of house arrest, which was five times longer than the maximum penalty for the charges he was facing.
Donziger was disbarred, convicted, and his case went all the way to the US Supreme Court in a case that has broad implications for civil rights, as it now allows private corporations to prosecute critics who challenge them.
The court-appointed lawyers who prosecuted Donziger acted without supervision from the Department of Justice or other executive branch officers, which violates the principles of separation of powers, but the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 7-2 verdict that let his unjust treatment stand.
Giving judges the power to initiate prosecutions without the executive branch overseeing them undermines the constitutional principle that the entire ‘executive power’ belongs to the President alone.
Donziger was released a year ago, after a combined 993 days of house arrest plus 45 days in prison – a detainment that was decried by human rights campaigners, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. With all that behind him, Donziger is still fighting for justice and to make Chevron pay.
“Those, like environmental lawyer Steven Donziger, who fight the corporate control of our society on behalf of the vulnerable find the institutions of power unite to crucify them,” said Chris Hedges, who called the persecution of Donziger “a grim illustration of what happens when we confront the real centers of power.”.
President Joe Biden ignored calls to pardon Donziger or have the Department of Justice fight against corporate-sponsored prosecutions, outraged environmentalists by giving a green light to the massively destructive Willow project, prioritizing oil industry profits over the future of polar bears and other Arctic wildlife.
The Biden administration also approved four times as many oil and gas leases in its first two years as the Trump White House did in four years and it has taken a decidedly incremental approach to what leading scientists have called a climate emergency, so it is not unusual to expect environmentalists to line up behind Williamson.
Still the only declared candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, Williamson is now at 364,300 followers on TikTok. She has 830, 000 Facebook and 2.7 million followers on Twitter.
“Our biggest crisis regarding the climate emergency is humanity’s massive state of denial that it exists on the scale it does,” said Williamson, who has detailed plans for addressing the global emergency. “Yet willingness to recognize the depth of the problem is a prerequisite to our solving it. It is a psychological and moral challenge to face the horror of what stands before us over the next ten years should we not act; yet there – in our standing raw before the truth that it confronts us with – lies our only hope for surviving it.”
“Our environmental crisis is not only climate; it is also water, air, food, and soil,” said Williamson. “Our earth is like a body beginning to experience an all-systems breakdown. The glacial ice melt is so extensive that the sheer weight of melted polar water is changing the shape of the earth’s crust.”
As president, Williamson said she will treat the problem “holistically.”
“Global warming harms the weather patterns which harms agriculture and animals which harms people’s capacity to live in certain areas which harms the city-to-rural ratio which harms social stability which creates a refugee crisis which all together lead toward untold catastrophe. What is imperative is that we awaken now and take immediate, bold steps to change course,” said Williamson.
What is necessary is a full-scale climate emergency mobilization effort, not unlike the kind of effort undertaken by the United States during WW2. Without such an effort, the world will begin to see social collapse and mass starvation unprecedented during our lifetime,” said Williamson. “Climate disruption, if not itself disrupted, is on track to become ‘civilization-threatening.’ Refugee crises, extreme weather events, non-survivable global temperatures making certain places uninhabitable, global food crisis, economic collapse — none of those phrases are hyperbolic. They are warnings.”
Williamson said the United States needs a president who understands that incremental change is insufficient to stave off environmental catastrophe when it comes to the climate crisis.
“The American people must be informed of the severity of the problem, and enrolled in a massive national effort to deal with it,” said Williamson.