A Message From Alexandra…
March 18, 2005
Thank you to all of you who have written letters of support to me. It means so much to hear from you. In this age when we can explore Mars and clone animals, it is so sad to me that we cannot purchase a car that is emission-free. When I see from your emails and posts that I am not alone, I have hope.
Our fight to save the remaining 78 cars is about more than the EV1. It is about the right to clean air. It is about diminishing oil resources and rising gas prices. It is about corporations’ reliance on short term profits instead of long term common sense. It is about the United States government’s refusal to accept the reality of global warming and their willingness to embroil us in energy wars. It is about the power of citizens to effect change.
GM has maintained that they cant afford to manufacture the EV1, but they spent $2.8 billion on advertising in 2004 alone, the largest single advertiser in America. That is 30 times more than they spent in a year developing the EV1. I don’t believe it when they say they cant afford to make the EV1, but many people use that as a viable excuse that something can’t be done. When I was in jail, Collette Divine, who was arrested with me and who is African American, reminded me that one of the rationales for not abandoning slavery was that it would be fatal to the economy. Luckily, some people refused to sit back and accept that reason, and, after many years and a civil war, that institution that was so deeply ingrained in the economic life of America was abolished. Change may be difficult for some, but “it is too expensive” is no excuse to maintain the status quo.
I have always firmly believed in Margaret Mead’s “Never doubt that a small group of committed individuals can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”. I am very proud to have been part of a dedicated group of committed individuals who managed a round-the-clock vigil for 28 days to protect the EV1. Some may say we failed, because on Tuesday, March 15th, nine car transports hauled away the last of the EV1’s to the crushing site in Mesa, Arizona. But I say we won, because we succeeded in a larger way: we focused a world spotlight on this tragic crushing of the cleanest cars in the world, and we raised the question: Why are there no zero emission cars being sold anymore?
Please, speak out on the issues you believe in. Be the change. If not now, then when? If not I, then who?
By October 31, 2005, Alexandra had completed over 100 hours of community service, and the Burbank court took her off probation and expunged the charges from the books. A big thank you to Josh Needle, her lawyer who represented her gratis in this case.
For more photos from the GM vigil, visit the activism gallery.