June 24, 2010
Offshore Drilling Foes to Stage Global Demonstrations
By ANNE C. MULKERN of Greenwire
Tar balls started washing up on the sand this week in Seaside, Fla., a wealthy hamlet between Pensacola and Panama City where Dave Rauschkolb owns three waterfront restaurants and near where he lives, fishes and surfs.
With petroleum from the BP PLC oil spill still flowing, Rauschkolb fears his businesses might not make enough money this summer to stay open through the winter. When he looks at fellow beach-area merchants, he sees the same concerns.
He blames offshore oil drilling and will voice his concerns Saturday in what he hopes will be a kind of global statement.
Rauschkolb, 48, organized an effort dubbed "Hands Across the Sand." Activists in locations around the world plan to join hands and form human chains to symbolize barricades against oil spills and more oil drilling.
"It's an opportunity for individuals and organizations and people of all walks of life to draw a line in the sand and say no" to more offshore oil drilling, Rauschkolb said. "Now is the time to start taking control of our energy future and not leaving it to the oil industry to decide it for us."
As of this morning, supporters had organized 742 events in places that include Australia, India, South Africa, Japan, South Korea, Greenland, Brazil, several spots in Europe and 678 places in the United States. Many events are on beaches.
The hand-holding will start at noon local times, moving around the world "in a wave" that starts in New Zealand and ends in Kauai, Hawaii, Rauschkolb said. In Washington, D.C., people will gather on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.
Hands Across the Sand happened once before on a smaller scale.
Last October, after Florida's House of Representatives voted to lift the ban on near-shore drilling, Rauschkolb at one of his restaurants hosted an event for a Florida House candidate opposed to near-shore drilling. At that event, Rauschkolb gave a speech in which he first said opponents needed "to draw a line in the sand." He liked the sound of it and created a website.
The cause drew enough supporters that on Feb. 13 more than 10,000 people joined hands on beaches from Jacksonville to Miami and Pensacola to Key West, opposing opening up the coastal area to drilling, Rauschkolb said.
Not long after, Rauschkolb heard from the Sierra Club in Virginia, which wanted to hold a similar event there. Then, on April 20, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico.
Up late one night feeding his baby daughter, Rauschkolb said, he thought up the idea for a national Hands Across the Sand event. He called the Sierra Club, asked for help, and flew to Washington, D.C., to pitch the idea to other environmental organizations. They decided on June 26, the date that already had been picked for the Virginia-based event.
Within the last two weeks, Rauschkolb said, he started receiving e-mails from people in other countries, and the effort morphed into a global event. He has been alerting people through a website he created, as well as Twitter and Facebook, where his page has more than 26,000 "fans."
"More drilling is being proposed all along our coastlines," Rauschkolb said. "Myself and a whole lot of other people disagree with that."
Hands joined earlier
The event's name echoes the 1986 effort "Hands Across America." In that event, people in locations across the country held hands to raise money for charities working on hunger and homelessness. There were disagreements about how many people actually attended, although they included such high-profile figures as then-President Reagan and House Speaker Tip O'Neill (D-Mass.). In Arkansas, then-Gov. Bill Clinton (D) joined in.
The similar name was accidental, Rauschkolb said. When he put the name "Hands Across the Sand" into a Google search last year to see whether it was in use, he said that he was disappointed to see it was not entirely original.
He has since heard from the creator of Hands Across America, Ken Kragen. Rauschkolb said Kragen offered kudos for the new event.
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Senior Field Organizing Manager/ FL & PR
111 Second Avenue, Suite 1001
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
There are now 742 Hands Across the Sand events organized in all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico and 31 countries outside of the U.S.
Press coverage of the Hands Across the Sand worldwide mobilization is starting to grow. Here are links to the last 24 hours of clips found using the Google news search engine. Note that the first story listed ran live today on CNN American Morning and featured interviews with HANDS founder Dave Rauschkolb and Sierra Club president Michael Brune.
Gut Check: Will BP spill help diminish our reliance on oil? CNN (blog) - Bob Ruff, Carol Costello - 3 hours ago
(CNN) – Americans have experienced their share of large scale environmental disasters. A few stand out: Today
Group to join hands against offshore drilling
The Daily News of Newburyport - Alex Marciello - 5 hours ago
SALISBURY — Salisbury Beach State Reservation is one of many beaches in the state that will host Hands Across the Sand, ...Hands Across the Sand event to run at Makena
Global Surf News - 6 hours ago
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 23 June, 2010 : - - Hands Across the Sand is a movement made of people of all walks of life and crosses political ...Hands Across the Sand
Westside Today - Kristy Pyke - 7 hours ago
Concerned Citizens Join Hands to Say NO to Offshore Oil Drilling and YES to Clean Energy. By Kristy Pyke Hundreds of Southern Californians will link hands ...Oil-drilling protest planned at local beaches
Seacoastonline.com - Charles McMahon - 7 hours ago
RYE — Hundreds of local hands will come together this weekend in a unified front against off-shore oil drilling. ...Hands Across Sand against offshore oil on Saturday
TCPalm - Justin Beard - 8 hours ago
If you oppose offshore oil and natural gas drilling, your support is needed during Saturday's Hands Across The Sand event at Stuart Beach. ...Hands Across the Sand is Saturday
St. Augustine Record - 9 hours ago
Citizens are joining hands at various beach locations Saturday to express their concern about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. ...On the Radar: take a stand against offshore drilling at Hands Across the Sand
Creative Loafing Tampa (blog) - 9 hours agoWelcome to On the Radar, where we preview upcoming events to mark your calendars for. Take a stand for our coasts — don't let another oil spill disaster ...Beach lovers unite for Hands Across the Sand event
Agoura Hills Acorn - Stephen Dorman - 10 hours ago
Surfers and bodyboarders, longboarders and shortboarders, kayakers, volleyball players, horseshoe throwers, ...Oil drilling protests set for Saturday across South Florida
Sun-Sentinel - David Fleshler - 11 hours ago
At noon Saturday, thousands of people will join hands on beaches in Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, New York, ...Group joins hands to protest offshore drilling
WMBF - 11 hours ago
HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - On Saturday people will be joining hands on beaches across the nation to protest offshore drilling. The event is called "Hands ...Drilling protest grows in urgency
Tampabay.com - Terri Bryce Reeves - 12 hours ago
Like a giant protective boom snaking its way along America's coastlines, people will join hands at noon Saturday...Oil drilling protest set for Saturday at Bellingham park
Bellingham Herald - Isabelle Dills - 13 hours ago
BELLINGHAM - Boulevard Park may be especially busy Saturday, June 26, as the waterfront park has been chosen a site for a protest against offshore oil ...Drilling opponents protest at Pine Island
Tampabay.com - Beth N. Gray - 14 hours ago
PINE ISLAND — All hands, literally, are invited to Alfred McKethan Park at 11 am Saturday to show solidarity against ...'Hands Across The Sand' event for clean energy
Big Island Weekly - Roger Harris, Diane Koerner - 15 hours ago
By Roger Harris & Diane Koerner Can we in Hawaii help determine how our country responds to the Gulf Coast oil disaster? How can we encourage our government ...People worldwide to join Florida activists' cause in Saturday's 'Hands Across ...
Palm Beach Post - Gary Coronado - 15 hours ago
Mimi Teel (left), Cyrus Toney (center) and others hold hands during the Hands Across the Sand protest against oil drilling in Florida waters at the beach in ...Want to Do Something About the Gulf Disaster? Join Hands
AlterNet (blog) - Tara Lohan - 15 hours ago
Wishing you could do something, anything, about this disaster in the Gulf? Here's an idea: Participate in Hands Across the Sand this Saturday. ...Offshore drilling opponents to gather at TradeWinds
Bizjournals.com - 15 hours ago
People will join hands on St. Pete Beach June 26 in opposition of offshore drilling and support of state and federal renewable energy policies. ...700 "Hands Across the Sand" Events Opposing Offshore Drilling, Supporting ...
Common Dreams (press release) - 15 hours ago
WHERE: 700 events nationwide and worldwide. NOTE: A complete list of events, all of which begin at 11 am local time this Saturday, ...Hands Across the Sand event promotes coast protection
StarNewsOnline.com - Shannan Bowen - 17 hours ago
With their hands stretched to grasp the ones of those beside them, hundreds of people are expected to line the coast in Wrightsville Beach, ...Hands Across the Sand event to unite locals against offshore drilling
San Diego News Room - Anthony Gentile - 18 hours ago
With global thoughts on the recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, local residents are being asked ...Hands Across the Sand event Saturday seeks to spread message about clean energy
TCPalm - R.J. Harrington - 19 hours ago
The oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico has re-energized the Hands Across the Sand movement, which is planning large demonstrations on Florida ...BP Oil Spill Keeps on Gushing Problems
Everyday Christian (blog) - Gina Burgess - 20 hours ago
I have a huge question in my mind. Have people suddenly become really stupid? This oil spill in the Gulf is the worst disaster I have ever seen. ...Hands Across the Sand stands against coastal oil drilling
StarNewsOnline.com (blog) - Stacie Greene Hidek - 22 hours ago
Looking for a way to express your feelings about the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico and its effects on the coastal environment? ...A line in the sand against BP
27east.com - Beth Young - Jun 23, 2010
It's easy for the average person to feel inconsequential in the face of the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but members of the ...
Senior Field Organizing Manager/ FL & PR
111 Second Avenue, Suite 1001
St. Petersburg, FL 33701