March 16, 2012

We are Raising Money Now.

We are Raising Money Now.

Put your activist dollars here.
We are happy to announce we have received a matching grant of $50,000. The donation will take place in $10,000 steps. The first $10,000 raised will be answered by a matching $10,000 check from the donor and then we'll begin again. Our nonprofit’s annual budget is about $150,000 so, with your help,  this could get us very close to the Promised Land.  Amen? Some of you love our work and are ready to put your check in the plate. The giving is easy right here.  We hope you join our community. Maybe some of  you need a little more information.

What are we?
We are a community of activists and artists working in New York City. We volunteer our presence at rallies, parades, marches, conferences and performances.  We have collaborated on creative campaigns with hundreds of community groups ( and a few NGO’S and Unions)  over the past decade, defending a neighborhood shop, a community garden, a redwood forest, a historic park.  Our Devil for years was the Wall Street-financed super mall, the mono-culture. Now we are focused on the Big Banks and their role in so many of the crises bedeviling us.

We are innovators in the political activist world.  In the late 90's, we began combining the music of the Civil Rights Movement with the humor and dramatic daring of the Gender Rights Movement.  After 9/11, we explored the power of real community and became a kind of post-religious church, a secular source of fellowship. We confront the Christ Cowboys of the Right and Lifestyle Liberals of the Consumerized Left in almost equal measure.

Always key to our work - for 15 years before Occupy- has been the reclamation of public space. We lead with moving gospel songs, hilarious actions, and a willingness to face arrest. We have made media all along, songs, videos, and books. A quick search on Youtube will serve thousands of examples of our work.
 

Why give your activist dollar here?
We are aware that the traditional environmental movement has mostly run out of momentum and is unable to fire up change.  Large, once trusted NGO’s have lately accepted vast sums from corporations like British Petroleum, Chesapeake Energy, and Chevron, destroying their own credibility and failing to deliver at the same time.  Amazingly, the number of people who believe in human caused climate change actually dropped last year.
 

We know that a certain degree of success and efficacy matter to you, so here are some examples of our impact. How can a fake preacher and a hot gospel choir make a difference?

  • Coffee farmers in Ethiopia are receiving more money per pound at market.
  • Victoria’s Secret/Limited Brands have limited their use of virgin Boreal timber for catalogs.
  • JP Morgan Chase has pulled major financing of Mountain Top Removal.
  • Coney Island is not yet a shopping mall.
  • The Union Square Pavilion still doesn’t have a restaurant.

And there is another way we are effective and it might be the most important: We inspire activism.

Put Your Dollars to work here
Evidence of just how threatening we are to the 1% can be seen not just in the increase in extra legal arrests and sophisticated hacks of our websites, but in the letters we get every day from people moving their money out of Bank of America or UBS.  Negotiators from Rainforest Action Network shared with us that JP Morgan Chase executives demanded that they "get Reverend Billy out of our lobbies!"

We contact 50,000 people each week and have a robust presence in social forums. Our last tour to Europe generated 4.5 million shares, likes and impressions on the internet.
 
Our expenses are not surprising: Production costs like musicians, videographers, recording, editing, rehearsal, office and theatre rents, marketing and administrative support,  some legal fees, and touring costs like recent visits to Occupy Communities (Zurich to Toronto to Oakland).
 

We want to forge a connection between social justice and earth justice, and especially bring the issues of the earth's great emergency to our friends in the Occupy movement.  We are finding creative ways to join the fraudulent foreclosures by big banks to their investments in mountaintop removal, tar sands and hydro-fracking.

Help us get it done now.