Speaking Tour Update #1 – the Juliana v. US Hearing & Rally in Portland


What a week it has been! Wow. There are so many updates to give about the UUMFE Justice for Each Generation speaking tour, but the place to begin is with the Juliana v US lawsuit’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals hearing and the support rally that took place on June 4th in Portland, Oregon.

Here is a video about the day from Our Children’s Trust with some photo highlights and a new song by youth plaintiff Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Youth Director of Earth Guardians:

#AllEyesOnJuliana June 4 Hearing from Our Children’s Trust on Vimeo.

Hundreds of local youth came to the court to support the youth plaintiffs and hundreds more people gathered nearby at Directors Park for a rally and viewing of the court hearing livestream. The crowd watched the hearing closely and cheered as the panel of three judges grilled the lawyer representing the US government.

The hearing was covered by the New York Times, Washington Post, and many other news outlets.

After the livestream ended, activists from the climate group 350.org presented a street theater performance as the plaintiffs made their way from the courthouse to Directors Park to join the crowd. The play featured large stick puppets of the 9 most recent presidents of the United States, and went through a history of what they knew about climate change and what they did to expand the fossil fuel industry instead of address climate change. One of the main creators and actors in the play was former UUMFE Board Chair, Barbara Ford, who played the role of “grandma”:

The full livestream of the rally can be viewed on the Our Children’s Trust Facebook page, and Levi Draheim’s speech at the rally begins around minute 44:41.


Pictured: UUMFE Treasurer Ellen McClaran, Office Administrator Sabrina Louise, and Program Director Aly Tharp smiling and hugging together for a photo at the #AllEyesonJuliana rally

UUMFE Treasurer Ellen McClaran, Office Administrator Sabrina Louise, and Program Director Aly Tharp at the #AllEyesonJuliana rally

Many Unitarian Universalists were present from UU congregations in Portland and across the state of Oregon.

UUMFE’s Treasurer Ellen McClaran, Office Administrator Sabrina Louise, and Program Director Aly Tharp were all present (pictured left).

There was also a very visible presence of clergy and faith leaders of many traditions at the rally.

It could take up to six months for the youth to receive a ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. To learn more about the history of the case and to sign up for updates as things progress, connect with Our Children’s Trust.

Read Tour Update #2 – A Whale of a Time in Oregon

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Aly Tharp
Aly Tharp
Aly Tharp is the program director at the UU Ministry for Earth and has been with UUMFE since 2014, initially serving as the network coordinator for the UU Young Adults for Climate Justice. Aly lives in Austin, Texas, and in their free time is an arts-activist and community organizer supporting a local food forest on public parkland and Gulf South climate justice movements.