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Rev. Billy: Stop ‘Lining Up For Cupcakes’ and ‘Switch Allegiance to the Earth’

The new book from Reverend Billy (Image courtesy of Rev. Billy)

The new book from Reverend Billy (Image courtesy of Rev. Billy)

“Have you been to one of our shows lately?” Reverend Billy asked me. The answer was– no, I have not. Not ever. In my chat with the eco-activist, author, and radical preacher who “prays to life on earth,” I was curious to know what in heaven’s name a Reverend was doing on the calendar at a Bushwick DIY venue like Market Hotel. But Billy’s explanation brought everything together for me. “They’re a little like mosh pits,” he explained. “It’s a punk gospel for life. It’s a laboratory for getting going again.”

A teaser like that is hard to turn your back on, and so is the Reverend’s larger environmental message: consumerism and “nation-state allegiances” stand in the way of our relationship with the Earth. As the effects of climate change become increasingly apparent, there’s a new kind of urgency to changing our ways, and Reverend Billy believes that calls for physical, direct action are the only way to foment radical change. But when he’s not putting his body on the line to preach against the further slaughter of the earth, the Reverend is hosting shows like the one happening this weekend at the Market Hotel. “I’m trying to preach here,” he said, exasperated. “And along with the choir, we’re trying to inspire activism in our audience.”

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De Blasio Wants Air Pollution Code to Regulate Fireplaces and Food Trucks

(Photo: Mary Reinholz)

(Photo: Mary Reinholz)

Wearing a green tie and flanked by New York City’s green mascot, Birdie, Mayor Bill De Blasio kicked off New York City’s 44th annual Earth Day in Union Square today by announcing plans to update and strengthen the city’s air pollution control code. “We’re going to work with our friends, the city council, to make the law stronger,” he said. “It is the best tool we have to insure that every possible form of pollution in the air is addressed and addressed stringently.”
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