Awesome Actions (And More Needed!)

Looking for ideas for your direct actions? Climate Reality’s monthly conference call on March 21 with organizers around the country provides a bloom of ideas for spring-boarding into action. Contact info for the groups on the call is at end of blog.

For a map of this week’s actions across the country see:
http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/weekofaction/planned_actions/. Included on the map is Massachusetts’ protest at TransCanada’s office in Westborough, and in New Haven, Connecticut, a protest at TD Bank, one of the biggest financiers of the pipeline. Occupy Pipeline New York has actions on Saturday at TD banks.

TD Protest_Occupy the Pipeline NYC

More ideas (in green) from groups on the call:

SHARE YOUR MATERIALS. Follow http://occupythepipeline.blogspot.com/ They will upload your materials or send to KXLBlockade@gmail.com . Materials for actions against TD Bank: http://bit.ly/TDdivest

SHARE YOUR NEWS  Tar Sands Blockade provides on-line media support for actions across the country.

BE THEATRICAL TO ATTRACT MORE MEDIA ATTENTION. A well-rehearsed funeral procession at the TransCanada office in Massachusetts, with original song by Meladeego, (www.FuneralforOurFuture.wordpress.org) that involved 100 protesters on March 11 could be re-staged at other blockade target sites.

Funeral for our future

Video at www.FuneralforOurFuture.wordpress.com

Greenpeace and NCWARN in North Carolina issued a call to “Get Out Your Shoes” for a campaign aimed at Duke Energy to “Walk In Our Shoes”. The campaign against inequitable serial rate hikes by Duke Energy in North Carolina also was a call for people to think of the climate impacts and to walk on a renewable path. Shoes were donated to a non-profit. The actions were followed by a sticker campaign “Give the rate hike a boot!”.

At an anti-fracking protest at a land auction by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, people showed up in haz mat uniforms. Puppets work too, such as the ostrich puppet that buries its head in the sand, and a polar bear with a pre-purchased ticket entering a corporate fund-raising event.

INCLUDE A CULTURAL COMPONENT TO ACTIONS.     Invite local groups to perform such as the Raging Grannies singing parodies of familiar songs; dancers; and bands.

TARGET THE FUNDING STREAMS.      Tar Sands Blockade.org’s corporate action strategy targets the funding streams that bank-roll or profit from toxic projects. The TD Bank is the site of several protests, e.g., Montpelier, VT. In Seattle, “Stop Tar Sands Profiteers Week of Action” continues strong with over 40 rallying at a pipeline company Michels Construction office outside Seattle.

SHOW UP AT PUBLIC MEETINGS AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF AVENUES FOR COMMENT.    Delaware Riverkeeper Network staged a People’s Hearing when they were silenced during a Delaware River Basin Commission meeting. Their campaign against fracking wants the Commission to look at the cumulative effects of proposed pipelines across the river basin, not one by one. Although the DRBC stopped gas drilling in the basin, pipelines are starting to cut across the basin carrying gas from other states. Riverkeepers had followed the public process earlier by attending hearings and submitting comments, to no effect. With warning, they attended the Commission meeting on March 6 and took over the meeting in order to present testimony that the regulations aren’t working sufficiently and the Commission continues “to sit on its hands and let FERC do the regulatory process.” Power already exists in the DRBC compact to make regulations. People (120+) stood up to give public testimonies from their seats; when the Commissioner called a recess in the back room, the protesters chanted and continued the meeting for 2 hours. They presented a citizen resolution for a vote, but were denied. Although not successful in bringing a vote against pipelines, the action helped with building their organization and increasing dialogue. The Riverkeepers had laid the groundwork through public comment.

SHOW OFF SUSTAINABILITY IN YOUR TOWN.      The Berkeley Climate Action Coalition organized a Sustainability Walk and Neighborhood Asset Mapping Event by inviting the public on a walking tour of locally sustainable businesses and organizations.

EXPAND ON EARLIER ACTIONS.     When 26 people handcuffed themselves together at the TransCanada office in Westborough MA earlier this month they were following on the heels of 8 students that chained themselves together inside the office in January. More than 75 supporters showed up as well. Within two weeks of the March action, another demo occurred at same location.

GET SUPPORT AND CARE FOR YOURSELF.   Have you experienced organizer fatigue? Standing up to big oil can be exhausting. Some activists in Texas are facing a year in prison right now. Others have spent several weeks at a time. We have to have support and self-care to keep it up.

To hear the recording of the full call: https://www.freeconferencecallhd.com/playback.html?n=81941444-17-65-67-17-65-67-17-65-678-17-65-6732-17-65-67765174820;0OTMzNDY4MDI=1
Presenters:
Tar Sands Blockade – Ethan Nuss. http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/weekofaction/
Funeral for our Future – Adam Greenberg  http://www.funeralforourfuture.wordpress.com/
Delaware Riverkeeper Network – Faith Zerbe http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/
The Berkeley Climate Action Coalition –Marna Schwartz http://www.ecologycenter.org/climatecoalition/
NCWARN – Connie Leeper http://www.ncwarn.org/
The Center for Biological Diversity – Rose Braz  http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/

Quick Update on Westborough Eight

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The Keystone XL protesters who used chains and glue to bind themselves together in TransCanada’s Westborough, MA office have all been processed. They are, left to right, Ben Thompson, 22, a PhD student studying Mathematics at Boston University, Dorian Williams, 21, an Anthropology major at Brandeis University, Shea Riester, 22, a recent graduate of  Brandeis University and a student of social movements, Devyn Powell, 20, and International Relations and Environmental Studies major at Tufts University, Emily Edgerly, 20, an Environmental Studies major at Tufts University, Lisa Purdy, 20, an Environmental Studies major at Brandeis University, Alli Welton, 20, a History of Science major at Harvard University, and Ben Trolio an Environmental Conservation Studies major at the University of New Hampshire.

To understand their reasons for doing this, please see their blog and bios.

Most, if not all, are members of Students for a Just and Stable Future (SJSF). (Some have also been active in CASEJ) Around the time of their release SJSF tweeted the following:

“The costs of action are far less than the costs of inaction.” The hope of these youth is to inspire you to fight w/ @350Mass@KXLBlockade

Later followed by:

Wanna hang out with these kids? @350Mass TOMORROW @ First Church Cambridge 11 Garden St Cambridge, MA [ 6 – 7pm potluck, 7 – 9pm meeting ]

This and other actions around the country kicked off an anticipated series of protests against Keystone XL and tarsands that will span the next several days. Now, what will it take for the present leaders to heed the message of the coming generation?

~ Nuevaspora

8 Youth Activists Oppose Keystone XL; Lock Down In TransCanada Office

Youth Activists Locked Down

8 Youth Activists Locked Down in TransCanada’s Westborough, MA Office

UPDATES:

Check tweets (to the right) and Pheonix for more updates. Also see Protester’s Bios.

Follow #NoKXL on twitter to follow protests across the nation opposing construction of the Keystone XL pipeline (trending as of 7:10 PM).

~ 6:30 PM Just and Stable reports that chains have been removed and protesters are in jail being processed.

4: 30 PM This just in from youth activist Devyn Powell:

            As you read this email, I am locked down in a TransCanada office with seven other youth activists.  We are engaged in a protest against construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, because building this pipeline to develop the tar sands will lock us irrevocably into the climate crisis.  The Keystone XL, which runs from Canada to Texas, threatens a stable future by perpetuating our oil addiction. Chaining myself to my seven friends is a last resort after our government, heavily influenced by corporate fossil fuel interests, has proved unable to take action against this deadly project.  
 
The fossil fuel industry is knowingly sacrificing our future for its profits. I have decided that I need to fight the injustice, irresponsibility, and immorality of their actions by using all the nonviolent means of protest available to me. TransCanada’s intent to build the pipeline will contribute to drought, flooding and starvation through future Hurricane Sandys, crop failures, and more climate disasters. We are not going to passively let this happen.
 
I’m sending this email to ask for your help. First, please share the image below on any and all social media channels you use in order to raise awareness about TransCanada’s threat to our future. Second, if you are able, we would greatly appreciate any financial assistance you can contribute to cover our jail fees, gear costs, and future actions.  Go to THIS WEBSITE to donate.
 
The next few months will be crucial in halting this toxic pipeline. As Obama considers approving Keystone XL, we all need to put our voices and bodies in TransCanada’s path in whatever ways we are able.  Today’s action marks the beginning of what we hope will be the next chapter in the fight against the fossil fuel industry. If you would like to learn more and get involved, go to:http://www.january7th.wordpress.com.
 
Thank you so much for your support. I appreciate your help very much, and I hope we can continue working together to stop the climate crisis.

Local Climate Activist Arrested In Texas KXL Protest

We have just received word that Murtaza Nek, MIT graduate and active participant in 350 Massachusetts and Students for a Just and Stable Future was arrested in a protest against the construction of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline. Readers may recognize him as the young man who has voiced the importance of climate justice at several Occupy Boston events.

The southern leg of the Keystone XL is presently under construction with the intent to bring tar sands crude from Alberta, Canada to Huston ports. Last year, Dr. James Hansen, prominent climate scientist, head of NASSA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and adjunct professor at Columbia University explained the risk in a New York Times Op Ed:

Canada’s tar sands, deposits of sand saturated with bitumen, contain twice the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global oil use in our entire history. If we were to fully exploit this new oil source, and continue to burn our conventional oil, gas and coal supplies, concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere eventually would reach levels higher than in the Pliocene era, more than 2.5 million years ago, when sea level was at least 50 feet higher than it is now. That level of heat-trapping gases would assure that the disintegration of the ice sheets would accelerate out of control. Sea levels would rise and destroy coastal cities. Global temperatures would become intolerable. Twenty to 50 percent of the planet’s species would be driven to extinction. Civilization would be at risk.

The update on Murtaza comes from climate and social justice advocate Dorian Williams, who writes:

Dear fellow proponents of climate justice,

Many of you may know Murtaza Nek as he has been an active participant of 350 Massachusetts and Students for a Just and Stable Future. Recently he took a trip down to Texas to contribute to the Tar Sands Blockade’s fight against the construction of the southern leg of Keystone XL Pipeline.
 
As of 11:50am on January 3rd, Murtaza was arrested in Texas while trying to provide direct support to his friends partaking in a particularly vulnerable tree sit for the Tar Sands Blockade. 
 
You can learn more and see the footage of the arrest here: http://tarsandsblockade.org/15th-action/
 
For those of who have not had a chance to meet Murtaza, he has been an amazingly strong and dedicated ally in this movement. Having accomplished Climate Summer this past year, where he biked from town-to-town across Massachusetts supporting climate action and discussion, Murtaza brought back his organizing and bike power here. Every week, Murtaza would bike from Worcester to Cambridge and back to participate in SJSF and 350MA meetings, helping organize and participate in actions targeting fossil fuels like tar sands and natural gas.
 
Now he needs our commitment and support in return. Please spread the word and consider donating to the legal fund that would enable his release: https://www.wepay.com/donations/tsbdonate.
 
In Peace and Solidarity,
Dorian

Murtaza Nek is one of several protesters who have recently been arrested in protests against Keystone XL’s southern leg. For more information on the tar sands, check out the following links:

Hansen’s TED talk

Photographer Garth Lenz on Alberta Tar Sands: The True Cost Of Oil

~ Nuevaspora

Remaining Hobet 45 Protesters Offered Plea Deal

A quick update on the 10 people that were waiting a final hearing on Tuesday, after they were arrested for shutting down the Hobet 45 coal mine (a nonviolent protest against the practice of mountaintop removal, its impact on public safety and local ecology, and its impact on global climate trends).

“UPDATE 8/7/12:  The remaining 10 arrestees were offered the same plea deal in Lincoln County Court this morning.  All have accepted the deal.  All arrestees have now been released at of 2:30 pm.  Thanks for all of your steadfast support.  More soon.”

… from the RAMPS website. This means all protesters involved are now out of jail.

~ Nuevaspora

Controversy Over Logging of Algonquin Land

Lest we forget what is happening with our northern neighbors…

Last week in Montreal, clanging cookware and red squares became symbols of solidarity with an Indigenous community defending its land rights. On Wednesday, July 18, about 200 people demonstrated at the Montreal headquarters of Resolute Forest Products, the logging company currently locked in a stand-off with Algonquin protestors near Poigan Bay, Quebec.

Banging pots and pans, the crowd denounced Resolute for continuing to log in the territory of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake despite staunch opposition from the people living there.

Members of this Indigenous community, located a four-hour drive north of Montreal, have maintained a protest camp near the logging site for more than two weeks. Gabriel Wawatie, an elder whose family harvesting grounds fall within the area being cut, wrote in a letter to Quebec Premier Jean Charest on July 4: “As one of the main harvesters, I was not properly consulted nor provided a written consent to this logging.”

Read more of LORI THERESA WALLER‘s article in: Red squares for Indigenous solidarity: Montreal protests logging of Algonquin Land.

To learn more about he situation check out the Barriere Lake Solidarity site.

~ Nuevaspora (By way of Rita Sebastian)

 

 

 

 

Update on 20 Protesters Arrested at Hobet 45 Coal Facility

Update from RAMPS site (yesterday):

Great news from the Lincoln County Court today.  Half of our arrestees had their bail reduction hearings today.  Instead of reducing their bails, the court offered a plea deal.  In exchange for pleading guilty to the trespassing charge only, our activists were offered a $500 fine and 1 years probation.  Nine arrestees have accepted the deal and will be released today.  The other protester assigned that magistrate is Dustin Steele, who is free and has not taken the deal.  What a relief and victory for all who have supported the Hobet 20.

This isn’t over however.  The remaining 10 prisoners have a different magistrate and their hearing isn’t until Tuesday the 7th.  There is no guarantee they will be offered the same deal or in fact any deal at all.  We must keep the pressure on and continue to support our brothers and sisters in jail.

Dorian Williams waiting with the other 9 people for a hearing on Tuesday.

For more information please see the RAMPS site.

~ Nuevaspora