Community Members Blockade Oil Train in Downtown Vancouver, WA

Community Members Blockade Oil Train in the Face of Police Presence in Downtown Vancouver, WA with Pop-up Sunflower Garden

On Site Media Contact: Jessie Braverman, (617) 833-9766
Media Contact: Sophie Scholl, (360) 601-7187
Vancouver, WA — Community members blocked an oil train in downtown Vancouver, WA in a creative direct action calling for an end to oil trains, oil terminals, and all fossil fuels. Community activists erected a pop-up garden of sunflowers on train tracks in Vancouver, WA today, even in the face of police presence, to block an oil train. The blockaders locked themselves to large sunflower pots adapted to serve as blockade devices. Three people arrested. Community members are taking non-violent direct action to demand Governor Inslee reject the Vancouver Tesoro Savage Oil Terminal and all other proposed fossil fuel infrastructure in the State of Washington.
Where: 101 W 11th St, Vancouver WA 98660
The train, BNSF unit 5956, is carrying Bakken Crude Oil, a highly volatile oil notorious for derailments and explosions such as the recent derailment and fire in Mosier, OR on June 3rd, 2016. The Mosier oil train derailment ignited a wave of massive public opposition to oil train traffic, including from government officials and train operators. “Our community and our planet are under attack, yet the political response has been amoral and inadequate. We were here on the tracks a year after the Mosier oil train derailment and nothing has changed,” said Jessie Braverman. “The trains are still coming and new fossil fuel projects are still being proposed; we’re in the midst of a worldwide climate emergency and we’re fighting back.”
The derailment and explosion in Mosier is just one manifestation of our society’s dependence on fossil fuels. This incident is not an anomaly, as fossil fuel extraction, production, and transportation continually present a threat to human life and natural ecosystems; we have been subsidizing them not only with money but with lives. In these early days of the sixth great extinction and a devastating climate crisis, community members are reclaiming their power to confront this rogue industry. “It’s now or never. We’re up against the wire and nobody — no politician, no agency, no industry — is stepping up to resolve the climate crisis,” said Mike, a resident of Portland, OR, who is locked to a flower pot on the rail tracks. “It’s time for the people to step up to resolve this crisis before we run out of time.”
Community members are calling on Governnor Jay Inslee to reject the proposed Tesoro Savage Vancouver Oil Terminal, which would be the largest oil-by-rail terminal in North America. The terminal would ship out 360,000 barrels of Bakken crude oil and bring up to four additional oil trains into the Columbia Gorge each day. 
Governor Jay Inslee, a self-proclaimed advocate for climate action, has overseen a state government that has failed to craft an emissions reductions strategy, despite being repeatedly ordered to do so by the courts. The Governor is flagrantly endangering the people of Washington state. Washington continues to move towards a dizzying array of new fossil fuel developments. “If I can stop an oil train, Governor Jay Inslee can stop an oil terminal,said Chris, one of two individuals locked down to flower pots on the rail tracks.
 
For on site interviews, contact Jessie Braverman, 617-833-9766. 
    
    
    
More information via the Shut Down Fossil Fuels- 
Twitter:@shutdownff 
    
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Rising Tide North America Statement on Trump’s Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement

San Francisco, CA– Today, the Trump Administration announced that they were pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Rising Tide North America responded with the following statement:

“In unsurprising news today, Donald J. Trump announced that the United States would be formally withdrawing from the Global Agreement on Climate Change finalized in Paris in December 2015.

Fulfilling yet another promise made in the 2016 election, Trump’s decision clearly demonstrates his callous disregard for our shared planet and for the communities that are bearing the brunt of violent changes in our climate and weather patterns.  While the administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement is an inexcusable step backward in confronting the challenge of dramatic climate change it is not a particularly dramatic departure from the status quo approach to climate change that we have seen from both major political parties in the United States.

While the Paris Climate Agreement was widely applauded by mainstream environmental organizations, the agreement represents a global consensus on a neo-liberal corporate approach to global warming. The final deal, signed by over 200 nations, favored the rights and voices of corporations over the rights and voices of people across the planet. It excluded the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, omitted reparations to the Global South and lacked significant mechanics to implement its stated aspirational goal of reaching 1.5 degrees warming. Essentially, the Paris Climate Agreement represented false hope to large well-funded environmental groups and liberal governments across the planet.

While the Paris Agreement and the neo-liberal global consensus certainly falls far short of meaningfully addressing the current climate crisis, the rising authoritarianism and denial of climate science exhibited by the Trump administration embodies an even more dangerous direction. The appointment of right-wing climate denying politicians and fossil fuel executives into powerful positions at the Departments of State, Interior, Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency is troubling sign that struggles around environmental and climate justice will be more difficult. Furthermore, Trump’s disturbing rhetoric from global warming being a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese to the criminalization of migrants, Muslims and many others further signals that truth, reason and equity are continued fabrications in the White House.

Regardless of the status of global climate agreements, we still live in a moment that demands people-powered escalation against the corporate state. As it becomes more and more apparent that the state is not interested in–or capable of–addressing the current climate crisis we must recognize that it is the responsibility of communities across the country and around the world to engage in bold direct action to stop the fossil fuel industry and build an equitable and ecologically sound future..

Today, as oil began flowing through the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and new revelations about DAPL’s parent company, Energy Transfer Partners, hiring a private mercenary firm to run a counterinsurgency operation against water protectors in North Dakota and elsewhere, Rising Tide North America will continue to stand in solidarity with movements and people directly affected by the climate crisis. We will continue to build people-powered movements in response to these threats upon all of our lives. We will organize direct action that mobilizes people to challenge ongoing racism, imperialism and capitalism perpetrated by politicians and corporations throughout the world.

Relying on governments and trying to work with corporations has been the dominant strategy of the mainstream environmental movement as a whole for over 50 years. This has failed, utterly. Only by relying on each other, taking risks, and escalating – even in the face of the ongoing criminalization of direct action– can we preserve a livable, just planet for all.”

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Rising Tide North America is an all-volunteer anti-capitalist climate justice network working to challenge the root cause of climate change.

An Open Letter from Environmental & Climate Justice Organizations on May Day

via Climate Workers

An Open Letter from Environmental & Climate Justice Organizations on May Day

Worker power, immigrant rights, and racial justice must be at the heart of environmental and climate movements

As environmental and climate justice organizations, we declare our support for protests planned for International Workers Day (“May Day”), May 1st, 2017 and for workers who choose to participate by honoring the general strike.

International Workers’ Day was first established to commemorate the deaths of workers fighting for the 8-hour work day in Chicago in 1886. It has long been a day to uplift the struggles, honor the sacrifices, and celebrate the triumphs of working people across the world. The day has taken special significance in the U.S. since May 1st, 2006 when 1.5 million immigrants and their allies took to the streets to protest racist immigration policies.

Today, workers face unprecedented attacks on wages, benefits, workplace safety, and the right to organize free from fear and retaliation. But we know that we are all stronger when workers in our communities have safe, fair, and dignified employment with which they can support their families without fear of deportation or violence.

The effects of our fossil fuel economy fall first and worst on working class communities, communities of color, immigrants, and indigenous peoples who have not only contributed the least to climate disruption, but have the least resources to shoulder the burden of a transition to a new, climate-friendly economy. It is these frontline communities who are also at the forefront of change and whose solutions and leadership we most need.

As organizations working to transition our economy away from profit-seeking resource extraction toward ecological resilience and economic democracy, we know that worker power has to be at the heart of that transition.

We urgently need the wisdom and skills of millions of workers to transform our food, water, waste, transit, and energy systems in order to live within the finite resources of this planet that we call home. But the Trump agenda only promises jobs building more prison cells, border walls, bombs, and oil pipelines. Workers deserve not only fair wages, but work that makes our ecosystems and communities more resilient, not destroys them.

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. No significant social change in this country has come without tremendous risk and sacrifice by ordinary people – from workers who walk off the job to water protectors facing down water cannons and attack dogs.

As environmental and climate justice organizations, we support workers who choose to walk off their jobs on May 1st because we know that the fight to protect land, water, air and soil is inseparable from the fight to protect the life and dignity of workers, migrants, and communities of color.

To workers participating in protests on May 1st, we say: “Thank you. You deserve better. And we’ve got your back.”

To that end, we join with unions and worker-led organizations throughout the country in asking that there be NO RETALIATION against any worker – union or non union – who exercises their rights by taking time off from work on May 1. Further, should workers face retaliation, we pledge our strong support for efforts to defend those workers.

To sign your organization onto letter and to specify what type of support you can pledge, click here.

 

AUTHORED BY

Climate Workers and Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project

 

SIGNED BY

350.org

350 Bay Area

350 Mass for a Better Future

350 Santa Barbara

Amazon Watch

AMP Creeks Council

Asian Pacific Environmental Network

Azul

Bay Area Justice Funders Network

Bay Area Labor Committee for Peace & Justice

Bay Area System Change Not Climate Change

Beyond Extreme Energy

Blue Heart

California Environmental Justice Alliance

Center for Economic Democracy

Center for Environmental Health

Center for Popular Democracy

Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment

Climate Justice Alliance

Climate Justice Project

Climate Workers

CODEPINK

CoFED

Corporate Accountability International

Diablo Rising Tide

Filipino / American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity (FACES)

Food Empowerment Project

Food First

Friends of Broward Detainees

Friends of the Earth

Fund for Democratic Communities

GAIA: Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives

Global Climate Convergence

Global Environmental Justice Project

Grassroots Global Justice

Greenbelt Climate Action Network

Greenpeace

Groundswell Fund

Industrial Workers of the World

Labor Network for Sustainability

Liberty Tree Foundation

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization

Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE)

Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project

Movement Strategy Center

NAACP Portland Branch

National Economic and Social Rights Initiative

New Economy Coalition

New Jim Crow Movement – Vallejo

No Coal in Oakland

North Bay Organizing Project

Oakland Climate Action Coalition

Occidental Arts and Ecology Center

Oil Change International

People’s Action

People’s Climate Movement – Bay Area

PODER (People Organizing to Demand Environmental & Economic Rights)

Post Carbon Institute

Power Shift Network

Pesticide Action Network North America

Planting Justice

Popular Resistance

Railroad Workers United

Raizes Collective

Rainforest Action Network

Real Pickles

Right to the City Boston

Rising Tide North America

Rising Tide Sacramento

Sierra Club

Sierra Club Massachusetts Chapter

Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter

Sonoma County Conservation Action

Students for a Just & Stable Future

Sunflower Alliance

SustainUS

The LEAP

Urban Habitat

U.S. Department of of Arts and Culture

U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives

U.S. Human Rights Network

 

Activists #FloodTrump with Human Wave at Trump Hotel

For more information contact:
Drew Hudson, 802-272-9763

Trump Hotel – Saturday April 29, 7pm. Clad in blue and surging like the rising seas that threaten millions around the world due to climate change, activists staged a mass nonviolent action and sit-in at Trump International Hotel. Activists performed a choreographed motion, simulating the surging tides and severe storms that threaten millions around the world.

Activists said it was important to take direct action on the heels of the massive people’s climate march to show demonstrate that no matter where he goes or how loud his denial, the climate justice movement will show up to disrupt his business and brand at every turn.

Activists marched up 14th street to the White House, and then turned back down Pennsylvania avenue and proceeded to the Trump hotel, where they were met by a cheering crowd as they sang “The people gonna rise like the water, we’re gonna calm this crisis down. I hear the voice of my great granddaughter saying Flood Trump Flood Trump now.”

Once there, the crowd coordinated a motion, shouting, “rise, flood, recede” As they alternated standing, rushing forward towards the police barricades near the hotel entrance, and then receding back to the street.

Trump’s first 100 days in office have been an assault on vulnerable communities, common sense, common decency, and the climate: Under Trump the EPA, is facing a budget cut of nearly one-third. Scheduled for elimination are programs to clean up the Gulf of Mexico, address environmental justice, and criminal enforcement divisions to punish polluters like BP. Last month, the Department of the Interior announced 73 million more acres of the Gulf will be auctioned off this summer. Trump has issued dangerous executive orders curtailing climate research, ending pollution-reduction plans, and approving toxic pipelines like DAPL and KXL.

Photos, video and more can be found on the hashtag #FloodTrump, the flikr account https://www.flickr.com/photos/154380394@N04/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ClimateShowdownFloodDC/