Breaking: Dept of Interior Drops Charges Against 21 Arrested During Reclaim Power

Update from Washington D.C.: The Department of Interior dropped charges for the 21 arrested during Reclaim Power March April 18.

On April 18th, a thousand people marched to the Dept. of Interior in an unpermitted march, organized by Rising Tide North America and Peaceful Uprising, singing “We Shall Overcome.” Hundreds stormed the building’s lobby for a multi-hour occupation which resulted in 21 arrests.

Today was their arraignment. All 21 were in court for our arraignment from all over the country. Some planned on going to trial.

But then there was a strange turn. The Dept of Interior essentially dropped all charges.

Here’s a first hand account from one of the DOI 21:

“The court called us up front and, one by one, called us up to the clerk who gave us a paper which said, in part, “The US Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia or the office of the Attorney General for the D. of C. has declined to proceed with prosecution against you for the incident that led to your arrest for the offense of UNLAWFUL ENTRY. This means that your arrest has been NO PAPERED. However, the prosecuting attorney could seek to proceed with prosecution at a later date.”

via Shadia Fayne Wood

 

Our lawyer afterwards said that in 20 years of experience he knows of only one case where someone who was “no papered” was later prosecuted for the charge.

The 21 of us went outside the courthouse and after exchanging hugs we sang “If I Had a Hammer” together. We also talked about the next big action for many of us, the March on Blair Mountain. We were all juiced!”

Was it the threat of taking it to court, the sheer number of arrestees, or the upcoming presidential election that swayed them? Maybe all three.

Climate Group Calls for Extraction Phase-Out on Anniversary of BP Oil Spill

Groups to mark Gulf Oil Spill anniversary with actions against corporate fossil fuel extraction

For Immediate Release | Contact: Rae Breaux; 818-271-0386 (cell)

Washington D.C. — On April 20th, dozens of environmental, climate, and social justice groups will target government and corporate operations with aggressive protests and civil disobedience in an International Day of Direct Action against Extraction organized by Rising Tide North America to commemorate the first anniversary of BP’s Gulf oil disaster. The protests were organized to demand an end to the environmental destruction and climate destabilization created by fossil fuel and other extraction industries.

“For all practical purposes, Louisiana and the Gulf Coast function as a third world resource colony within the US.  For a hundred years, our people and ecosystems have been sacrificed to provide cheap energy and big profits,” said Devin Martin, a Cajun native of southern Louisiana.  “We pay for the hidden costs of oil and gas with our health and our lives through air pollution, oil spills, and a completely corrupted state government.  We already lose a football field of coastal marsh every 38 minutes, and now rising sea levels from climate change will put my home, including New Orleans, under water permanently.”

The day of action will feature events organized by Gulf Coast residents fighting offshore drilling, local residents in the south side of Chicago resisting two of the largest coal plants in the nation, Texas, Pennsylvania and New York residents opposing natural gas hydrofracking, Canadians fighting tar sands mining in Alberta and residents of Oregon and Washington resisting coal and tar sands exports along the Columbia River, as well as other community groups engaged in fights against extractive industries. Protests are also planned for the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Continue reading

April 20, 2011 is a Week Away: Are You Ready to Rise Up?

Dear Friends,

April 20th, the anniversary of the BP Oil Spill, is only a week away. Rising Tide North America and allies have called for an International Day of Action against All Extraction to take action against fossil fuel extraction.

Are you ready to rise up? It’s not too late.
Sign Up Here!

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which claimed 11 workers’ lives and spilled almost 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, was the largest marine spill in the history of the oil industry and one of the worst corporate disasters in U.S. history.

Since April 20th, a tide of black tar balls has washed up on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico poisoning wildlife, eco-systems and communities, including most recently dozens of dead dolphins. Since April 20th, local fishing and tourism economies have been decimated by poisoned oceans. Since April 20th, corporate extractors have only strengthened their influence over our political systems and continued their doomsday economy.

On April 20th, 2011, climate justice activists in the United States, Canada, Australia, the UK, New Zealand and beyond will be organizing aggressive protests and acts of civil disobedience at the doorstep of fossil fuel extraction.

We’re calling for actions at corporate and government offices, mountaintop removal mine sites, power plants and gas stations. We need YOU to take the plunge and be organizers of this uprising.

Join us by signing up here.

Check out our online map here [link needed]

Thanks for all you do.

For the earth, climate and communities at the doorstep of fossil fuel extraction.
Rising Tide North America

 

Reclaim Power in Washington D.C.! A Call to Action on April 18th at the End of Powershift

Rising Tide North America invites all residents, students and youth to join the Reclaim Power.

WHAT: Reclaim Power March & Creative Direct Actions

WHERE: Lafayette Square (H St NW & Jackson Pl NW); Washington D.C.

WHEN: April 18th at the end of the Powershift rally (scheduled from 10am-1pm)

CONTACT: extraction@risingtidenorthamerica.org

From April 15th through the 18th, thousands of students and youth will be attending Powershift 2011. This conference has been billed as another opportunity to do something about climate change. Throughout the conference, Democratic politicians from Al Gore to Lisa Jackson will tell us the solution is to lobby, vote and work within the corporate-owned political system to stop climate change. They will tell us that supporting the existing leadership’s policies and the creation of carbon markets will stem the rising tide of carbon emissions slowly destroying our planet.

 

Do we really believe the answers lie in supporting a broken democracy and a carbon trading market that only makes bankers and oil men richer?

 

Despite Obama’s promises on the climate and the environment, things are only getting worse. Here are just a few egregious examples:

 

  • A year ago, British Petroleum spilled millions of gallons of oil and perpetrated the worst corporate disaster in U.S. history. They now have begun to re-grant permits for new offshore drilling to toxic polluters like Chevron and BP.
  • Every day, mountaintop removal still poisons and destroys Appalachia’s landscape and communities.
  • Oil companies like Exxon are building the Keystone XL pipeline to run tar sands oil from Alberta through the American mid-West to Texas refineries.
  • Last month, the Obama administration announced the leasing of coal-rich public land in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin to Big Coal for extraction. Using terms like “energy security” the administration promised the coal industry billions of tons of coal.
  • Coal companies like Arch Coal and Peabody Energy are now developing coal transport terminals in Washington to ship the aforementioned western U.S. coal for carbon pollution in Asia. Where’s Obama on this issue?

 

The facts speak for themselves, the same politicians and corporations that got us into the climate crisis WILL NOT be the ones to get us out of it.

 

It’s time to change the system, not the climate!

 

On April 18th, at the end of the Powershift rally in Lafayette Park, we, the North American movements for climate justice, will march to the offices of D.C.’s climate criminals and the politicians that love them to confront them with creative direct action.

 

Our Reclaim Power! march will take space and disrupt business as usual for the fossil fuel infrastructure.

 

Get involved – join our climate justice action!

– Join the Reclaim Power action in Washington D.C. – and spread the word!-

 

We want to generate a sense of excitement, we want our actions to resonate throughout the climate movements, and the way to do that is through countless individuals, groups and movements declaring their intention to take part.

 

It is time to say enough! No more business as usual, no more false solutions!

 

Reclaim Power in Washington D.C. is organized by Rising Tide North America, an international network for climate justice with over 50 local chapters and contacts in Canada, Mexico and the United States. For more information, regular updates on our organizing and actions, and for news about the global struggles for climate justice, stay on http://risingtidenorthamerica.org and follow @risingtidena on Twitter.