DC: Demo against Line 3 pipeline at US Army Corps of Engineers HQ, demand action from Biden

cross-posted from Shutdown DC

Activists demonstrate against Minnesota Line 3 pipeline at US Army Corps of Engineers HQ, demand action from Biden

The Line 3 pipeline has faced criticism from Indigenous leaders and the climate movement since 2013

WHAT: Morning demonstration at the US Army Corps of Engineers office

WHO: ShutDownDC, 350 DC, Extinction Rebellion DC, Occupation Free DC, Arm in Arm 4 Climate DC

WHY: The struggle against Enbridge’s Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline is heating up in northern Minnesota, with Indigenous activists putting their bodies on the line to stop the pipeline and the harm it will bring to the environment and local communities.

In recent weeks activists from across the US, including  DC, have traveled to Minnesota to occupy pipeline construction sites alongside Indigenous water protectors. At [X] separate camps, they have faced freezing cold temperatures and police repression. In once instance, police kettled a peaceful demonstration that resulted in one arrest and 70 citations for [X].

[would move this to the second paragraph] Against this backdrop, DC activists are urging President Biden and the Army Corps of Engineers to revoke permits for the Line 3 pipeline, echoing the demands of Indigenous leaders and 374 social justice organizations.

HOW: For press inquiries please contact Andrew Sobey, sobeyac@gmail.com, (425) 802-2140 or Thomas Walker, thomaswalker317@gmail.com, (540) 878-3295.

Support Environmental Justice in Houston

cross-posted from the Green and Red Podcast

Last month, Texas was hit by a series of severe winter storms. The resulting polar vortex left more than four and half million Texans without power and water. Some for several days. Some still are without water. The death toll across the state has exceeded 100 people.

Texas’s power grid is independent of the rest of the country’s. It’s governed by a corrupt body called the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). ERCOT is rooted in decades of privatization and the rollback of oversight and deregulation of Texas utility markets. Deregulation is what led to the power crisis. This deregulation has benefited Texas’s wealthy elite, oil companies, private utilities, but not the low-income, Black and Brown communities throughout the state.

Communities already struggling at the intersection of economic and environmental injustice were hit the hardest by the Texas power crisis. Neighborhoods surrounding Houston’s complex of oil refineries and petro-chemical plants were subjected to additional pollutants when the complexes had to shut down during the winter power outages. A lack of essential services pushes them further to economic precarity.

We’re also cross-promoting an episode of the Green and Red Podcast. This interview features environmental justice organizer Bryan Parras from Houston, Texas. So please listen and hear about the root causes of the environmental and economic injustice in Houston’s “petro metro”.

Environmental justice demands that we ask what kind of world we want to live in, and is as much a social issue as an environmental one. Our practice, as part of a movement to build a livable future, is to empower marginalized communities and to dismantle the systems of oppression that keep us divided. As part of that, Rising Tide supports mutual aid efforts in the wake of disasters like the Texas winter crisis.

So, we’re asking you to donate and support the mutual aid and community organizations that continue to support those hit hardest by the power outages. It’s been almost a month since the storm, the lights aren’t on and the water is still not running for everyone.

Here’s a list of mutual aid links in Texas that need support:

Community Members Across the Pacific Northwest Protest Murphy Company’s Old Growth Logging

pics via South Sound Forest Defense

cross-posted from South Sound Forest Defense

(Elma, Washington & Eugene, Oregon) – This morning activists gathered at Murphy Company facilities in both Washington and Oregon in protest of their continued logging of bio-diverse old growth and mature forests. Advocates in Elma, Washington gathered at Murphy Softwood Veneer Plant, while in Eugene, Oregon community members rallied at Murphy Headquarters.
The protestors called for an end to clear-cut logging and for reparations for the destruction wrought by the Timber industry to be paid to Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities that disproportionately experience the impacts of environmental and climate pollution from industrial logging. Specifically, they called for the immediate halt of Murphy’s logging of old growth and mature forests on Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) land in the Capitol State Forest.
One protestor said:“In the face of the climate crisis, if we are to have any chance at protecting our communities, we need to protect the land. We cannot afford to allow corporations like Murphy Company to clearcut our lifeline to the future.”
Another stated: “The Murphy Company is a threat to our society and to our environment. For decades they have shown that they are more concerned with private profit than with protecting our climate and our environment for current and future generations.”
The actions come as the Washington DNR last month acknowledged that the “Smuggler Sale” purchased by Murphy Company from the Washington DNR includes old growth forest that meets the criteria for protection. The DNR also acknowledged that they had failed to identify or mark individual structurally unique trees exceeding 60 inches in diameter, which should have been marked for retention. While two acres of the sale were dropped, protestors believe that no mature forest should be logged and that the Smuggler sale in the capitol forest should be dropped.

pics via South South Forest Defense

One activist said:“Public land management agencies and the timber industry are continuing the colonial legacy that birthed them and as such they are complicit in the harm they perpetuate. We refuse to be. They put profit above all else. They take more than they give and cover up the harm done by labeling lumber from clear-cuts sustainable.”

One community member stated: “The science is clear – logging increases wildfire risk. In the face of the growing threat of climate-driven wildfires, it is imperative that we protect our fire-resilient forests from being replaced with highly flammable dog-hair timber plantations”
For more information or interview, please email: worthmorestanding@protonmail.com (South Sound Forest Defense, Washington)
  • Read about previous actions to defend the so-called Capitol State Forest here.
  • Read about the climate impacts of logging here.
  • Learn more about the Smuggler timber sale.
  • Learn more about Murphys’ logging of old growth in rendsland creek.

Macalester College: Students launch blockade during statewide day of action in solidarity with the movement to #stopLine3

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3/5/2021

Contact:  Priscilla Trinh, UMN Student, primoria1890@gmail.com for general inquiries, and to be connected with student press contacts at each school

Photos: find more photos of the day here

Macalester College students blockade Grand Avenue during statewide day of action at Minnesota schools in solidarity with the movement to stop Line 3 

(MINNESOTA) Today, hundreds of Minnesota college and university students are staging demonstrations on their campuses to raise awareness of the Line 3 pipeline, and to call on their institutions to divest from fossil fuel industry projects. Students from the University of Minnesota Morris, UMD, UMN Twin Cities, Carleton College, St Olaf College, The College of St Benedict’s, Gustavus Adolphus College, and Macalester College have been collaborating to plan this day of action for months. b`

Emily Wittkop, a junior at the University of Minnesota Morris said, “I’m fighting Line 3 for several reasons – the danger to our environment, the violation of Minnesota’s treaties, the impact of oil on the world’s political climate. I’m also pushing the University of Minnesota to begin fossil fuel divestment so that the financial investments of UMN matches their stated mission and the will of the student population that pay so much for their education here.”

For this statewide day of action, student activists at 8 Minnesota schools are staging art installations, hosting protests, and talking with their peers about how their schools are funding construction of the Line 3 pipeline. (More information about each school’s activities available upon request.)

At Macalester College in St Paul, 350 students have blockaded the city street, Grand Avenue, that runs through the campus. Dozens of Macalester students, alumni, faculty, and staff have been involved in the Line 3 resistance movement over the years, and several have even been arrested protesting on the frontlines in recent months.

Helen Meigs, a Macalester senior, said “We are out here today because it is unethical for Macalester to claim that they are preparing us for the future when their investments are part of the system robbing us of that very future. Macalester’s investments in Enbridge support a pipeline that will have devastating consequences for global climate change, a pipeline that when it spills, will poison the drinking water of millions along the Mississippi, a pipeline that violates the treaty rights of the Anishinaabe people. We are here today in solidarity with the indigenous water protectors up north and to call on Macalester to stand with us and divest to stop Line 3.”

Students from the 8 participating schools have been collaborating to prepare for today’s activities for months. Connecting over zoom meetings and workshops, they’ve developed a community and had space to discuss their shared values and visions for a better world. It was those relationships that pushed two Macalester College seniors to reinvigorate their divestment campaign with a proposal to the Macalester Board of Trustees specifically calling on them to divest from Enbridge Energy in protest of the Line 3 pipeline. Most of the participating groups have made ongoing or past fossil fuel divestment asks of their schools’ administrations.

The coalition of Minnesota schools also collaborated with students from around the US and Canada to plan the Student Divestment Virtual Rally to #Defund Line 3 for today at 3 pm.

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