NY Times: Climate Activists Hope to Bring U.S. Capital to Standstill on September 23


September 11, 2019

WASHINGTON — Environmental groups, including Extinction Rebellion, said on Wednesday they plan to shut down traffic in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 23 and bring daily life to a standstill to demand action by U.S. politicians on tackling climate change.

The roughly 15 groups planning the protest include traditional environmental groups like 350 DC and Friends of the Earth Action, as well as groups that focus on other issues, such as Black Lives Matter and Code Pink, a women-led group promoting peace and human rights.

Kaela Bamberger, an activist aligned with Extinction Rebellion DC, said the coalition plans to ratchet up pressure on policymakers by shutting down traffic at major intersections because rallies, marches and petitions have not worked.

“This is definitely a next-level action. The urgency of climate change warrants such an attempt to disrupt business as usual… to make it impossible for people with decision-making power to go about their daily lives as if we are not in the climate emergency,” Bamberger said in an interview.

The protest is also timed to draw attention to a global climate strike on Sept. 20 and a U.N. climate summit on Sept. 23.

Employees of large U.S. companies are also participating in the strike. About 1,000 Amazon workers will walk out that day, a group called Amazon Employees for Climate Justice said in a piece on Medium.

Thousands of supporters of the Extinction Rebellion climate activist group occupied four sites in London in April and stopped trains in one of the largest civil disobedience campaigns there in decades. London police said the group will not be allowed to repeat https://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL8N24J3XI that kind of disruption when they hold demonstrations in October.

Heathrow Pause, a splinter group of Extinction Rebellion, plans to disrupt London’s Heathrow airport on Friday by flying drones within a restricted zone. The group plans to fly drones no higher than head level and give the airport one hour’s advance notice. The airport has said the plan is illegal but that it had plans to make sure it can continue to operate.

Alaina Gertz, a spokeswoman for the DC Metropolitan Police Department, said it was aware of an environmental protest scheduled on Sept. 23 and that it is “equipped to handle any-sized First Amendment demonstration.”

The U.S. Secret Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the protest.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; additional reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Dan Grebler)

Bay Area: Climate Strikers Plan to Disrupt Banks Fueling the Climate Crisis

MEDIA ADVISORY FOR: September 25, 2019

CONTACT: Hilary McQuie 510-333-8554, hilarymcquie@gmail.com

Climate Strikers Plan to Disrupt Banks Fueling the Climate Crisis

Local groups join together in Financial District, during Global Climate Strike Week, to demand: fossil fuel divestment & green justice investment.

WHAT: Nonviolent direct action to disrupt key locations of financial institutions and government offices along or near Montgomery St. while embodying solutions to climate chaos and injustice through street murals, music and popular education in the streets.

VISUALS: Colorful banners, street murals, speakers, and rallies.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 25. Starting at 7am and continuing until 5pm.

WHERE: Wall St West, starting at Market and Montgomery in San Francisco.

WHO: Initiated by Idle No More SFBay, Diablo Rising Tide, 1000 Grandmothers, Society of Fearless Grandmothers, and Extinction Rebellion SF

WHY: This event is part of the Global Climate Strike, a series of coordinated actions happening in hundreds of cities all over the world between September 20 and 27 and represents a widespread escalation in the movement to stop those fueling the climate crisis. Other local events can be found at https://climatejusticesf.org/

––Spokespeople are all available for interview. Contact Hilary McQuie 510-333-8554 ––

Isabella Zizi, Idle No More SFBay: “As Indigenous Peoples, we understand the imbalance and devastation that Mother Earth and the sacred system of life is facing right now as the Amazon is burning and our glaciers are melting. The younger generations are depending on us to take initiative upon our own hands and protect their future.”

Idle No More SFBay is a group of Native Americans and allies working to create positive change concerning Indigenous rights, the rights of Mother Earth, and the rights of the coming generations to a sustainable and healthy environment.

Hilary McQuie, Diablo Rising Tide: “We’re coming together to demand that the banks that are funding the Climate Crisis divest immediately from fossil fuels extraction and infrastructure, and start repairing the damage by investing in frontline communities and a just transition.”

Diablo Rising Tide is the local chapter of Rising Tide, an international grassroots network that promotes community-based solutions to the climate crisis and take direct action to confront the root causes of climate change.

Nancy Feinstein, 1000 Grandmothers: “Grandmothers know, in every cell of our bodies, that our love for our children, and all children for the next 7 generations – means that we must each step forward in this climate crisis; – we must unite with others, to do everything we can, to shut the fossil fuel industry down. NOW.”

1000 Grandmothers is a group of elder women activists working to address the climate crisis.

Pennie Opal Plant, Society of Fearless Grandmothers: “As older women, many of us didn’t realize the horrible price for what we enjoyed in the latter part of the 20th century which created a theft of the future of the younger ones. The climate emergency is critical and the majority of elected officials and policy makers have not acted fast enough. It is up to us to interrupt business as usual.”

Society of Fearless Grandmothers is a group of grandmother age women who understand that we have an important role in ensuring the safety and future of humanity.

Alycee Lane, Extinction Rebellion SF:“We act because our climate crisis is a racist crisis. It is a crisis Wall Street perpetrated on the backs of those who contributed least to climate change and yet are most harmed by it – Black people, Indigenous people, people of color and poor communities here and around the globe. We act, therefore, as a matter of justice.”

Extinction Rebellion SF is the local chapter of an international organization that uses nonviolent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimize the risk of social collapse due to climate change.


Three water protectors SHUT DOWN work at a Mountain Valley Pipeline site in West Virginia!

Cross-posted from Appalachians Against Pipelines

BREAKING!! Three water protectors have SHUT DOWN work at a Mountain Valley Pipeline site in Greenbrier County!

Two Indigenous women and one other water protector have locked down to 3 separate excavators. Banners at the site read, “VIOLENCE AGAINST MOTHER EARTH IS VIOLENCE AGAINST OUR SISTERS” and “AIN’T SCARED. STILL FIGHTIN.”

Cherri Foytlin, afro-Indigenous mother of 6 with Extinction Rebellion, explains: “A little under a year ago, while I was fighting to keep the Bayou Bridge Pipeline from crossing our land, I was attacked by someone who thought their threats and acts of violence would quiet my sensible demand for clean water for generations yet to come. I am here today to say: I will not fear cowardly men when it comes to protecting Unci Maka (our Grandmother Earth). As our planet boils, our children are caged, and our women are disappeared, we must accept that violence against the Earth is the same as violence used against our women and children. Therefore, in the name of all that is good, we have a moral obligation to halt the harm. This is why we cannot, and will not, stand down. Stop MVP!

Mama Julz, Ogala Lakota, land defender, water protector, and founder of Mothers Against Meth Alliance, stated: “Today I’m here to bring awareness to the issues of man camps and their connection with the drugs and sex trafficking that leads to missing and murdered Indigenous women. These issues are really important to me because I fight meth, not only in my territory but in a lot of Indigenous territories across Turtle Island. Any time you desecrate Mother Earth, raping Mother Earth, it’s raping our sisters, too. It’s all one big connection, and that’s why we have this rise in our missing and murdered Indigenous relatives.

“Man camps,” as Mama Julz is referring to, are housing complexes that provide accommodations for hundreds (often thousands) of temporary workers, commonly associated with the fossil fuel industry. They’re frequently seen in remote locations along pipeline construction routes and near oil and gas fields. In any small or rural community, a massive influx of transient men is a recipe for disaster. Man camps have a devastating impact on Indigenous communities in particular, where they contribute to a surge of substance abuse, sexual assault and other violent crimes, leading to a rise in the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women — a continuation of the lethal violence and abuse that European colonizers have imposed on Native women for hundreds of years.

DONATE to help cover legal costs and support ongoing resistance: bit.ly/SupportMVPResistance


West Virginia: Pipeline Fighter Prevents MVP Drilling at Meadow River

Pic via Appalachians Against Pipelines

via Appalachians Against Pipelines

This morning, a pipeline fighter has locked himself to a piece of equipment at a Mountain Valley Pipeline site next to the Meadow River in Greenbrier County, WV, preventing MVP from drilling under the river. A banner on site reads “RIVERS AIN’T YOURS TO WRECK.”

Newt has been extracted and arrested. He prevented MVP from drilling under the Meadow River for nearly 4 hours this morning!

He was arrested, charged with 2 misdemeanors, and has been bailed out of jail.

MVP’s planned water crossings have been in question for over a year. Originally, MVP intended to cross almost all water bodies using dry open-cut methods. In the case of major rivers including the Meadow, this meant using a “cofferdam” in which portions of the river would be dammed and drained for multiple weeks at a time, posing a serious threat to waterways and ecosystems.

In 2018, MVP faced legal challenges in which a federal court and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers put MVP’s water crossing permits on hold for violating the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP)’s regulations. Since then, WVDEP has predictably changed its rules to suit the pipeline company, but MVP has also altered its planned water crossing method for many or all waterbodies — including the Meadow River — to that of boring under the rivers, thus circumventing any re-permitting necessary for their original proposal. These rash changes, authorized by Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC) variances, sidestep standard regulatory review and approval processes including public review and comment periods.

Separately, in August 2019, environmental groups filed a lawsuit asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (which administers the Endangered Species Act) to reexamine the devastating impact that the MVP has had and will continue to have on endangered species including the Roanoke logperch, Indiana bat, and Northern long-eared bat. MVP has already demonstrated its inability to protect water, species, and habitats along the route, as documented by hundreds of reported violations — from mudslides and failed erosion control, to water contamination, to working in prohibited areas without permits. In mid-August, a FERC compliance monitor caught MVP illegally clearing a section of wetland next to the Meadow River despite lacking a permit to do so.

Newt stated: “The destruction of the Meadow River due to the Mountain Valley Pipeline is only the beginning. Those of us who will be around long after MVP packs up their big machines have to ask ourselves — why is this waterway less important than the profits of a billion dollar corporation? What gives this company the right to jeopardize the water? These biodiverse pools of life, full of walleye, trout, and logperch, contribute to their surroundings in a way that MVP can never emulate. This is a call to action to all who know deep in their bones that water is sacred to life.”

Mara Robbins of Floyd County, VA, spoke in support of today’s action, saying, “I’m so glad to see someone standing up for our rivers. Our waterways should be considered part of our community. The MVP stands to wreck over 1100 water bodies across West Virginia and Virginia, and yet even with hundreds of documented violations, politicians refuse to halt construction. This inaction compels the people to put their bodies on the line to protect our water bodies.”

Meanwhile, today is the 1 year anniversary of the ongoing tree sit blockade near Elliston, VA in the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline! For one year, these tree sits have prevented tree clearing and construction, defending the forested hillside — through four seasons, legal challenges, intimidation tactics, and more.

The resistance is growing! Newt is the 13th person to prevent construction by locking his body in the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline in 2019.

Donate to support Newt’s court costs and ongoing resistance: bit.ly/supportmvpresistance