Rising Tide North America Statement of Solidarity With The Delta Five

San Francisco, CA– Rising Tide North America released this statement in response to the conclusion of the trial for the five climate activists charged for blockading an oil train in 2014 in Everett, WA:RisingTideSeaSept

“Rising Tide North America stands in solidarity with our friends and allies Abby Brockway, Patrick Mazza, Michael Lapointe, Jackie Minchew, and Liz Spoerri, ( the Delta Five), who had a decision rendered today by a Washington court on two counts. The Delta Five successfully blockaded a mile long oil train in the BNSF Delta railyard in Everett,WA for over eight hours in September, 2014.

“The first count of trespass, they were found “guilty.” On the second count of obstructing an oil train, they were found “not guilty.” The “necessity defense” which had been the cornerstone of their defense was thrown out by Judge Anthony Howard at the end of the trial when the judge instructed the jury to not consider whether the Delta Five acted out of necessity to stop climate change.

“We applaud their courageous action and for building a strong community response to the catastrophic climate change being perpetuated by Big Oil’s doomsday economy.

“The Delta Five’s action threatened Big Oil millions of dollars in lost profit.  One BNSF Railroad official said “One train can be millions in revenue. “When you have a backup on a system, this impacts yard activity, the ports are impacted from ships, then you have passenger and commuter (traffic) in the corridor. It’s a time-sensitive, very busy terminal area. We can’t tolerate it. They can voice their opinion, but we don’t want them on our property. We’re trying to conduct our business.” Corporations and the government don’t want a climate movement willing to take such risks to stop such abhorrent destruction costing them untold profits.

“Our democracy is broken. Our voices are not heard. Corporations own politicians in Washington D.C. and state capitols across the country making it impossible for ordinary people to have a voice on crucial issues such as global warming. Large environmental groups are also compromised as they pander to politicians and seek funding from corporate donors.  The Delta Five’s action is an example of a powerful and courageous direct action that is needed in our society.

“As we watch social justice and environmental uprisings across North America from ongoing fights against oil and gas infrastructure in places like Utah and Rhode Island to Black Lives Matter actions across the United States to the Indigenous resistance happening in response to fossil fuel infrastructure in Ontario and British Colombia, the actions and words of ordinary people are beginning to be heard more and more. The trial of the Delta Five only further pierces the veil our elected and corporate leaders have over the general public. The power in the Delta Five’s direct action and their willingness to go to trial, and possibly jail, to advance the climate movement gives us hope.

“Our fight is only beginning.”

Thanks for all your support.
Donate to the Delta 5 at www.Delta5.org

Press Release: Historic Climate Trial Starts Monday In Lynwood, WA

Delta_5_Trial-1-of-1600x400-1cross-posted from the Climate Disobedience Center

For Immediate Release
Contact: Ahmed Gaya, adgaya@gmail.com, 773-960-2587

Historic Climate Trial Starts Monday In Lynwood, WA

Lynnwood, WA – Five community members who blocked the path of an explosive oil train in Everett last year will finally go to trial in Snohomish County on Monday. In a surprise ruling Judge Anthony E. Howard has allowed the defendants to argue that their actions were justified by the threat of climate change. This is the first time a U.S. court has heard a ‘necessity defense’ in a case relating to climate action.

The defendants, known to supporters as the Delta 5, will call expert witnesses including a co-author of the UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change report and a rail safety expert, to convince the jury that the threat posed by climate change justifies their acts of civil disobedience. “There came a point where I could no longer sit back and wait for the politicians to act. I had to put my body on the line to demand not talk, but action on a massive scale to rapidly replace fossil fuels,” said Patrick Mazza, a member of the Delta 5 who has worked for years as an advocate for climate action.

Next week’s trial was moved to the Lynwood courtroom to accommodate a documentary crew and dozens of supporters who are expected to pack the courthouse. Some supporters have traveled across the country to attend, including Tim DeChristopher who gained national attention as ‘bidder 70’ after disrupting a 2008 Bureau of Land Management auction in Utah. DeChristopher spent two years in federal prison for his action.

The Delta 5 are receiving national support from the Climate Disobedience Center, a group co-founded by DeChristopher, whose founders call on their own experiences advancing the necessity defense in high profile cases to support others in bold acts of conscience. Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien has also expressed his support of the Delta 5.

Many supporters come from communities of faith who have rallied around the case. On Sunday Dec. 10th the Delta 5 will receive a pre-trial blessing at Woodland Park Presbyterian Church. “Before taking action I read the daily prayer from The Book of Common Prayer,” said Abby Brockway, a member of the Delta 5 who will be preaching at Sunday’s blessing. “I took the prayer with me as I climbed atop the tripod. I understood that climbing the tripod was my way of participating in the Book of Acts.”

While the Delta 5 defend themselves in court next week, Washington regulators are considering six new oil-by-rail facilities. In Vancouver regulators are holding hearings on the largest such terminal proposed in North America. With Congress’ recent decision to lift the oil-export ban more proposals are expected. Activists have pledged an increased campaign of direct action and civil disobedience until these terminals are rejected. The outcome of next week’s trial could set important precedent for future actions of this kind.

Note: Defendants will not be available to speak to media during the trial. If you wish to speak to a defendant before the trial please contact Ahmed Gaya at adgaya@gmail.com or 773-960-2587

For more information visit:

Delta5Trial.org

ClimateDisobedience.org

Expert Witnesses:

Dr. Richard Gammon Professor (Emeritus) of Chemistry and Oceanography, and Adjunct Professor (Emeritus) of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. Dr. Gammon was a co-author of the first Scientific Assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 1990).  As Chief of the Carbon Dioxide Program, he directed the US program to globally monitor atmospheric CO2 (NOAA Environmental Research Laboratories, Boulder, 1982-84).

Fred Millar an oil train safety expert

Dr. Frank Eugene James, M.D. speaking about the human health impacts of oil tankers.

Statements from defendants:

http://delta5trial.org/2015/12/18/patrick-mazza-why-i-moved-to-direct-action/

http://delta5trial.org/2015/12/18/obedience-to-what-abby-brockway-and-others-head-to-trial-in-washington/

http://www.climatedisobedience.org/liz_spoerri_political_reality_not_keeping_up_with_physical_reality

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0R3Il_FDPo

Key Dates:

1. Blessing and Climate Justice Sunday: Sunday January 10th @ 10:30 AM, Woodland Park Presbyterian Church, 225 N 70th St

More information at: http://delta5trial.org/2015/12/31/blessing-delta-5-trial-january-10th/

2. Trial: Monday January 11th – Wednesday January 15th, 8 AM – 3 PM each day. Snohomish County South District Court, 20520 68th Ave W, Lynnwood, WA 98036. Meet outside of the courthouse on Monday, January 11th @ 8:00 AM

 

Statement from Rising Tide North America on the Paris Climate Deal

IMG_7943Statement from Rising Tide North America on the Paris Climate Deal

Rhododendron, OR – In disappointing but unsurprising news, the Global Agreement on Climate Change that has come out of Paris this weekend is exploitive, deceitful and hollow, favoring the rights and voices of corporations over people. This agreement has been signed by nearly 200 nations at the Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris but fails to address the most pressing issues facing our climate and global communities. This agreement sends a powerful symbol that the world is fully committed to participating in the carbon-trade economy, not taking on a low-carbon future or keeping fossil fuels in the ground.

In particular, we are disturbed and deeply unhappy with the exclusion of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the agreement. Indigenous communities are the first to die at the hands of the results of dangerous, empty agreements like the ones reached in Paris.

“Not only is this a slap in the face to the Indigenous communities of the Global North and the Global South, this agreement is a direct threat to the lives and livelihoods of us all. When Indigenous rights are discarded, our collective rights to clean air, drinkable water, and a world that can sustain us are in peril,” says Christy Tennery-Spalding of Rising Tide North America.

The lack of reparations extended to the Global South are particularly disgusting. The U.S. continues it’s legacy of brutal imperialism that places economics over human life by co-signing on this agreement. It’s not a proud day for the United States.

This agreement is a blatant public relations maneuver. While the parties have agreed to combat a  global temperature rise above 1.5 degrees, there are no substantive mechanisms in place to make this real. The result of COP21 is yet another example of empty promises, false solutions, and an attempt to deceive the global community to this reality.

Meanwhile, the French National Police have been summarily revoked the rights of civil society in Paris this week. The French government has sanctioned attacks on citizens and journalists alike for exercising their civil liberties during the U.N. talks. Given the profits at stake for U.N. members and multinational corporations, it’s no surprise that they’d want to silence this reality with violent, repressive force on others as well.

“Without real action, the fossil fuel industry will leave the signatories to this agreement with barren, unusable land. This directly threatens the lives and livelihoods of frontline communities and our climate. The U.N. has failed people the world over, just as the French National Police have failed to protect Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity for All,” says Ahmed Gaya, Flood the System organizer.

Arielle Klagsbrun, also of Rising Tide North America, asserts, “We stand in solidarity and with movements and people directly affected by our 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 the ongoing U.S. imperialism, capitalism, and corporations who participate in and/or bankroll this nonsense, because that’s what this Paris agreement is.”

###

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

Seattle Residents Occupy BNSF Offices to Protest Oil Trains As Paris Climate Talks Continue, Activists Call for Concrete Action on Climate Change

RT seaSeattle Residents Occupy BNSF Offices to 
Protest Oil Trains As Paris Climate Talks Continue, 
Activists Call for Concrete Action on Climate Change

Contact:  
Afrin Sopariwala, Rising Tide Seattle, 
(408) 598-7656,
sheildmaiden@gmail.com


Today 43 residents of Seattle occupied the BNSF office in SoDo 
Seattle to speak out against the company's continued involvement in fossil fuel
extraction and transport. Activists brought a letter with three demands and
asked to speak with the CEO, Carl Ice. Activists were immediately asked to
leave and the police were called. A BNSF spokesperson said they could put
the activists on the phone with Vice President Mr Anderson, claiming that
they had no access to the CEO.

Raging Granny Cynthia Linet read the letter out loud over speaker phone and
Mr Anderson was not able to confirm that these demands could be upheld.
Activists continued to stay and occupy the space, singing and chanting. The
police arrived, and once they had their chain of command in place, they
said they would arrest those who remained. About 30 activists then exited
the building and 13 remained to get arrested. They were released after
being cited for criminal trespass.

“Communities of color here and worldwide are experiencing unprecedented
numbers of extreme fires, floods, hurricanes, and droughts and it’s only
getting worse,” said Jill Mangaliman, executive director of Got Green?. “We
cannot rely on fossil fuel companies and carbon markets to fix this - they
have caused this climate chaos. Instead, we must look to indigenous, black
and brown frontline communities for leadership and solutions.”

“We need to transition away from fossil fuels now, and BNSF could be at the
forefront of that transition by moving goods and people by rail,” said
Valerie Costa, a local small business owner, and one of those cited by the
police. “Instead, they're contributing to catastrophic climate change by
moving dangerous oil trains through our neighborhoods.”

Video:
https://www.facebook.com/shellnoactioncouncil/videos/vb.1625994030965721/1709558165942640/?type=2&theater