Of Pipelines and Banks, Climate Uprisings in New York!

Nationally, the climate movement is organizing and growing quickly after years of treading water. The combination of the Green New Deal, the youth-led climate strikes, and radical demands for climate action from Extinction Rebellion to frontline communities across the world, has energized the movement to begin to meet the problem at the scale of what is needed.

And in the midst of it New York City’s climate movement is rising!

This week has been big. The long term campaign led by a robust local coalition, against the billion dollar Williams Pipeline scored a major victory as the State of New York rejected the company’s permit application (albeit temporarily). The projectfails to meet New York State’s rigorous water quality standards,” the department said.

The pipeline was planned to run 37 miles, connecting natural gas fields in Pennsylvania to New Jersey and New York. Its operator, the Oklahoma-based Williams Companies, pitched it as a crucial addition to the region’s energy infrastructure, one that would deliver enough fuel to satisfy New York’s booming energy needs and stave off a looming shortage.

And the battle is not over as the pipeline is still awaiting permits from the state of New Jersey.

Image via Erik McGregor.

Another NYC centered campaign slowly building steam has been targeting the largest funder of fossil fuels…. JPMorgan Chase (JPMC). For almost two years, campaigners with Rainforest Action Network, 350 Seattle, a host of Indigenous groups and others have been making life hell for Chase CEO Jaime Dimon, other top execs, board members and various Chase branches around the country.

In New York, organizers have focused on the company’s headquarters in midtown Manhattan with action after action. This week, climate activists erected and scaled a 24-ft tall steel tripod directly in front JPMorgan Chase bank’s headquarters, protesting their egregious funding of fossil fuels.

As one organizer said:

“we’re here to tell them we won’t put up with business as usual. While more species are going extinct, wildfires ravage the west, cities are lost to sea level rise and more water is polluted from spilled pipelines, we call on CEO Jamie Dimon of Chase Bank, the world’s biggest funder of fossil fuels, to stand on the right side of history.”

Currently, the global political establishment is being woken up to the climate crisis. New York is often seen as a center for media, finance, corporate power, national and global politics, etc, and as campaigns, local and globally heat up than New York becomes an increasingly natural place for climate uprisings.

Bay Area: Indigenous and Climate Activists Blockade #OilyWells Fargo HQ

Swarming the front of Oily Wells.

via Oily Wells

Today in San Francisco, a coalition of over 50 organizations, organized by 350 Silicon Valley, blockaded the global headquarters of Well Fargo.

The action culminated a 3-day 34-mile march at the front door of the banking giant’s global headquarters with an Indigenous grandmother’s led sit-in across the front doors and a simultaneously organized barrel blockade across San Francisco’s iconic California Street.

Below is 350 Silicon Valley’s press release and lots of reasons Wells Fargo needs to be put out of business:

SF Rally Targets “OilyWells” Fargo’s Funding of Big Oil

Alarmed by Climate Crisis, Hundreds Expected as Multi-Day March Ends

PALO ALTO, CA – At a mass rally in front of Wells Fargo Bank’s global headquarters at noon (PDT) today, demonstrators will call on Big Oil’s largest lender to halt its financing of fossil fuels and invest instead in clean energy solutions to the climate crisis

The rally aims to expose another aspect of the scandal-plagued bank’s unethical practices—its central role in the ever-expanding oil and gas industry—at a time when the U.N. has called for “rapid and far reaching” action within 12 years to avert environmental, social and economic catastrophe caused by ever-rising carbon emissions.

Idle No More SF Bay blocking the front doors to Wells Fargo world HQ.

The rally caps the historic 3-day March for Fossil Fuel Freedom (34 miles from Palo Alto to SF) with hundreds of marchers from more than 50 Bay Area grassroots organizations. Marchers paused at a series of “stagecoach stops” to hear talks by former Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, Redwood City Mayor Ian Bain, and other prominent environmental and labor activists; and to sing along with The Raging Grannies and Thrive Street Choir. The march and associated events are all part of a campaign, led by 350 Silicon Valley, to rename the nation’s fourth largest bank “Oily Wells.”

“Oily Wells has a dirty-energy secret, backing the biggest new projects and profiting handsomely from climate chaos” says Stew Plock, vice president of 350 Silicon Valley, lead organizer of the rally. “If they don’t quit, then consumers and investors should quit them.”

The bank is a leading lender to the fracking industry and on pipelines carrying Canadian tar sands, one of the most environmentally damaging sources of fuel (including the proposed Line 3 in Minnesota and Keystone XL in the Midwest). [EDITOR’S NOTE: For more on Wells Fargo’s dirty-energy funding, see the 10th annual Fossil Fuel Finance Report Card, led by Rainforest Action Network, embargoed until March 20.]

Barrel blockade.

“We urge Oily Wells to become the first major U.S. bank to avoid all fossil fuel infrastructure projects, as a few big European banks have already begun to do,” says Isabella Zizi, an organizer with Idle No More SF Bay. “If you cut off the flow of money, you can cut off the flow of oil. That’s why the divestment movement is so important.”

350 Silicon Valley’s partners include SEIU 1021 and 521, Sierra Club, Diablo Rising Tide, Idle No More SF Bay, Rainforest Action Network, Sunrise Movement, California Interfaith Power & Light, Sunflower Alliance, and Extinction Rebellion. They join hundreds of other groups in calling for divestment from fossil fuels, and a prohibition on oil and gas infrastructure.

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For complete details, visit https://oilywells.com/.

 

Support RTNA in 2018

Holy s&*t, 2017 was f*#$ed up. From the continuing onslaught of the Trump Agenda to the rise of the fascists, 2017 revealed the truly rotten core of the system we’ve been fighting for years. Our enemy is visible — and the task is huge.

In 2017, we saw people rising to combat hate. Our movements continued to hold those in power accountable. We shut down airports, fought oil and gas companies, protested police abuse of Black and Brown bodies. Our people fought fascists from California to Appalachia, and threw down in DC when one was inaugurated as president.

We know that we need to be more prepared in 2018. Will you help support our continued work with a donation?

In 2018, our movements need to be strong and nimble. The climate is changing, both literally and metaphorically, and the future is a bit murky. We know we need to build a long term radical movement that is able to take on oppressive powers — a movement built from the bottom up, from the grassroots, in the communities that are on the frontlines of struggle.

In 2017, Rising Tide supported grassroots and frontline meeting spaces, anti-fracking communities, the J20 defendants, prison abolitionists, and so many more. We couldn’t do any of this without you. In 2018, we will continue to support our frontline fighters and to build movement infrastructure that can sustain us for the long haul.

Donate what you can — $15, $50 or even $500 — to support direct action and movement building in 2018. Any amount you contribute will go to supporting the work of Rising Tide North America.

With hope for a courageous, bold, rebellious (and less f!#$ed up)  2018,

Rising Tide North America

Protesters Blockade Kinder Morgan Richmond Terminal Demanding Halt to Trans Mountain Tar Sands Pipeline


For immediate release, July 24, 2017

Contact: Patrick McCully, Rainforest Action Network – 628 224 8168
Isabella Zizi, Idle No More SF Bay – 510 932 0978
For High Resolution Photos, please contact Christopher Herrera at christopher@ran.org

Action Alert: Monday, July 24, 7:30 a.m.
1006 Canal Blvd, Richmond, CA 94804

Please donate to support the legal fund of these activists.

Protesters Blockade Kinder Morgan Richmond Terminal
Demanding Halt to Trans Mountain Tar Sands Pipeline

Richmond, CA – Protesters blocked three gates of the Kinder Morgan Richmond Terminal this morning, securing themselves to oil barrels and a 12-foot-long mock oil pipeline that reads “No Consent. No Pipeline.” The local activists are demanding that the company halt its new Trans Mountain pipeline in Canada. The controversial project would triple the capacity of an existing pipeline from Edmonton, Calgary to Burnaby, British Columbia to 890,000 barrels per day — facilitating increased extraction of tar sands oil, one of the world’s dirtiest fossil fuels.

“It’s important for me to stand up today for my indigenous brothers and sisters of the First Nations,” said Isabella Zizi of Idle No More SF Bay. “This crude tar sands oil will not just be affecting those up in Canada. It will likely be transported to the West Coast and potentially to here in my hometown of Richmond. Our lands, our waterways and our air needs are constantly being overlooked by these industries. We, as indigenous people, cannot and should not be swept under the rug. If any of these elements are harmed, all life will suffer the consequences.”

Kinder Morgan, a spin-off from Enron, is one of North America’s largest energy infrastructure companies. The company claims it will start construction on its 715-mile Trans Mountain pipeline in September despite fierce opposition to the project from numerous First Nations and other communities and cities along its path. The recently elected government of British Columbia also opposes the project.

Oil from the Kinder Morgan pipeline would be loaded onto oil tankers in Burnaby. This would lead to a massive increase of tanker traffic in the waters of the Pacific Northwest – and potentially in San Francisco Bay. Any spills of tar sands crude would be nearly impossible to clean up because when tar sands oil spills in water – it sinks. Refining the tar sands crude in Richmond would worsen air pollution in local communities.

“We are already over-taxed when it comes to pollution in our community and toxins in our bodies,” said Andres Soto of Communities for a Better Environment. “Kinder Morgan doesn’t care about their workers. They’re making them sacrifice their health and the health of their families in order to put food on the table. We demand clean jobs for our community. We refuse tar sands oil.”

“We are determined to prevent the pursuit of extreme energy from destroying our communities, natural systems and climate, therefore confrontational protests like this action are necessary for change,” said Corazon Amada, an organizer with Diablo Rising Tide. Amada was one of several activists who were risking arrest during this peaceful protest. “We stand in solidarity with those everywhere fighting to stop Kinder Morgan.”

Last month, over 28 major banks were warned not to finance the expansion project in a letter signed by over 20 Indigenous and environmental groups. The letter cites The Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion’s call for an international campaign to divest from any financial institution that funds Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline. More than 130 Indigenous Nations have already signed the The Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion.

“The bank’s financing Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline are violating Indigenous rights, clean water, clean air and the climate,” said Patrick McCully, Climate and Energy Program Director at Rainforest Action Network. “We intend to hold these banks accountable. And our primary target is JPMorgan Chase, the largest Wall Street funder of tar sands .”

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Diablo Rising Tide is the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of Rising Tide North America. Rising Tide North America is an all-volunteer grassroots organizing network in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico who confronts the root causes of climate change with non-violent direct action and grassroots organizing and education. You can find out more at www.diablorisingtide.org.