Climate Resistance Escalates Against the Fossil Fuel Empire

resistDear Movement,

Escalation begins now.

Last December at the climate talks in Paris, over 200 nations agreed upon a weak and ineffective plan to address climate change. Governments stripped away language addressing the rights of indigenous peoples to their land. They removed reparations for the Global South. And, worse yet, the agreement emerged lacking real mechanisms to halt runaway climate chaos. All with the high praise of U.S. liberal politicians and large environmental organizations.

This week, Shell Oil reported it was responsible for another devastating 90,000 gallon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Pipelines and export terminal projects continue to move forward despite green climate friendly rhetoric from our elected leaders. Coal mines and coal plants continue to operate in many parts of the world. Indigenous and frontline communities continue to carry the burden of climate change from the Alberta tar sands to the rainforests of Indonesia.

Globally, environmental and social justice movements have reacted with escalations against the fossil fuel sector, the banks that fund them and the politicians that love them. In every part of the world, a climate resistance has taken action to stop the industry and the dire impacts it has on communities and eco-systems.

For the past week, the escalation has come at the fossil fuel empire with people powered action. In Philadelphia, climate justice activists joined with a local community fighting a new oil refinery. In Sacramento, CA, farm workers from the ground zero for California’s fracking industry, Kern County, sat in at Gov. Jerry Brown’s office.

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Photo via Trip Jennings

Today, from the seaways and railways of Washington state to the streets of Los Angeles to the frack-filled landscape of Colorado to the Port of Albany, NY to Kinder Morgan’s tar sands terminal in Burnaby BC, mass direct action is spreading across the continent targeting Big Oil, Big Gas and Big Coal.

Tomorrow more action will happen in the Midwest, Washington D.C. and beyond It is critical that we continue to escalate.

Please help by spreading the word by clicking SHARE on this page.

Thanks for all you do.

In struggle and solidarity, Rising Tide North America

Breaking: Climate Justice Activists Occupy the Superdome, Calling for No New Leases!

Defenders of Land, Water and Climate Take Over Federal Oil Lease Sale at the New Orleans Superdome. Photo by Indigenous Environmental Network

Defenders of Land, Water and Climate Take Over Federal Oil Lease Sale at the New Orleans Superdome. Photo by Indigenous Environmental Network

Currently, hundreds of climate and social justice activists are occupying the Superdome in New Orleans in a mass protest calling to keep 43 million acres of oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Today, the Obama administration is auctioning off those 43 million acres to the oil and gas industry. Courageous activists have taken a stand to say a resounding “NO” to further oil extraction by the same people that brought us the BP Oil Disaster in 2010 and continue to decimate communities and ecosystems along the Gulf Coast. Our friends aren’t demanding “kinder and gentler” version of drilling,   but a stop to new offshore leases and no more drilling.. They’re setting an example for how movements against climate change and social justice can take bigger, bolder action.

In 2005, the Superdome became a symbol of climate injustice during Hurricane Katrina. Now despite recent news about the Obama Administration ending offshore drilling in the Arctic and the Atlantic seaboard, the industry is cynically being allowed to widen its profit margins by continuing business as usual in the Gulf from the very location of so much pain and misery.

We remain on the edge of catastrophe. Crushed between the pincers of climate chaos and economic, social and political inequality, our global society is hurtling toward a breaking point.

It’s up to us to bend the arc of history toward survival. Now is our chance.

 

BREAKING: Climate activists launch daring occupation of the California PUC, calling for agency to shut down all gas storage facilities

SAN FRANCISCO – Two Bay Area residents have occupied the ledge above the entrance to the headquarters of the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) today to protest the PUC’s failure to protect the Golden State from the climate and health impacts of methane from underground natural gas storage facilities.
A well blew out at SoCalGas’ Aliso Canyon facility near Porter Ranch on October 23, 2015. Since then, 96,000 metric tons of methane have escaped into the atmosphere, the equivalent of an additional 505,000 cars on the road for a year. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 86 times more climate-intensive than carbon dioxide. While SoCalGas reported last week that the leak had been plugged, the Aliso Canyon leak has been responsible for 25% of the state’s daily greenhouse gas emissions.
Aliso Canyon is one of 12 underground natural gas storage facilities in California, and one of 326 nationwide that use depleted oil and gas wells for storage for urban customers.
“While plugging the leak at Aliso Canyon has been a good step, today we are demanding that the PUC shut down all gas storage facilities; until they do, we are occupying the PUC,” said Christy Tennery-Spalding from Diablo Rising Tide, the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of Rising Tide North America.
The PUC is one of two agencies responsible for oversight of underground natural gas storage facilities. The leaking well had not been inspected since 1976. The CEO of SoCalGas reported to the LA Weekly that a safety valve on the well had been removed in 1979.
“It is unconscionable that these regulators are putting people at risk while giving companies a pass. The last time Aliso Canyon was inspected by the PUC was the last time Jerry Brown was governor,” said Kelsey Baker, from Occupy San Francisco Environmental Justice, currently occupying the ledge over the PUC’s headquarters entrance.
SoCalGas is a division of Sempra Energy and uses the Aliso Canyon facility to store natural gas for delivery to 12 natural gas power plants and 21 million consumers in Southern California. Since the blowout, 10,000 of Porter Ranch’s 30,000 residents have fled the community. Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency, requiring the several state agencies to take urgent action.
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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 protests and events. You can find out more at www.diablorisingtide.org.

Convergence In Support of Eco-Prisoners & Against Toxic Prisons

June 11 – 13, 2016 in Washington D.C.
International Days of Action Everywhere
FTP imageFOR OVER A DECADE, June 11th has been a day of action in solidarity with environmentalists and anarchists imprisoned for their actions in defense of the Earth. The day has its origins in an international outcry over the extreme and unprecedented sentencing of Jeffrey Luers to 22 years in prison for damaging several SUV’s at a car dealership. Since its inception in 2004, the June 11th day of action and other acts of solidarity have been instrumental in winning shorter sentences or early release for eco-prisoners, including Luers himself as well as Eric McDavid, who was entrapped by an informant. Yet committed earth defenders such as Marius Mason, targeted in the FBI’s “Green Scare,” are still serving harsh sentences in maximum security prisons for taking direct action against earth destroying industries.
MEANWHILE IN APPALACHIA, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) plans to build a massive maximum security prison, on top of a former mountaintop removal coal mine in Letcher County, Eastern Kentucky, surrounded by sludge ponds and coal processing and transport operations. This amounts to an environmental justice nightmare, where prisoners who are disproportionately low-income and people of color face toxic conditions behind bars.
It also happens that this prison site is about a mile as the crow flies from a rare and very biodiverse pocket of Eastern old-growth called the Lilley Cornett Woods. Learn more in the December 2105 issue of the Earth First! Journal.
As of December 2015, the BOP got over $400 million approved for the prison’s construction. The newly-formed Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons (FTP) is organizing to stop it, and looking to grow a coalition of opposition.
STOPPING ONE PRISON IS NOT A MAGIC BULLET to ending the U.S. police state, the one that gave way to world’s largest prison nation and in turn serves as the apparatus of repression that keeps the planet shackled to industrial capitalism…
But it’s a pretty good place to build from. In particular, it is a powerful place that the environmental movement can express solidarity with the growing rage over the racist criminal justice system.
The goal of gathering in D.C. is to converge for a series of actions that can put dual pressure on both the BOP and the EPA regarding this proposed prison, and environmental justice issues related to prisoners in general, while continuing to fight for the release of eco-prisoners in the spirit of June 11th. We also hope to see this effort build stronger bonds between the eco-defense movement and the movements against police and mass incarceration.
We envision a gathering June 11th to 12th for networking, strategizing and organizing, culminating with a mass action on Monday the 13th.
FOR THOSE WHO LIKE THE IDEA, but can’t make it to D.C., there are other options. For example, the BOP has regional offices in 5 other locations.
Additionally, the PR company that is contracted to produce the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the BOP’s Letcher prison is called Cardno, and has offices in most every U.S. city, and other cities all over the world. This is the same firm that was contracted by the U.S. State Department to produce an EIS for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
In many ways, the prison experiences of activists like Luers, Mason, McDavid, and others such as Daniel McGowan, Rebecca Rubin and Tim DeChristopher, have provided courage and inspiration rather than the desired effect of intimidation. They also gave the environmental movement an inside look at the prison epidemic in the U.S. With the steady stream of urban uprisings against the police state, there has never been a better time to organize at this intersection of ecology and incarceration. We hope you’ll join us.
Get in touch if you are interested in helping to organize this J11/FTP convergence or if you are part of a group who wants to co-sponsor it. More details are forthcoming. Contact: FightToxicPrisons@gmail.com
Co-sponsoring groups include Earth First! Prisoner Support, Rising Tide North America, Appalachia Resist!, Jericho D.C., Prison Ecology Project and others TBA.