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.”

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

Residents Rally at Vantage Energy Frack Site in Denton for Frack Free Fridays, Demand Local Control

Cross-posted from Blackland Prairie Rising Tide

This morning dozens of Denton residents surrounded the gates to Vantage Energy’s active fracking operation on Nail Road, demonstrating their long term commitment to defend their ordinance which bans fracking within city limits. In a weekly event dubbed “Frack Free Fridays,” community members will be amassing every Friday to maintain constant pressure on Vantage Energy as the 11427407_925680417454274_3490552003131826955_ofirst fracking operator to violate Denton’s fracking ban.

“I live in constant fear for the health and safety of my family,” said Sheila Achuff, who lives in the neighborhood directly across the street from the frack well. “It’s unfair for my children to be exposed to these toxic chemicals. Like every good parent I just want to protect and provide for their safety.”

Denton’s prohibition on hydraulic fracturing was supported by nearly 60 percent of voters last November; however, industry-sponsored state lawmakers responded with the passage of HB40, a law that effectively preempts all local control of oil and gas regulations statewide. Less than 48 hours after HB40 was signed into law, Colorado based Vantage Energy announced that it would bring fracking back to Denton at a site located directly across the street from a neighborhood and several businesses.

“Our city’s fracking ban is a perfect example of local direct democracy in action,” said Elida Tamez, a Denton resident attending the event who was arrested in an act of civil disobedience last week for blocking the gates to the fracking site and refusing to move. “Apparently Vantage has no respect for democracy. They could choose to respect our vote, but instead they value profits over people.”

Today’s event began with a community breakfast attended by several neighbors who live a few hundred feet from the active fracking site. Spirits were high as the crowd sang songs, marched in the streets, and listened to powerful testimony from impacted neighborhood residents. Community members maintained a presence outside the gates of the Vantage Energy site for much of the morning. Momentum is already building for next week.

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ShellNo! protestors are locked down at the Port of Seattle and need your support!

shell noBREAKING: ShellNo! protestors are locked down at the Port of Seattle right now and need your support!

Early this morning activists set up and deployed a range of technical blockades outside entrances to the port using U-locks, chains, lockboxes, rocking chairs, and other devices. Every entrance of the port was shut down, effectively stopping work on the rig. To sustain this bold action, we need YOU! Come on down and join us right now for an inspiring blockade. Bring your camera, musical instruments, banners, and passion for justice.

LOCATION: Terminal 5, West Seattle (W. Marginal Way and Spokane Street,
Spokane Street Bridge)

As we all know, time is of the essence when it comes to stopping the Polar
Polluter and its evil twin, the Noble Destroyer.

“Shell only has until the end of June to make it up to the Arctic in time to drill this summer. We want to stop them from leaving,” said Blaine Doherty, who is sitting in the road chained to another Seattle resident. “The Port of Seattle has let us down and President Obama has let us down. We can’t afford to let Shell drill in the Arctic if we want this planet to remain habitable.”

After May’s Festival of Resistance, organized by the Shell No! Action Council, another autonomous group called Stop Shell Seattle has called for a month of actions using the tag “June Against Doom”. There have been pickets at the Port for the past 5 days. The goal is to disrupt work on the rig in order to delay its move out of Seattle.

shirly 2The Seattle Raging Grannies chained themselves to rocking chairs for today’s action. “My generation is responsible for how things are today. This rig will destroy any hope of a liveable future for our children and grandchildren,” said Annette Klapstein. “It’s our duty to be out here.”

The groups locked down also highlighted how climate change is already affecting vulnerable communities around the world, such as the recent heatwave in India that has so far resulted in over 2,000 deaths. “The people most impacted by Arctic drilling, and the 2 degrees Celsius warming it will bring, are indigenous people around the world, poor people, and people of the global South,” said Zarna Joshi, one of the Seattle residents who locked down. “When it’s 122 degrees and you’re poor there’s nowhere to hide. The fossil fuel industry’s drive for profit is literally killing people. We’re here to take a stand against these climate-destroying corporations and the governments who support them.”

You can support today’s action with your physical and online presence! Join us at the port and follow our updates via Facebook and Twitter. Donate to our fundraising campaign to support us in paying legal fees. Tell everyone you know and spread the word: Seattle says SHELL NO!

Climate justice groups call for mass actions in lead up to Paris climate talks

fTSFor Immediate Release: May 20th, 2015

Contact:

Scott Parkin, +1.415.235.0596

Keith Brunner, +1.802.363.9615

Climate justice groups call for mass actions in lead up to Paris climate talks

Rising Tide North America and allies today launched a call to “Flood the System” through a series of coordinated mass actions across the US and Canada in the leadup to the United Nations COP21 climate negotiations in Paris this fall. [1]

Organizers claim that the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process has been co-opted by elite interests and that any Paris outcomes will be insufficient to meaningfully address the climate crisis and ensure justice for the majority of the world’s people.

From September to the end of November, Flood the System envisions an escalating series of direct actions and demonstrations targeting the economic and political systems at the root of the crisis, inspired by recent movements led by low-wage workers, immigrants, and communities responding to police brutality.

Plans are already coming together from New England to the Pacific Northwest, where organizers hosted a “festival of resistance” this week involving a massive blockade of the terminal where the port of Seattle is hosting Royal Dutch Shell’s arctic drilling fleet.

“Communities on the front lines of fossil fuel extraction are fighting back,” said Ahmed Gaya, an organizer with Rising Tide Seattle. “From Seattle, to Alberta, to Appalachia, people are organized in opposition to extraction, and taking action to uproot the systems driving the crisis.”

Rising Tide NYC organizer Sandy Nurse said, “Last September four hundred thousand of us were in the streets of New York for the People’s Climate March. The next day, thousands joined the Flood Wall Street march and sit-in, shutting down the heart of global capitalism. Now it’s time to join with and support other movements in rapidly escalating the pace and scale of our resistance to the level of the crises we’re facing.” [2]

NOTES FOR EDITORS

1] https://floodthesystem.net

2] http://www.democracynow.org/2014/9/23/flood_wall_street_100_arrested_at

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Rising Tide North America is a grassroots climate justice network with over 50 chapters, local contacts and ally groups in Canada, Mexico and the United States confronting the root causes of climate change.