Guardian: Climate activists plan Washington DC protest to ‘disrupt workings of power’

Cross-posted from the Guardian

Climate activists plan Washington DC protest to ‘disrupt workings of power

Local groups join together for an event that seeks to shut down traffic on 23 September, during the UN Climate Action Summit

Climate activists will escalate their protests next month in Washington DC, seeking to shut down traffic with blockades at key intersections to bring attention to the intensifying crisis.

Several local groups are planning the action for 23 September, as youth leaders call for a global strike and a week of action. Hundreds of events are planned, with more than 100 of them in the US, organizers said.

Patrick Young, a 35-year-old who works with the group Rising Tide called the protest “a big ambitious plan to disrupt business as usual”.

“The level of frustration with the inaction of political leaders and corporations on the climate crisis is just really boiling over,” Young said.

Rising Tide North America is joining other local organizers with Extinction Rebellion DC, 350 DC, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Friends Meeting of Washington’s Social Concerns Committee, Movement for a People’s Party and Code Pink.

The groups are announcing their broad plans – without disclosing strategic details – as the 16-year-old Swedish youth climate activist Greta Thunberg arrives in New York via boat for plans to speak at the United Nations Climate Action Summit.

A call-to-action document for Shut Down DC highlights worsening superstorms, floods, droughts, and wildfires, and notes that they unevenly hurt people with low incomes and people of color.

“We do not take this action lightly. We know that this shutdown will cause massive disruption to people who bear little responsibility for the climate catastrophe we are facing. But we will also cause massive disruption for politicians, huge corporations and the lobbyists who control our government,” the groups say.

Extinction Rebellion in July glued themselves to doorways to attempt to block lawmakers from entering the US capitol building.

Sean Haskett, a 24-year-old who protests with the youth-led Sunrise Movement, said he was most inspired by the UN report warning the world has 11 years to take significant steps required to avoid climate catastrophe.

Haskett said protestors want to “disrupt the workings of power”.

“There’s a tremendous amount of power that drives through those streets and parks next to those sidewalks and walks into those buildings,” he said. “We want them to think about what they’re doing with that power.”

Organizers say the Shut Down DC day is attracting people they’ve never seen protest.

Amanda Trebach, who worked for a clean energy company before going to nursing school, is recruiting other health professionals to join her through her union, National Nurses United.

She is a 33-year-old stroke and neurology nurse at Medstar Washington Hospital Center, where she says she sees an uptick in heat-related illnesses. On a recent day in Baltimore, she said she saw a man die of what appeared to be heat stroke while he was waiting for an ambulance.

She said her coworkers have been talking about the news of fires burning down the forests in the Amazon in Brazil.

“The crisis is just escalating so quickly – people are talking about it more so people are more open to doing things like this,” Trebach said. “Things need to change, and things need to change so quickly that we can’t have business as usual.”

 

Water Protectors Lock to Enbridge Office Gates, Work Halted

photo via Ginew

Cross-posted from Stop Line 3

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 19, 2019
Contact: ginew@protonmail.com
ayse@ran.org

Water Protectors Lock to Enbridge Office Gates, Work Halted

Bemidji, MN — In the early morning, 6 water protectors locked to the gates of a key Enbridge office in Bemidji, MN in protest of proposed tar sands pipeline project Line 3. 2 chained their necks to the gate, risking personal safety for the hundreds of watersheds Enbridge proposes to send nearly 1M barrels of tar sands from Alberta through on its way to the shores of Lake Superior.

Enbridge responded by closing its office for the day.

Wild rice season is nearing, in which Anishinaabe people will take to their canoes to harvest the sacred food that is at the heart of Anishinaabe culture. Enbridge plans to send tar sands through dozens of wild rice watersheds, irrevocably impacting its growth and survival.

Line 3 is one proposed infrastructure project out of the Alberta tar sands, alongside TransCanada’s Keystone XL and Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain pipelines. Tar sands is the dirtiest fossil fuel in the world. Weeks ago, the Teck Frontier Mine, a proposed tar sands expansion twice the size of Vancouver was recommended by a board of Canadian environmental regulators.

“As an able-bodied and willing person, it is my duty to stand with Anishinaabe people who are putting their lives on the line every day standing up for all of us, for all of our water.” Kieran Cuddy said, while locked to the front gate of Enbridge’s office.

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Sticky Situation: Extinction Rebellion Activists Superglue Themselves to the Capitol

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRebellionDC/

Click for photos and video

UPDATE | 1:30 AM : Eight activists were charged with resisting arrest due to not being able to rip their hands free from the doors and doorframe, instead requiring an acetone solution to dissolve the glue. They are being held overnight and will be seen in court tomorrow July 24th:

H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse, 500 Indiana Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

UPDATE | 11:30PM : U.S. Capitol Police confirm 17 arrests from the Rayburn and Cannon House office buildings. For over two hours, climate activists glued themselves to the House Office buildings, blocking passage to the US Capitol before a vote in the House Chamber in order to demand that Congress declare a climate emergency. All 17 were charged with “crowding, obstructing, or incommoding”; 15 of the 17 were charged with defacing public property, and eight were charged with resisting arrest.

UPDATE | 10:30 PM Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez thanked the activists for the action outside the building as they were being put in the police wagon. According to one demonstrator, Rashida Tlaib said to her that the blockade was more important than her job. Other members of Congress, including Maxine Waters and Elisha Cummings, celebrated the action in the House Office building as it was going on.

UPDATE | 7:00 PM The police have blockaded the Cannon rotunda, designating it a crime scene so that bystanders and support could be moved out of sight of those glued to the doors and doorways.
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Washington, D.C., July 23 – Following the weekend’s “heat emergency” and a slew of flash floods in D.C., the climate group Extinction Rebellion (XR) brought business-as-usual to a halt in Congress Tuesday with an unprecedented act of mass civil disobedience. Activists used superglue to physically attach themselves to key passages in the House Office buildings, blocking members of Congress just before a vote in the Capitol building.

The climate activists demanded the speedy passage of the climate emergency resolution, which is currently sitting idle in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

One demonstrator, Wesley Boccardo, explained, “I’m a farmer and I’m here because I want to have places to farm.”

Stephen Leus, who chose to superglue his hand to one of the entrances to the underground tunnel to the Capitol building, said of his decision that “it would be crucially irresponsible for us to not act in the limited amount of time we have.”

The U.S. Congress is not treating the climate emergency legislation with the urgency it deserves. The existential threat that climate change poses to our economy and to the health of all Americans should make this resolution Congress’ top priority. Extinction Rebellion activists are calling on both chambers to recognize the truth of the emergency we are in and to pass the resolution as a first step to acknowledging the severity of the crisis.

On July 9, the concurrent resolution for the U.S. to declare a climate emergency at the federal level was introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) with six co-sponsors in the Senate and 49 co-sponsors in the House. The resolution would need 51 Senate and 218 House votes to pass through Congress.

Earlier this summer, New York City declared a climate emergency, the largest city in the U.S. to do so. The city council cited the direct action coordinated by XR NYC as a driving force behind the declaration. With increasingly dire predictions about the effects of climate change, the DC chapter of XR is taking action to demand the same at the federal level.

The U.K. Parliament has also declared a climate emergency due to mass civil disobedience actions by Extinction Rebellion (XR). In April 2019, XR activists in the U.K. successfully brought London to a standstill by gathering thousands of people for an 11-day blockade. In only a year, the movement has spread to include hundreds of thousands of people around the world in part because Extinction Rebellion communicates the grave seriousness of the climate emergency we face and asks people to act accordingly. It’s working.

The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of XR also held a simultaneous protest in coordination with the D.C. chapter today. Climate advocates gathered at noon PST at the steps of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office in downtown San Francisco for a symbolic Die-In. Those entering the building had to step over the bodies of the climate victims.

Extinction Rebellion US is one of 45 countries that form Extinction Rebellion International. XR US has four demands. They include net zero carbon emissions by 2025 and the creation of a Citizens’ Assembly to oversee the bold and swift changes that our fossil fuel-corrupted government has been unable to make.

 

Germany’s biggest CO2-Polluter RWE Claims 2 Million Euros from climate activists

Europe’s largest CO2 emitter, the German energy company RWE, sues
climate activists for 2.07 million Euros for compensation.

Cologne, 05/29/2019:
The German power company RWE sues climate activists for 2.07 million
Euros for compensation. At the time of the 23rd UN Climate Conference in
Bonn in on 15 November 2017, the activist group “WeShutDown” blocked
conveyor belts and diggers in the Weisweiler coal power plant. With the
blockade, the activists achieved an almost complete shutdown of
Germany’s fourth biggest power plant.

Now, RWE is apparently trying to deter the anti-coal movement, demanding
large scale damages from activists for the first time. But the affected
activists will not let RWE intimidate them: “The claims by RWE cannot
stop our movement. Climate change is not waiting. Coal-fired power
plants must be shut down immediately and for good. As long as that is
not achieved, there will be blockades and other actions.” says activist
Cornelia.
The activists have filed an objection against the lawsuit.

The activist also face a criminal court case. It has been scheduled now
for july 10th, 15th and 17th. The process will take place in Eschweiler,
and deals with legal accusations such as disturbance of public supply
and trespassing. The activists announce that they will use the attention
raised by the lawsuit to accuse RWE of the worldwide destruction of
livelihoods and to spread their demand for an immediate coal phase-out.

A journalist, who accompanied the action in Weisweiler, is also being
sued. RWE even tries to deny his status as a Journalist.
The activists reject the plans of the German government to run
coal-fired power plants until 2038: “Burning coal for another twenty
years is madness. The capitalist economic system is based on the
illusion of perpetual growth. That’s why we have to overcome it”, says
Moritz.

RWE, whose three large lignite-fired power plants Weisweiler,
Niederaussem and Neurath alone emit about ten percent of German CO2
emissions, is increasingly targeted by climate activists and
initiatives. The activists declare themselves to stand in solidarity
with the internationally known occupation in the nearby Hambach Forest,
which protects the ancient forest from the biggest RWE lignite mine.

**The activists can be contacted for interviews or further questions.

Contact: +491779037423 e-mail: wedontshutup@riseup.net twitter: @we_shut

Press review of the action and the campaign against the lawsuit (german
only):http://wedontshutup.org/pressespiegel/

fotographs: https://www.flickr.com/photos/147051632@N03/

http://wedontshutup.org/en/press-releases/