Mass Sit-in to Draw Connection Between Climate Change and Wall Street

IFloodNYMedia contact
Bessie Schwarz
Phone: (406) 356-6316
floodwallstreet@riseup.net

Mass Sit-in to Draw Connection Between Climate Change and Wall Street

Protesters Wearing Blue Hope to Shut Down Financial District After Climate March

New York, NY — A “flood” of people from across the globe, dressed in blue, will take to the streets of New York’s Financial District on Monday to highlight the role of capitalism in fueling the climate crisis. Coming a day after the historic People’s Climate March, #FloodWallStreet will show that the next step for the climate movement is to target polluters and those profiting from the fossil fuel industry. #FloodWallStreet participants expect to be arrested in droves as they carry out a sit-in near Wall Street. Speakers will include acclaimed author-activists Naomi Klein, Chris Hedges and Rebecca Solnit, as well as members of communities at the front lines of the climate crisis.

WHEN: Mon Sept. 22, 11:00 a.m. (March to Wall St. & sit-in begins – full schedule below)
WHERE: Battery Park
WHO: Hundreds of concerned citizen in blue marching in the streets with expected arrests

Speakers – 9am:
-Naomi Klein
-Chris Hedges
-Rebecca Solnit
-Members of front-line communities around the world.

VISUALS: Hundreds of activists wearing blue, sitting-in, risking arrest, and accompanied by a marching bands, large puppets, a 300-foot #FloodWallStreet banner and other large-scale art pieces.

#FloodWallStreet is a response to the Climate Justice Alliance’s call for non-violent direct action.

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Auxiliary Events

The full schedule of events following The People’s Climate March is available at: http://www.beyondthemarch.org/

Photos

Images available for use.

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Seattle Activists Mount Tripod – Stop Exploding Oil Trains

RisingTideSeaSept

UPDATE 3:32pm PDT: Abby has been extracted after an epic 8 hour blockade. Donate to get all five awesome climate defenders out of jail!

Five residents of Seattle and Everett, WA, working with Rising Tide Seattle, have stopped work at a Burlington Northern Santa-Fe Rail Yard in Everett by erecting a tripod-structure on the outbound railroad tracks, directly in front of a mile-long oil train. Follow Rising Tide Seattle for live updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Seattle resident Abby Brockway – a small business owner, and mother – is suspended from the structure 18 feet above the tracks while four other residents are locked to the legs the tripod. The group is demanding an immediate halt to all shipments of fossil fuels through the Northwest and calling on Governor Inslee to reject permits for all new fossil fuel projects in Washington, including proposed coal and oil terminals.

Donate to support Abby and the other involved in the action!

“People in the Pacific Northwest are forming a thin green line that will keep oil, coal and gas in the ground,” said Brockway, “Just one of these proposed terminals would process enough carbon to push us past the global warming tipping point – we won’t let that happen.”

Today’s protest has shut down work at BNSF’s Delta Rail Yard in Everett. With the increase of fossil fuel transport in recent years the yard has become a crucial staging ground for coal trains headed to Canadian export terminals and oil trains bound for Washington refineries. An oil-train carrying explosive bakken crude oil sat stalled while the protest continued.

“Exploding oil-trains running through my town are just a reminder of how out of control the fossil fuel industry really is,” said Jackie Minchew an Everett resident and retired educator locked to one of the tripod’s poles.

In a controversial move, Burlington Northern Santa-Fe recently announced a tentative deal with Union leaders to reduce train crews from an engineer and conductor to a single engineer. The oil train that de-railed and exploded in Lac-Megantic, Quebec was crewed by a single engineer. BNSF claims that oil-trains will continue to have two person crews, but critics point out that nothing in the proposed contract binds the company to that statement. Under the proposed deal Coal Trains would be operated by a single crew-member.

“BNSF is endangering workers, communities and our environment. They should keep the conductors and lose the oil trains,” said Brockway.

The surge in oil-train traffic is already impacting other commodities like passenger rail and agricultural shipments. Farmers from the Midwest to Washington State have faced what they call “unprecedented” delays in moving Wheat and other products to West Coast ports. Amtrak service through fossil-fuel train corridors has also suffered significant disruption and officials have expressed concern that the problem will only get worse as more terminals come online.

“Railroads can be part of the solution, transporting crops and people or part of the problem with coal and oil. We should make that decision, not the fossil fuel companies,” Said Patrick Mazza, a longtime climate activist also locked to the tracks.

Mazza says he is taking this action for his daughter who will turn 18 tomorrow.

“My last act as a father before my daughter reaches full adulthood tomorrow is to put my body on the line today,” Said Mazza, “It is up to us of the parental generation to do our absolute best to leave the least climate disrupted world we can, to put our bodies on the line to give our kids a fighting chance to deal with what we have left them.”

Development of extreme energy projects like the Alberta Tar Sands, Bakken Shale Oil and coal from the Powder River Basin, has fueled an explosion in proposed fossil fuel infrastructure in the Northwest. More than twenty new or expanded coal, oil and gas terminals are proposed between British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. In both states and British Columbia these proposals have been met with fierce local resistance. Local communities have challenged both the safety of transporting coal, oil and volatile gas through their communities and the role of fossil fuel export in fueling catastrophic climate disruption. Proposed coal terminals in Longview and Bellingham or oil terminals in Vancouver and Gray’s Harbor, would lead to more carbon emissions than produced in the state of Washington each year.

“We could pass every climate initiative proposed by Governor Inslee, but if we let these terminals be built our future is on the chopping block,” said Liz Spoerri a Seattle middle school teacher also locked on the tracks.

While proposed coal and oil terminals have been controversial for years, climate activists in the Northwest have significantly intensified their tactics this summer. In Montana, residents sat on the tracks to block a coal train last April, and again on August 16th. In early July a woman locked herself to a 55-gallon barrel filled with concrete, blocking oil-trains at a Portland facility. In a similar action on July 28th three people blocked oil-trains at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes by locking themselves to concrete filled barrels. Most recently three Seattle residents, including state legislative candidate Jess Spear, were arrested blocking oil and coal trains near the Seattle Waterfront.

“People in the Northwest are not going to allow this region to become a fossil fuel superhighway,” said Mike LaPoint, an Everett small business owner locked on the tracks. “This is just a sample of the resistance that will happen if any large fossil fuel project is permitted.”

Despite controversy the number of fossil fuel trains on Washington’s rails continues to rise. While larger coal and oil terminals are undergoing lengthy environmental reviews, projects at Washington’s refineries have brought approximately two oil-trains per day to communities like Seattle and Everett. While the Department of Ecology conducts a study on the safety of oil-by-rail construction continues on a new terminal at the Phillips 66 refinery in Ferndale, and local officials are attempting to fast-track an oil-train terminal at Shell’s Puget Sound Refinery, without environmental review. Each of these projects could add up to six oil-trains per week to the rails. Expansions at the Fraser Surrey Docks coal export facility in Vancouver, Canada would increase the number of coal trains moving through Washington. Activists are demanding an immediate moratorium on all new fossil fuel terminals.

“Politicians play a blame game and talk about safety, but new terminals keep getting rubber stamped and built,” said LaPoint, “If elected officials won’t stop the fossil fuel takeover, we’ll have to do it for them.”

Stand with Poisoned Inmates

Graphic by Adam Peck via Think Progress.

This is climate injustice.

In January, thousands of gallons of the toxic coal cleaning chemicals contaminated the drinking supply for 300,000 people and hundreds of inmates at the South Central Regional Jail (SCRJ) in Charleston, WV, were deprived of access to enough safe water.

Many inmates suffered from illness and injury from dehydration or chemical exposure. Some even faced violence and legal repercussions for seeking medical help and for asking for clean water to drink. You can hold SCRJ accountable and ensure the basic human rights for inmates if you speak out right now!

Click here to demand basic human rights and safe water access for inmates at West Virginia’s South Central Regional Jail.

Our allies with West Virginia Water Hub and Radical Action for Mountain People’s Survival (RAMPS) met and corresponded with more than 50 inmates, and based on their stories, it’s clear that this failed crisis response is just the latest example in a larger pattern of abuse, violence, and negligence by the jail’s staff and administration.

WV Water Hub and RAMPS are amplifying the voices of inmates and exposing this horrendous abuse in order to force a response from prison authorities.

Add your voice: sign RAMPS’ petition to demand basic human rights for inmates in coal country.

RAMPS has stated that they are acting “in solidarity with broader movements of resistance to the growing prison state and poisonous extractive industries.” Combined, the systems of state repression and fossil fuel industry profit are creating a perpetual crisis. Like RAMPS, our movements must respond in kind and directly confront fossil fuel expansion, challenge the political power of that system, and act in solidarity with those facing the brunt of the crisis.

That is climate justice.

Take Non-Violent Direct Action for Climate Justice!; New York City, September 17-24, 2014

Take Non-Violent Direct Action for Climate Justice!

New York City | September 17-24, 2014

International Week of Solidarity with Frontline Communities Around the World

solstice_600On September 23rd, political and corporate leaders are meeting at the United Nations in New York City for the Climate Summit 2014. This summit represents yet another step towards the corporate takeover of the UN climate negotiations, and the privatization of land, water and air resources under the guise of a global climate compact.

Meanwhile, as communities on the frontlines of climate change, we are the ones cultivating real, place-based solutions to address the global ecological crises. Indigenous peoples’ communities, communities of color and working-class white communities that are the first and most impacted by the storms, floods and droughts, are organizing to create millions of family-supporting jobs in clean energy, public transportation, zero waste, food sovereignty, community housing and ecosystem restoration.

We are organizing to stop pollution and poverty at the source, confronting the extreme energy corporations causing the climate crisis. As we write, our friends and comrades around the world are putting their bodies on the line to stop the corporations responsible – mining corporations; oil, coal and gas companies; pipelines and refineries; biofuels plantations; nuclear power plants; waste and biomass incinerators, and a myriad other industries profiteering from the destruction of our communities, our cultures and our ecosystems.

From Mesa to Mountaintop, from Hood to Holler – join us as we meet the scale and urgency of the crisis by standing in solidarity with all frontlines of resistance and resilience around the world, and taking non-violent direct action against the corporations driving the extractive economy.

We call on our allies to:

  • Join us in the streets of NYC for a week of creative non-violent actions for Climate Justice
  • Organize a delegation to join the Peoples March & People’s Climate Justice Summit in NYC
  • Organize a creative action in your home community that highlights local solutions to climate change
  • Spread this /call to action/ amongst your respective networks and social media outlets

Our demands of local, national and international decision-makers are simple:

Support us in building Just Transition pathways away from the “dig, burn, dump” economy, and towards “local, living economies” where communities and workers are in charge!

Join us in solidarity – in the streets of New York City, in your own community, and around the world!

Alliance for Appalachia • ACE for Environmental Justice • Asian Pacific Environmental Network • Black Mesa Water Coalition • Catskills Mountainkeeper • Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy • Center for Story-based Strategy • Communities for a Better Environment • Community to Community Development • Cornell Global Labor Institute • East Michigan Environmental Action Council • Energy Justice Network • Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative • Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives • Global Justice Ecology Project • Grassroots Global Justice Alliance • Grassroots International • Indigenous Environmental Network • Institute for Policy Studies • Ironbound Community Corporation • Jobs With Justice • Just Transition Alliance • Kentuckians for the Commonwealth • Labor Community Strategy Center • Labor Network for Sustainability • Little Village Environmental Justice Organization • Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment • Movement Generation • Movement Strategy Center • NAACP Climate Justice Initiative • New York City EJ Alliance • People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights (PODER) • POWER • Right to the City Alliance • Rising Tide North America • Ruckus Society • Southwest Organizing Project • Southwest Workers Union • UPROSE

Stay tuned for more information on action plans being developed in the coming weeks.

For more information, and to share your local action plans with us, contact sharon@ruckus.org or nyc@risingtidenorthamerica.org, or go to www.ourpowercampaign.org