Bay Area: Climate Strikers Plan to Disrupt Banks Fueling the Climate Crisis

MEDIA ADVISORY FOR: September 25, 2019

CONTACT: Hilary McQuie 510-333-8554, hilarymcquie@gmail.com

Climate Strikers Plan to Disrupt Banks Fueling the Climate Crisis

Local groups join together in Financial District, during Global Climate Strike Week, to demand: fossil fuel divestment & green justice investment.

WHAT: Nonviolent direct action to disrupt key locations of financial institutions and government offices along or near Montgomery St. while embodying solutions to climate chaos and injustice through street murals, music and popular education in the streets.

VISUALS: Colorful banners, street murals, speakers, and rallies.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 25. Starting at 7am and continuing until 5pm.

WHERE: Wall St West, starting at Market and Montgomery in San Francisco.

WHO: Initiated by Idle No More SFBay, Diablo Rising Tide, 1000 Grandmothers, Society of Fearless Grandmothers, and Extinction Rebellion SF

WHY: This event is part of the Global Climate Strike, a series of coordinated actions happening in hundreds of cities all over the world between September 20 and 27 and represents a widespread escalation in the movement to stop those fueling the climate crisis. Other local events can be found at https://climatejusticesf.org/

––Spokespeople are all available for interview. Contact Hilary McQuie 510-333-8554 ––

Isabella Zizi, Idle No More SFBay: “As Indigenous Peoples, we understand the imbalance and devastation that Mother Earth and the sacred system of life is facing right now as the Amazon is burning and our glaciers are melting. The younger generations are depending on us to take initiative upon our own hands and protect their future.”

Idle No More SFBay is a group of Native Americans and allies working to create positive change concerning Indigenous rights, the rights of Mother Earth, and the rights of the coming generations to a sustainable and healthy environment.

Hilary McQuie, Diablo Rising Tide: “We’re coming together to demand that the banks that are funding the Climate Crisis divest immediately from fossil fuels extraction and infrastructure, and start repairing the damage by investing in frontline communities and a just transition.”

Diablo Rising Tide is the local chapter of Rising Tide, an international grassroots network that promotes community-based solutions to the climate crisis and take direct action to confront the root causes of climate change.

Nancy Feinstein, 1000 Grandmothers: “Grandmothers know, in every cell of our bodies, that our love for our children, and all children for the next 7 generations – means that we must each step forward in this climate crisis; – we must unite with others, to do everything we can, to shut the fossil fuel industry down. NOW.”

1000 Grandmothers is a group of elder women activists working to address the climate crisis.

Pennie Opal Plant, Society of Fearless Grandmothers: “As older women, many of us didn’t realize the horrible price for what we enjoyed in the latter part of the 20th century which created a theft of the future of the younger ones. The climate emergency is critical and the majority of elected officials and policy makers have not acted fast enough. It is up to us to interrupt business as usual.”

Society of Fearless Grandmothers is a group of grandmother age women who understand that we have an important role in ensuring the safety and future of humanity.

Alycee Lane, Extinction Rebellion SF:“We act because our climate crisis is a racist crisis. It is a crisis Wall Street perpetrated on the backs of those who contributed least to climate change and yet are most harmed by it – Black people, Indigenous people, people of color and poor communities here and around the globe. We act, therefore, as a matter of justice.”

Extinction Rebellion SF is the local chapter of an international organization that uses nonviolent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimize the risk of social collapse due to climate change.

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San Francisco: Strike for Climate Justice on September 25th!

Cross-posted from Diablo Rising Tide

Strike for Climate Justice!

This September, millions of people will take collective action to demand climate justice.

Join us in San Francisco for a mass non-violent direct action on September 25th to confront the corporations and governments responsible for this crisis.

Wednesday Sept 25th: Direct Action – 7am at Montgomery & Market in downtown San Francisco

RSVP for the action!

DISRUPT: THE CLIMATE WRECKERS IN THEIR CORPORATE SUITES: We have identified and will take nonviolent direct action to disrupt key locations of climate of corporations, financial institutions and government offices along or near Montgomery St.We’re asking affinity groups to take nonviolent direct action and disrupt these locations.

CREATE: SOLUTIONS IN THE STREETS: We will paint 20 circular street murals of solutions to climate chaos and injustice along Montgomery St., together with music and popular education about solutions, transforming “Wall St West” (Montgomery St) into a positive vision of solutions. There is a Bay Area tradition of large scale community street murals for climate justice, culminating last Sept in 50 street murals of solutions in the streets around SF Civic Center.

We are asking affinity groups–and mural teams from our communities–to commit to one mural. Music and education is also encouraged along the streets.

SUSTAIN: We will not just show up for an hour or two, but like other catalytic climate justice actions around the world. We will sustain our action for the full workday, beginning at 7am and continuing to 5pm. The public is invited to join us.

The first KICK OFF MEETNG for the September 25th “Strike for Climate Justice” will be September 4th at the Omni Commons in Oakland. Details here.

Read the full Call to Action here.

Initiated by Idle No More SF Bay, Extinction Rebellion SF Bay, Diablo Rising Tide, 1000 Grandmothers for Future Generations, and the Society of Fearless Grandmothers

For more info: https://www.climatejusticesf.org/

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/.

 

Why the Green New Deal needs mass direct action

Mass action in Germany.

Last weekend in San Francisco, my friends and I with Diablo Rising Tide hosted two friends from Germany on the “Scale Resistance” tour that Rising Tide has organized with radical climate group Ende Galaende. The talk left me thinking a lot about resistance (the real kind, not the stuff being sold by Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and the corporate Democrats).  The Green New Deal is currently capturing the imagination of the progressive climate movement and becoming a centerpiece of climate “resistance.” But it needs a massive social movement moving forward at a large scale, taking serious action, at its foundation to succeed.

For the past 5 or 6 years, Ende Galaende (“Here and No Further” in English) has organized a massive nationwide coalition, that includes everyone from small radical groups to big green non-profits, to stop lignite coal mining in Germany. Their demands were an immediate phase out of lignite coal mining. Rooted in the anti-nuclear movements of a previous era, their tactic was mass disruption of coal infrastructure. Their action campaigns included mass direct actions numbering in the thousands at open pit coal mines in the Rhineland region and a multi-year tree sit in the Hambach Forest.

This critical direct action campaign has put the German political establishment on the defensive around coal and climate issues. The establishment responded with an agreement for a 20 year phase out of coal in Germany, not an immediate one as demanded  by Ende Galaende.  Their campaign continues.

Nationally in the U.S., the fossil fuel infrastructure fights have also challenged the legitimacy of the oil and coal industries.  The hard fought campaign in the bayous of Louisiana has stopped Energy Transfer Partner’s Bayou Bridge pipeline for at least a year. Indigenous led resistance to Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline has also put the future of that pipeline into question. In Appalachia, the locally led campaign against the Mountain Valley Pipeline that has included long term tree-sits and disruptive protest along the construction route has also delayed the completion of that project. The purveyors of the Keystone XL pipeline are also bracing for a massive social movement response.  Last week, the state of South Dakota passed a set of anti-pipeline protest bills targeting both people in South Dakota, as well as any outside groups that provide support. There are dozens of these state laws being passed or proposed.

Globally, the climate and environmental uprising is spreading with ferocity as well:

  • Barefoot lockdown in Gibberagee State Forest.

    Australia: About 40 protestors took action in the Gibberagee State Forest in protest of illegal logging of koala habitat. A number of activists locked onto Forestry Corporation machinery. The action follows claims by North East Forest Alliance that an audit found the Forestry Corporation was only protecting half of the koala trees is it required to. Among the protestors was  veteran forest activist Nan Nicholson, who was instrumental in saving the forest at Terania Creek in the late 1970s.
  • Australia: In late February, Adani’s Abbot Point Port was targeted by anti-coal activists. Trains were stopped in a near continuous shutdown for over 75 hours during a week of non-violent direct action in central Queensland. Seven activists from across Australia, all committed to fighting the threat of thermal coal induced climate change, took action against Adani. The seven scaled fences, evaded drones, locked themselves to rail infrastructure and suspended themselves from trees and tripods to block coal trains from entering the port.
  • Finland: Climate protesters climbed Finnish Parliament House pillars. Members of several Finnish environmental groups demonstrated at the Finnish Parliament on 6 March. Eight protesters were detained after scaling the giant stone columns.
  • Scotland: About 20 conscientious climate protectors stayed in the National Museum of Scotland on behalf of Extinction Rebellion Scotland after closing time. They sat in to protest the ‘oil club’ dinner being hosted there tonight. A group of over 900 oil executives from the UK and beyond were gathered in a national museum and monument to celebrate their own relevance and profit-making from the destruction of the climate. 12 of our friends were arrested rather than leave after police warnings.
  • Greta Thunberg.

    Climate Strikes:  Across the globe, students and youth are taking action with walkouts and mass protests to protect a future that older generations (particularly those in political and corporate offices) don’t give a shit about. Another mass climate strike is expected on March 15th.

The Sunrise Movement is already using direct action in pushing members of Congress for the Green New Deal. It kicked off with hundreds sitting in at Nancy Pelosi’s Capitol Hill offices in November with 51 arrests. A couple of weeks later on Dec. 10th, Sunrise followed up with a massive Green New Deal lobby day that included sit-ins and 143 arrests.  In response to GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell trying to stop the Green New Deal before it starts, 43 climate activists were arrested in his Capitol Hill offices in late February.  In a stunning response, McConnell postponed the vote where he’d hoped to stop the Green New Deal’s march through Congress.

As Naomi Klein recently penned in the Intercept,

“I have written before about why the old New Deal, despite its failings, remains a useful touchstone for the kind of sweeping climate mobilization that is our only hope of lowering emissions in time. In large part, this is because there are so few historical precedents we can look to (other than top-down military mobilizations) that show how every sector of life, from forestry to education to the arts to housing to electrification, can be transformed under the umbrella of a single, society-wide mission.

Which is why it is so critical to remember that none of it would have happened without massive pressure from social movements. FDR rolled out the New Deal in the midst of a historic wave of labor unrest: There was the Teamsters’ rebellion and Minneapolis general strike in 1934, the 83-day shutdown of the West Coast by longshore workers that same year, and the Flint sit-down autoworkers strikes in 1936 and 1937. During this same period, mass movements, responding to the suffering of the Great Depression, demanded sweeping social programs, such as Social Security and unemployment insurance, while socialists argued that abandoned factories should be handed over to their workers and turned into cooperatives. Upton Sinclair, the muckraking author of “The Jungle,” ran for governor of California in 1934 on a platform arguing that the key to ending poverty was full state funding of workers’ cooperatives. He received nearly 900,000 votes, but having been viciously attacked by the right and undercut by the Democratic establishment, he fell just short of winning the governor’s office.

All of this is a reminder that the New Deal was adopted by Roosevelt at a time of such progressive and left militancy that its programs — which seem radical by today’s standards — appeared at the time to be the only way to hold back a full-scale revolution.”

We’re in a moment that needs massive social movement pressure to break through political and corporate barriers to respond to the climate crisis. Following the lead of organizers from our past, in other parts of the world today, the anti-infrastructure movements and the revitalized youth climate movement, it’s time to scale up and say “here and no further.”

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Scott Parkin is a climate organizer working with Rising Tide North America. You can follow him on Twitter at @sparki1969