Blackrock Feels the Heat on Funding of Amazon Destruction

Giant mural at Blackrock offices in San Francisco.

Indigenous earth defenders put out an urgent call for international solidarity and Amazon Watch, the National Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), and Extinction Rebellion responded with a Global Day of Action for the Amazon directed at Brazilian embassies and consulates – but also the global corporations profiting from Amazon destruction.

With $6.5 trillion of assets under management, BlackRock was labeled the “world’s largest investor in deforestation” in a report by Friends of the Earth US, Amazon Watch, and Dutch research firm Profundo.

BlackRock is a key financier of the agribusiness giants most implicated in deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. They are also the world’s largest investment firm in fossil fuel industries, putting them at the top of the black list of firms responsible for climate change.

The data reveal that BlackRock’s holdings in six sectors – soy, beef, palm oil, rubber, timber and pulp/paper – have increased by more than $500m in the last five years. Of the 167 deforestation-risk companies identified by the researchers, BlackRock held shares in 61 of them – valued at $1.5bn by the end of last year.

In San Francisco, the Brasil Solidarity Network and Amazonwatch led a large march from the Brazilian consulate to the offices of investor Blackrock. They painted a giant mural that read “Blackrock Kills” and ended the action by putting blood red hand prints on the Blackrock building.

In Chicago, Extinction Rebellion Chicago (with a little help from Rising Tide Chicago) led a 200 person action that went into

Die-in at Blackrock offices in Chicago.

the investor’s lobby and disrupted until forced outside. Outside 25 people participated in a die-in.

In London, activists took action at the Blackrock’s London offices.

In New York, activist held a vigil for the Amazon outside Blackrocks’s world headquarters. At the Brazilian embassy there were three street shutdowns with powerful drumming.

Hundreds of actions are happening all over the world.  See more here.

Kayaktivists rally on Columbia River against Trans Mountain Pipeline

Photo credit: Tim Newman

Cross-posted from Mosquito Fleet and Portland Rising Tide

Activists protest in front of cargo ship in Port of Vancouver transporting pipe intended for Canada

VANCOUVER, WA — Around 20 kayaktivists with the grassroots network Mosquito Fleet plan to take to the water at 5 p.m. today to protest in front a cargo ship on the Columbia River that is carrying pipe destined for the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project in Canada. Earlier today, the kayaktivists scaled machinery on a nearby dock and hung a banner that read “#StopTMX: No Tar Sands.”

Tonight, the kayakers intend to raise a 70-foot-long banner that says “Stop Trans Mountain” and bring attention to the growing opposition in Washington and Oregon to the tar sands expansion project, which threatens the shared waters of Canada and the U.S. The expansion would lead to a massive increase in tanker traffic, and many people are worried that an oil spill would threaten the livelihood of waterfront communities and species like salmon and the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales.

The kayakers are protesting in front of a cargo ship docked at the Port of Vancouver that is carrying pipe intended for construction of the pipeline expansion. For the past several months, pipe has been loaded on trains at the port and transported north to Canada. The Canadian federal government, which owns the pipeline, has pledged to begin construction this fall despite widespread opposition.

INTERVIEWS: A kayaktivist with Mosquito Fleet will be livestreaming on Facebook and a spokesperson will be available to take brief media questions from the water.

PHOTO/VIDEO: Photos and video, including drone footage, will be uploaded throughout the evening at https://drive.google.com/…/1OaSk9iHoM57kc6jpUgJO3BDEKgzkUhg…

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Media contact: Ginny Cleaveland, 510-858-9902, media@mosquitofleet.us

Photo credit: Tim Newman

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/

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.”