Seattle: #YouShellNotPass Blockades Shut Down Terminal 5

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pics via Brandon Hill

#YouShellNotPass Blockades Shut Down Terminal 5 At The Port Of Seattle

Seattle, WA, Hundreds of people blockaded the gates to Terminal 5 at the Port of Seattle, stopping work on Shell’s Arctic Drilling rig Polar Pioneer.

“Everyone is out here today, we have scientists, teachers and city councilmembers risking arrest because they understand the severity of this moment,” said Sarra Tekola a student with Divest University of Washington who recently won a vote to divest their school’s endowment from Coal. “Climate change isn’t a polar bear issue it’s a human rights issue, climate change displaces people from their countries, 40 years ago desertification kicked my father out of his country in Ethiopia and it’s going to get worse. This is our lunch counter to sit on, this is our history to be made, we hold the world in our hands.”

A loose network of several dozen groups calling themselves the sHell No! Action Council (SNAC) organized today’s action. SNAC has focused their opposition to Arctic Drilling on the impacts of Global Warming on the impacts on peoples in the Global South and indigenous communities.

“For the past few years, the Philippines has ranked highly as a country most vulnerable to climate change. My heart fills with dread every time I hear another news report on an extreme weather event in the Philippines, where my family still lives” says Bayan PNW Coordinator Katrina Pesta*ño*. “As the U.S. consumes 20% of the world’s energy resources, we Filipino Americans believe it is our duty to organize for more renewable energy sources and against activities that would extract fossil fuels from the earth,” added Katrina. “Islands like the Philippines continue to disproportionately face the brunt of disaster brought on by global climate change.”

City Councilmember Kshama Sawant joined hundreds of Seattlites prepared to risk arrest in today’s action. While the majority of participants were local, some travelled from as far as the east coast and the gulf south.

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via Brandon Hill

“Just last week I was at a rally in front of a polluting Shell asphalt
refinery in Saint Rose, Louisiana. Neighbors there are sick from Shell’s pollution. Shell cannot safely operate the facilities it already has. There’s no way this company should be allowed to drill in the Arctic,” said Anne Rolfes, a New Orleans resident participating in today’s action.

Others traveled from Alaska to show their opposition to Shell’s plans, including a number of Alaskan Native activists.

“I’m here as an Inupiaq person to support and stand with the activists and kayaktivists in the effort to keep the Arctic Ocean free of drilling for oil. Quyanaqpak for helping protect our way of life,” said Allison Warden, who travelled to Seattle from the Arctic for this weekend’s events.

Part of the group locked down are the Seattle Raging Grannies. “My generation is responsible for the way things are and we owe it to our children and grandchildren to stand up to make a change and protect their future” said Annette Clapstein.

Zarna Joshi dressed in a sari and holding a sign that says Vande Mataram, I bow to my mother, said. “I will not allow the future of our planet, my mother, to be destroyed by this greedy, short sighted, capitalist system that is utterly failing the people.” She says she wants to invite her Indian brothers and sisters to join in this fight for our future.

Organizers with the sHell No! Action Council say the process they used to organize their protests was just as important as the outcomes. The council called mass meetings and used a spokescouncil modeled off the planning for the 1999 WTO protests. Over 200 people participated in democratic planning for today’s actions.

”Today we’re not just shutting down Shell, we’re challenging corporate capitalism, imperialism and colonialism with a vision of people power and true mass democracy,” said Ahmed Gaya an organizer with Rising Tide Seattle, one of the groups participating in the sHell No! Action Council.

Pictures Available Here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/132256949@N04/sets/72157650744653893/
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*Spokespeople*
Katrina Pestano, Bayan PNW Coordinator – 206-403-0349
Joaquin Uy, Bayan PNW – 206-427-2999
Sarra Tekola, Divest University of Washington (UW) – 206-718-7347
Anne Rolfes, Louisiana Bucket Brigade – 504-452-4909
Jill Mangaliman, Got Green Executive Director – jill@gotgreen.org
JM Wong, Parisol – dameimee247854@gmail.com
Ahmed Gaya – Rising Tide Seattle, 773-960-2587
Emily Johnston – 350 Seattle, 206-407-5003

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Oakland residents deliver “coal” to developer to protest coal export plan

tagami 2FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2015

Contact:
Jess Dervin-Ackerman, jdervina@gmail.com, (510) 693-7677

Ethan Buckner, ethanbuckner@gmail.com, (612)718-3847

Oakland residents deliver “coal” to developer to protest coal export plan

Demonstration calls on local developer to reverse plan for coal exports at
former Oakland Army Base

***High-res photos from this morning’s demonstration***:
http://bit.ly/1IBa8r4

***High-res video footage from the protest***: http://bit.ly/1FaXI5m

Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA—Oakland residents, elected officials, and
members of local labor, climate justice, and environmental organizations
rallied this morning to oppose developer Phil Tagami’s plan to ship coal
through the city of Oakland. Activists wearing hazmat suits dumped a large
pile of charcoal in front of the Rotunda building at Frank Ogawa Plaza,
where Tagami’s offices are located, to pressure Tagami to withdraw the
proposal. Tagami recently announced plans to transport coal from Utah
through Oakland by rail to a new bulk export facility at Oakland’s former
army base. Tagami’s plan has drawn extensive criticism from local community
and environmental groups, as well as from the City Council and Mayor Libby
Schaaf.

“From extraction to transport to burning, coal allows toxic chemicals to
enter into communities and the environment, causing climate disruption and
deadly diseases. Coal is bad for the climate, community and worker health,
and the environment, and both Oakland and California have standing policies
opposing the export of dirty energy. We call on Mayor Libby Schaaf and the
Oakland City Council to uphold the commitments they have made to keep
Oakland free of dangerous fossil fuels,” said Jess Dervin-Ackerman,
Conservation Manager for the Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter

“As a parent of two young children, I’m not going to sit back and allow our
city to become a shipping hub for something that poisons our air and
contributes to even more climate chaos for my kids to deal with. I believe
that Oakland needs to, and will, join communities in Oregon and Washington
in refusing to sell out our kids’ health so some big companies in Utah can
make a profit,” said Carolyn Norr of Families Against Fossil Fuels.

tagami 3“As a nation, we view ourselves as a world leader of democracy and human
rights, so we should be exporting clean 21st Century renewable energy
technologies to the developing countries, not dumping toxic 19th Century
fuel on them. There is more at stake than just squeezing the last few bucks
of profit out of fossil fuels. Our entire way of living is at stake if we
continue to gamble with the impacts of CO2 on global warming and climate
change. Our communities deserve better than the trade of a few jobs in
exchange for millions of tons of toxic chemicals rolling past our windows.
This is about profit, pure and simple, and very little of that money will
wind up in West Oakland pockets,” said Brian Beveridge, Co-Director of West
Oakland Environmental Indicators Project.

“We are standing at the crossroads of history. Oakland can choose the path
of exporting coal, the path of condemning our children to an unlivable
planet, or Oakland can lead California in building a resilient and just
local economy based on community-owned and controlled clean energy that
creates thousands of family-sustaining, union jobs. We shouldn’t have to
choose between good jobs or our survival, the health of our children and of
the Earth. With East Bay Community Energy, Alameda County’s Community
Choice energy program that we hope will launch in 2017, we can have both,”
said Colin Miller Co-Director of Bay Localize and Coordinator of the Clean
Energy & Jobs Oakland Campaign.

Tagami, who is president of California Capital and Investment Group (CCIG),
previously promised not to allow the export facility at the former army
base be used for exporting fossil fuels. Today’s action will be the first
event in a campaign to push Tagami to keep his promise and reverse plans
for coal exports in Oakland. Coal exports threaten public health, worker
safety, and the global climate.

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BREAKING: Activists Use Tripod To Block Shell’s Seattle Operations

seattle*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*

Contact: Charles Conatzer
charlesadamseattle@gmail.com
(206)556-9251

Activists Use Tripod To Block Shell’s Seattle Operations

May 12, Seattle, WA.  Days after the Foss Maritime announced that they
intended to defy Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, and illegally host Shell’s Arctic
drilling fleet, Seattle activists have blockaded Shell’s Seattle fuel transfer station by erecting a tripod.

Seattle resident Annie Lukins, who is suspended from the top of the tripod,
says she made the decision to block the facility because like everyone who
lives near the shore, she has a stake in stopping Shell.  “Shell already
knows the impacts of drilling in the arctic. They are placing themselves in
defiance of climate science, in defiance of the treaty subsistence rights
of the Inupiat, and in defiance of our elected official here in Seattle.
I’m here because I’m not the only young person who wants to raise her
children near the shore. Whether they are my kids or the kids of the
Inupiat people of the arctic, I want the next generation to be able to to
eat fish from the ocean whose flesh doesn’t carry the killing toxins of
crude oil. Shell has already proven they cannot safely operate in the
arctic, and the niger delta has shown us that they don’t clean up after
themselves. We need to ban arctic drilling now.”

“By coming to seattle in defiance of the mayor’s announcement, Shell is
proving again what we already know.” Said Marianna Coles Curtis, who helped support the protest “They are getting away with illegally docking their
drilling fleet here by paying $500 a day. It’s like a parking ticket.  This
is a company that made nearly $15 billion in profits last year, so $500 a
day isn’t anything to them. It just shows how companies like Shell, BP, and
Exxon can trample all over a community, and then get away with a small fine
that hardly takes a chip out of their profit.”

Shell’s criminal activities are worldwide.  The oil giant has come under
public scrutiny for numerous environmental and human rights violations.
Shell is responsible for the spilling of 1.5 million tons of oil in the

Niger Delta over the last 50 years. According to human rights watch groups,
Shell has made inadequate efforts to remediate impacts, and the oil has led
to massive fish kills which have devastated the local fishing economy.

Shell’s Arctic drilling mission has also sparked controversy. In 2012,
Shell ran one of their Arctic rigs aground, violated permits regulating air
pollution, and failed to certify crucial safety equipment. These
violations have prompted Inupiat leaders to come forward in opposition to
Shell’s Arctic drilling project, saying that it poses too great a danger to
the tribe’s treaty subsistence rights.

Next week, thousands of protestors from Seattle and beyond plan to converge
at terminal 5 and Harbor Island to non-violently resist the progress of
Shell’s Arctic drilling rigs and support vessels.  On May 16 a
family-friendly Paddle in Seattle will rally people on water and land to
protest their presence.  Then  May 18,  activists plan direct action on
land. Read more about “Festival of Resistance” at Shellno.org.

“We are going to stand up.” Lukins said. “Until Barak Obama has to make a
choice – arrest an entire movement for standing in defense of our own
environment and in defense of the treaty rights of indigenous people, or
end arctic drilling!”

DIRECTIONS: The Tripod is on 16th Ave Southwest on Harbor Island, just
north of the corner of 16th Ave SW and Lander St. Turn north onto 16th Ave
SW off of Spokane St and drive north until lander street, the protest will
be on your right.

### PHOTOS AND INTERVIEWS WITH ANNIE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST ###

Union Member Risks Arrest at Arc Logistics, Opposes TPP and Fossil Fuel Exports

close-up-300x170Portland, OR. Tim Norgren of Stevenson, WA and Laborers International Union of North America member is locked to a barrel at Arc Logistics Partners’ Portland Terminal to draw a clear connection between fossil fuel exports and trade agreements like the TPP, and to call for action to put a stop to both. Tim is supported by the climate justice group Portland Rising Tide.

The crowd is gathered at Arc Logistics to support Tim and draw the connections between existing & proposed fossil fuel infrastructure and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a secretive trade deal being pushed by many politicians including Democrats Senator Wyden, Representative Blumenauer, Representative Bonamici, and President Obama. Many environmental and labor groups oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on the grounds that it is written and promoted by the fossil fuel industry and American Legislative Exchange Council, gives multinational corporations more rights than communities here in the US, sends jobs overseas, and jeopardizes worker and environmental protections around the Pacific Rim.

The AFL-CIO opposes the TPP and is holding a rally today at 4:30pm at the Sentinel Hotel to tell President Obama, who is in Portland to speak on trade agreements, to stand up for workers and the environment. “I’m locked down today in part because climate change is an issue of survival inextricably linked to so-called ‘free trade’ globalization efforts like the TPP. While many of us strongly appreciate President Obama’s willingness to bring the climate crisis into the national debate, he has been unwilling to connect major fossil fuel exports to the TPP or veto the Keystone XL pipeline,” said Tim Norgren.

With proposals by major Alberta Tar Sands investor Pembina Pipeline Corporation for a propane (derived from fracked gas in Alberta, Canada) export terminal in Portland, the Jordan Cove Natural Gas terminal proposed in Coos Bay, a proposed natural gas terminal in Warrenton, as well as already-operating Arc Logistics and Port Westward oil-by-rail terminals, Oregonians are concerned that the Trans Pacific Partnership will promote more export terminals, send domestic energy overseas to fuel jobs in countries with lower workers’ rights standards, and hasten climate change. At a time when scientists tell us we need to leave most fossil fuels in the ground to prevent disastrous climate change and runaway global warming, this is completely unacceptable.

Tim hopes this action will send a message to union leaders and politicians alike that everyday workers want sustainable jobs. “I’m also taking this action to let my union, the Laborers International Union of North America, know that it has rank and file members who are willing to stand up not only for prevailing wage contracts, but for the survival and rights of all workers, rather than support those who would see minimum wage remain at poverty levels while jobs are freely outsourced to foreign factories with subsistence wages and no safety or emissions standards whatsoever. All they offer us in return is a chance to build infrastructure for an economy based on environmentally destructive resource extraction, and that’s just not sustainable.”

People gathered today at Arc Logistics spoke about being inspired by resistance from other communities in the Pacific Northwest, and hope that local governments can be leaders in stopping fossil fuel exports. “In Seattle, the Mayor recently took a strong stance against Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet and hopes to stop drilling in the Arctic entirely. We can only hope Mayor Hales will do the same, reverse course, say no to the Pembina propane export terminal and begin the process of dismantling all current fossil fuel infrastructure in Portland,” said Rising Tide organizer Jonah Majure.

Portland Rising Tide will be hosting a legal defense fundraiser for Tim at 7:30 pm on May 22nd at Ecotrust (721 NW 9th Ave, Portland OR).

Media Contact: Jonah Majure: 623-262-3063