Rising Tide North America Solidarity Delegation to the Philippines Begins!

philippines_typhoon2This week, Rising Tiders from Portland and Seattle traveled to the Philippines on a solidarity mission to visit Indigenous communities in Mindanao on the frontlines of climate destruction, capitalism and imperialism.

They will be traveling in Kidapawan, currently in a state of calamity due to a crippling drought and the recent site of a massacre in which farmers and indigenous folk were fired upon after setting up a street blockade to demand that inaccessible government food rations be distributed.

And then traveling to Davao for two human rights conferences: the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines general assembly, and the International Conference on Peoples’ Rights in the Philippines.

As the group has said:

“We believe that joining our allies on this trip to the Philippines is the most important way we can show our solidarity with this People of Color led movement in the United States, and our allies in the Global South. In fact it is the thing we have been repeatedly asked to do by our BAYAN kasamas.”

Historically conditioned as a colonial experiment and geographically located in the rapidly changing climate of the Global South, the Philippines stands as a frontline nation against political and environmental repression.  As international mining companies seek to drive communities off their ancestral mineral-rich land, the Philippine Armed Forces uses its monopoly on violence to enforce this destructive logic of capital accumulation, while escalating deforestation is wiping out ecosystems, poisoning water sources, and removing natural sources of carbon sequestration.

Meanwhile, though the country is hardly industrialized enough to be a major contributor to climate change, it bears some of the worst effects, such as increased risk from sea level rise and massive typhoons.  Yet despite it all, the Filipino people rise up and resist.  Now is the time for uncompromising solidarity with our allies in the Philippines fighting for their right to life, dignity, and a world in which we all can live.

Transnational solidarity is an important step in fighting the root causes of climate change. Furthermore, ensuring that our allies in the Philippines fighting for their right to life, dignity, and a world in which we all can live are given support and solidarity from the Global North.

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BREAKING: Climate activists launch daring occupation of the California PUC, calling for agency to shut down all gas storage facilities

SAN FRANCISCO – Two Bay Area residents have occupied the ledge above the entrance to the headquarters of the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) today to protest the PUC’s failure to protect the Golden State from the climate and health impacts of methane from underground natural gas storage facilities.
A well blew out at SoCalGas’ Aliso Canyon facility near Porter Ranch on October 23, 2015. Since then, 96,000 metric tons of methane have escaped into the atmosphere, the equivalent of an additional 505,000 cars on the road for a year. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 86 times more climate-intensive than carbon dioxide. While SoCalGas reported last week that the leak had been plugged, the Aliso Canyon leak has been responsible for 25% of the state’s daily greenhouse gas emissions.
Aliso Canyon is one of 12 underground natural gas storage facilities in California, and one of 326 nationwide that use depleted oil and gas wells for storage for urban customers.
“While plugging the leak at Aliso Canyon has been a good step, today we are demanding that the PUC shut down all gas storage facilities; until they do, we are occupying the PUC,” said Christy Tennery-Spalding from Diablo Rising Tide, the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of Rising Tide North America.
The PUC is one of two agencies responsible for oversight of underground natural gas storage facilities. The leaking well had not been inspected since 1976. The CEO of SoCalGas reported to the LA Weekly that a safety valve on the well had been removed in 1979.
“It is unconscionable that these regulators are putting people at risk while giving companies a pass. The last time Aliso Canyon was inspected by the PUC was the last time Jerry Brown was governor,” said Kelsey Baker, from Occupy San Francisco Environmental Justice, currently occupying the ledge over the PUC’s headquarters entrance.
SoCalGas is a division of Sempra Energy and uses the Aliso Canyon facility to store natural gas for delivery to 12 natural gas power plants and 21 million consumers in Southern California. Since the blowout, 10,000 of Porter Ranch’s 30,000 residents have fled the community. Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency, requiring the several state agencies to take urgent action.
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Diablo Rising Tide is the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of Rising Tide North America. Rising Tide North America is an all-volunteer grassroots organizing network in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico who confronts the root causes of climate change with protests and events. You can find out more at www.diablorisingtide.org.

ShellNo! protestors are locked down at the Port of Seattle and need your support!

shell noBREAKING: ShellNo! protestors are locked down at the Port of Seattle right now and need your support!

Early this morning activists set up and deployed a range of technical blockades outside entrances to the port using U-locks, chains, lockboxes, rocking chairs, and other devices. Every entrance of the port was shut down, effectively stopping work on the rig. To sustain this bold action, we need YOU! Come on down and join us right now for an inspiring blockade. Bring your camera, musical instruments, banners, and passion for justice.

LOCATION: Terminal 5, West Seattle (W. Marginal Way and Spokane Street,
Spokane Street Bridge)

As we all know, time is of the essence when it comes to stopping the Polar
Polluter and its evil twin, the Noble Destroyer.

“Shell only has until the end of June to make it up to the Arctic in time to drill this summer. We want to stop them from leaving,” said Blaine Doherty, who is sitting in the road chained to another Seattle resident. “The Port of Seattle has let us down and President Obama has let us down. We can’t afford to let Shell drill in the Arctic if we want this planet to remain habitable.”

After May’s Festival of Resistance, organized by the Shell No! Action Council, another autonomous group called Stop Shell Seattle has called for a month of actions using the tag “June Against Doom”. There have been pickets at the Port for the past 5 days. The goal is to disrupt work on the rig in order to delay its move out of Seattle.

shirly 2The Seattle Raging Grannies chained themselves to rocking chairs for today’s action. “My generation is responsible for how things are today. This rig will destroy any hope of a liveable future for our children and grandchildren,” said Annette Klapstein. “It’s our duty to be out here.”

The groups locked down also highlighted how climate change is already affecting vulnerable communities around the world, such as the recent heatwave in India that has so far resulted in over 2,000 deaths. “The people most impacted by Arctic drilling, and the 2 degrees Celsius warming it will bring, are indigenous people around the world, poor people, and people of the global South,” said Zarna Joshi, one of the Seattle residents who locked down. “When it’s 122 degrees and you’re poor there’s nowhere to hide. The fossil fuel industry’s drive for profit is literally killing people. We’re here to take a stand against these climate-destroying corporations and the governments who support them.”

You can support today’s action with your physical and online presence! Join us at the port and follow our updates via Facebook and Twitter. Donate to our fundraising campaign to support us in paying legal fees. Tell everyone you know and spread the word: Seattle says SHELL NO!