San Francisco: Climate Shenanigans Target California Democratic Convention

photo courtesy of Diablo Rising Tide.

via Diablo Rising Tide

This weekend, as California’s Democrats, the next generation’s “real climate leader” Gov. Gavin Newsom and a dozen or so presidential candidates gathered in San Francisco, guerrilla climate advertisers with Diablo Rising Tide pasted, projected and otherwise displayed messages to the liberal masses about fossil fuels and climate change.

One of California’s biggest secrets is that the oil lobby has captured the  state government and dominates the public and political discourse around fossil fuels and climate change.

California writer Dan Bacher recently outlined a must-read of the power, influence and methods that the oil lobby uses around the state:

photo courtesy of Diablo Rising Tide.

“The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) is not a household name in California, but it should be. It’s the trade association for the oil industry and the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying organization in the state. If  you want to know the industries, organizations and people that control California, WSPA and Big Oil are right at the top of the list.

WSPA represents a who’s who of oil and pipeline companies, including AERA, BP, California Resources Corporation, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon, Plains All American Pipeline Company, Valero and many others. The companies that WSPA represents account for the bulk of petroleum exploration, production, refining, transportation and marketing in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, according to the WSPA website, www.wspa.org.

WSPA and Big Oil wield their power and influence over public discourse in 6 major ways: through (1) lobbying; (2) campaign spending; (3) serving on and putting shills on regulatory panels; (4) creating Astroturf groups: (5) working in collaboration with media; and (6) contributing to non profit organizations.”

photo courtesy of Diablo Rising Tide.

In San Francisco this weekend, WSPA remained behind the scenes, but disruptions, bird-dogs and protest were peppered through the weekend targeting Newsom and presidential candidates.

  • At one point 11 year Charlie asked Newsom why California wasn’t adopting a Green New Deal. Newsom, doing his best impression of Dianne Feinstein, told Charlie that “California is doing enough on climate.” Clearly, in a state where hundreds of oil drilling permits were issued in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, a million acres of federal land are being opened to fracking and an entire city burned to the ground during wildfires, the state of California and its governor is not doing enough.
  • A group of Porter Ranch residents found Governor Newsom to ask him when the infamous Aliso Canyon methane storage facility was going to be closed. He re-committed to closing the facility, but forgot to include what his timeline. Maybe he should have just done it the first time and he’d not have to re-commit.
  • Climate youth also converged outside and inside the convention calling for stronger climate action.
  • And then the “conservative voice” of the Democratic presidential candidates, former Colorado Gov. John “Frackenlooper” Hickenlooper was booed during most of his speech after attacking climate action, healthcare for all and socialism. We should have disrupted that shithead.

More shenanigans await as we aim to continue fucking with Big Oil and its lacky politicians.

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/.

 

Climate Justice Activists Protest and Occupy French Consulate in San Francisco

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Hi-Res Pictures Here

Video

Climate Justice Activists Protest and Occupy French Consulate in San Francisco

Activists occupy lobby calling on French government to lift ban on climate marches at U.N. climate talks, act on climate change.

SAN FRANCISCO–At 930am this morning, a group of eight  Bayparis SF 5 Area protesters entered the lobby of the French Consulate in San Francisco’s financial district to speak with the consular general. The demonstrators  dressed in blue, covered their mouths with French flag tape to call attention to the repression of climate organizers during the ongoing United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) talks in Paris. Another 20 people rallied outside the consulate doors with signs and banners. The protest calls on the French government to lift a prohibition of public marches during the COP. The group called on the French government  to stop the acceleration of global climate disruption by pushing for a strong international agreement to regulate carbon emissions.

Citing concerns about the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, on November 19 the French government announced a ban on public gatherings and protests, interrupting a Global Climate March planned for 29 November, at which 200,000 people from around the world were expected to march. A December 12th climate mobilization was banned as well.  Under a veil of national security, French police  wrongly placed 24 French climate organizers under house arrest and began turning back international activists at its borders. On November 29th, French police attacked peaceful protesters at the Place de Republique with tear gas, pepper spray and violently arrested over 200 people.

Protesters at today’s San Francisco action say that France’s heightened security rules endanger citizens’ ability to participate meaningfully in these international climate talks.

‘Many political leaders now acknowledge Climate Change presents a real security threat to the future of nations.” said protest organizer Lynn Stone, with local climate justice group Diablo Rising Tide. “Stifling free speech during the Paris climate talks is a tragic mistake. Paris should not fear and restrict climate justice protesters when the real threat is climate change.”

The talks in Paris come at a critical juncture in world history as more action is needed on climate as storms, floods and droughts increase in intensity each year. Despite the obstacles faced by protesters in Paris, an additional  700,000 people are estimated to have marched in cities throughout the world last weekend calling for heads of state and COP negotiators to rise to the occasion of the climate crisis. Over 50 major cities saw huge demonstrations.

In Oakland, on November 21st, over 5,000 marched for climate action after hearing the same call to action. Action oriented climate justice groups like Diablo Rising Tide have vowed to pressure corporate and political leaders on the issue of fossil fuel extraction, infrastructure and combustion in Northern California.

protest CJ Paris“As a coastal region and a hotbed of environmental innovation, these climate talks are especially relevant to life in the Bay Area,” said Scott Parkin, also with Diablo Rising Tide. “Numerous Bay Area organizations have sent representatives to Paris to join others from around the globe, and the recent crackdown prevents citizens here and around the world from making their voices heard.”

On September 28th, Diablo Rising Tide organized Flood Wall Street West which saw over 250 people march to the offices of Chevron, Wells Fargo and Bank of the West in San Francisco’s Financial District.. The mass civil disobedience shut down the corporate headquarters of Bank of the West for the day and led to the arrests of a dozen climate activists. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of French bank BNP-Paribas, a lead financier of the coal sector in France.

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Diablo Rising Tide is the Bay Area chapter of Rising Tide North America network. Rising Tide is an all-volunteer climate network in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico who confront the root causes of climate change with protests and grassroots organizing.The larger Rising Tide network spans four continents and works with activists in North and South America, Europe, and Australia.

 

Anti-Fracking Activists Stage Direct Action in San Francisco, 12 Arrested

Anti-Fracking Activists Stage Direct Action in San Francisco, 12 Arrested

SF action comes a day before large planned march and rally to take place in Oakland aimed at pressuring Governor Jerry Brown to end fracking in California

San Francisco—Twelve anti-fracking activists were arrested in front of Governor Jerry Brown’s San Francisco offices Friday to call on Governor Brown to ban fracking, halt the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, and expedite the transition to 100 percent renewable energy in California. Activists from local labor and climate justice groups blocked the doors to all three entrances of the Earl Warren State Supreme Court building, which houses Brown’s San Francisco offices, while others blocked traffic and locked down to a 16-foot high wooden oil derrick (with one person perched on top of the derrick itself.) Indigenous activists with Idle No More held a round dance in front of the building, while members of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship sat in on the Warren building front stairs. Among those arrested were activists from three generations of the same family, from ages 18 to 85.

The direct action opens a weekend of protests calling on Brown to fulfill his stated commitment to leading on climate change by banning fracking in California. On Saturday, thousands will march in Oakland in support of a California fracking ban. The San Francisco direct action on Friday escalates pressure on Brown, who has been dodging the issue for years.

“Humanity can live without fossil fuels.  We cannot live without clean water.  The fracking industry is poisoning the water that is necessary for life to exist.  State regulators have let us all down by irresponsibly allowing the fracking industry to pollute natural water systems that were to be set aside for human consumption. It’s time for everyone to rise up and demand a stop to the corporate give-a-ways.  Idle No More SF Bay is here today to rise up for the future of life on Mother Earth,” said Pennie Opal Plant of Idle No More SF Bay.

“We are taking direct action as food service workers to say ‘Don’t Frack Our Food.’ Fracking poisons the food that we eat, that we feed to our families, and that we serve to our customers. The oil industry is affecting our communities. It’s happening in our backyards, not the bosses’ backyard,” said Veronica Garcia, organizer with UNITE HERE 2850 who participated in blocking the McAllister Street entrance to the Warren building. UNITE HERE 2850 represents food service and hospitality workers in the East Bay and North Bay.

“Jerry Brown says Buddhism has taught him a respect for life. If that’s true, how can he allow fracking to continue in California? Between the harsh chemicals, the excessive use of water during a drought, and notoriously dangerous conditions for workers, fracking kills precious beings,” said Dawn Haney, Co-Director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship.

“In Buddhism we have a concept called ‘ahimsa,’ or non-harming,” said Buddhist Peace Fellowship Co-Director Katie Loncke. “In the face of disproportionate pollution in poor communities and communities of color, we find it necessary to engage in ‘militant ahimsa’: nonviolent action that tries to stop harm from happening. This is our way of compassionately confronting government bodies and corporations who are choosing to harm the earth and living beings through fracking.”

“Our political leaders are profiting from Big Oil’s business as usual, and the only way they will ever stand up for what’s right is if we make it absolutely impossible to continue on our current course.  We must force the political class into a choice between ending the war against the earth and communities on it, or filling the jails with people leading with their conscience.” said Scott Parkin, a local climate activist and participant in today’s actions.

Photos from the action: http://bit.ly/1yQBkZy

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