Press Release: Historic Climate Trial Starts Monday In Lynwood, WA

Delta_5_Trial-1-of-1600x400-1cross-posted from the Climate Disobedience Center

For Immediate Release
Contact: Ahmed Gaya, adgaya@gmail.com, 773-960-2587

Historic Climate Trial Starts Monday In Lynwood, WA

Lynnwood, WA – Five community members who blocked the path of an explosive oil train in Everett last year will finally go to trial in Snohomish County on Monday. In a surprise ruling Judge Anthony E. Howard has allowed the defendants to argue that their actions were justified by the threat of climate change. This is the first time a U.S. court has heard a ‘necessity defense’ in a case relating to climate action.

The defendants, known to supporters as the Delta 5, will call expert witnesses including a co-author of the UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change report and a rail safety expert, to convince the jury that the threat posed by climate change justifies their acts of civil disobedience. “There came a point where I could no longer sit back and wait for the politicians to act. I had to put my body on the line to demand not talk, but action on a massive scale to rapidly replace fossil fuels,” said Patrick Mazza, a member of the Delta 5 who has worked for years as an advocate for climate action.

Next week’s trial was moved to the Lynwood courtroom to accommodate a documentary crew and dozens of supporters who are expected to pack the courthouse. Some supporters have traveled across the country to attend, including Tim DeChristopher who gained national attention as ‘bidder 70’ after disrupting a 2008 Bureau of Land Management auction in Utah. DeChristopher spent two years in federal prison for his action.

The Delta 5 are receiving national support from the Climate Disobedience Center, a group co-founded by DeChristopher, whose founders call on their own experiences advancing the necessity defense in high profile cases to support others in bold acts of conscience. Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien has also expressed his support of the Delta 5.

Many supporters come from communities of faith who have rallied around the case. On Sunday Dec. 10th the Delta 5 will receive a pre-trial blessing at Woodland Park Presbyterian Church. “Before taking action I read the daily prayer from The Book of Common Prayer,” said Abby Brockway, a member of the Delta 5 who will be preaching at Sunday’s blessing. “I took the prayer with me as I climbed atop the tripod. I understood that climbing the tripod was my way of participating in the Book of Acts.”

While the Delta 5 defend themselves in court next week, Washington regulators are considering six new oil-by-rail facilities. In Vancouver regulators are holding hearings on the largest such terminal proposed in North America. With Congress’ recent decision to lift the oil-export ban more proposals are expected. Activists have pledged an increased campaign of direct action and civil disobedience until these terminals are rejected. The outcome of next week’s trial could set important precedent for future actions of this kind.

Note: Defendants will not be available to speak to media during the trial. If you wish to speak to a defendant before the trial please contact Ahmed Gaya at adgaya@gmail.com or 773-960-2587

For more information visit:

Delta5Trial.org

ClimateDisobedience.org

Expert Witnesses:

Dr. Richard Gammon Professor (Emeritus) of Chemistry and Oceanography, and Adjunct Professor (Emeritus) of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. Dr. Gammon was a co-author of the first Scientific Assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 1990).  As Chief of the Carbon Dioxide Program, he directed the US program to globally monitor atmospheric CO2 (NOAA Environmental Research Laboratories, Boulder, 1982-84).

Fred Millar an oil train safety expert

Dr. Frank Eugene James, M.D. speaking about the human health impacts of oil tankers.

Statements from defendants:

http://delta5trial.org/2015/12/18/patrick-mazza-why-i-moved-to-direct-action/

http://delta5trial.org/2015/12/18/obedience-to-what-abby-brockway-and-others-head-to-trial-in-washington/

http://www.climatedisobedience.org/liz_spoerri_political_reality_not_keeping_up_with_physical_reality

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0R3Il_FDPo

Key Dates:

1. Blessing and Climate Justice Sunday: Sunday January 10th @ 10:30 AM, Woodland Park Presbyterian Church, 225 N 70th St

More information at: http://delta5trial.org/2015/12/31/blessing-delta-5-trial-january-10th/

2. Trial: Monday January 11th – Wednesday January 15th, 8 AM – 3 PM each day. Snohomish County South District Court, 20520 68th Ave W, Lynnwood, WA 98036. Meet outside of the courthouse on Monday, January 11th @ 8:00 AM

 

Seattle Residents Occupy BNSF Offices to Protest Oil Trains As Paris Climate Talks Continue, Activists Call for Concrete Action on Climate Change

RT seaSeattle Residents Occupy BNSF Offices to 
Protest Oil Trains As Paris Climate Talks Continue, 
Activists Call for Concrete Action on Climate Change

Contact:  
Afrin Sopariwala, Rising Tide Seattle, 
(408) 598-7656,
sheildmaiden@gmail.com


Today 43 residents of Seattle occupied the BNSF office in SoDo 
Seattle to speak out against the company's continued involvement in fossil fuel
extraction and transport. Activists brought a letter with three demands and
asked to speak with the CEO, Carl Ice. Activists were immediately asked to
leave and the police were called. A BNSF spokesperson said they could put
the activists on the phone with Vice President Mr Anderson, claiming that
they had no access to the CEO.

Raging Granny Cynthia Linet read the letter out loud over speaker phone and
Mr Anderson was not able to confirm that these demands could be upheld.
Activists continued to stay and occupy the space, singing and chanting. The
police arrived, and once they had their chain of command in place, they
said they would arrest those who remained. About 30 activists then exited
the building and 13 remained to get arrested. They were released after
being cited for criminal trespass.

“Communities of color here and worldwide are experiencing unprecedented
numbers of extreme fires, floods, hurricanes, and droughts and it’s only
getting worse,” said Jill Mangaliman, executive director of Got Green?. “We
cannot rely on fossil fuel companies and carbon markets to fix this - they
have caused this climate chaos. Instead, we must look to indigenous, black
and brown frontline communities for leadership and solutions.”

“We need to transition away from fossil fuels now, and BNSF could be at the
forefront of that transition by moving goods and people by rail,” said
Valerie Costa, a local small business owner, and one of those cited by the
police. “Instead, they're contributing to catastrophic climate change by
moving dangerous oil trains through our neighborhoods.”

Video:
https://www.facebook.com/shellnoactioncouncil/videos/vb.1625994030965721/1709558165942640/?type=2&theater

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!

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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