Guardian: Young climate activists chain selves to Washington pier amid pipeline delivery

Activists with Portland Rising Tide and the Mosquito Fleet prevent the bulk carrier Patagonia from docking at the Port of Vancouver, Wash., on November 5, 2019. The protesters are against the ships’s cargo they say is bound for the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project in Canada which will carry oil sands bitumen from Edmonton, Alberta to the coast at Burnaby, British Colombia for export to markets in Asia and the US. (Photo by: Alex Milan Tracy)

cross-posted from the Guardian 

Young climate activists chain selves to Washington pier amid pipeline delivery

Protest comes amid effort to disrupt 700-mile Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Young activists interrupted the delivery of a controversial pipeline to a port in southern Washington at daybreak on Tuesday, once again taking the lead in the climate fight.

Tuesday’s protest by Portland Rising Tide was part of a continuing effort to disrupt the opening of project that expands a pipeline running from Edmonton, Alberta, to the coast of British Columbia and would open export markets to hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil from the Alberta tar sands.

Climbers flanked by kayaks chained themselves to a pier on the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington, intending to intercept the delivery of pipe manufactured in India for the project.

The group of protesters included 22-year-old Kiran Oommen, a plaintiff in the landmark lawsuit Juliana v the US, which takes aim at the American government’s complicity in promoting a fossil fuel energy system and other practices that facilitate the climate crisis.

Oommen, who is joined by 20 other young plaintiffs in the litigation, was among those who chained himself to a dock. By 8am, he and other activists were being threatened with arrest as an arriving bulk carrier sounded its foghorn and a growing crowd of stalled workers gathered on the pier, one shouting: “Trump! Four more years!”

Before climbing a ladder and chaining himself to the pier, Oommen said past action to lobby, to vote and to use the courts to compel action on climate change had been unsuccessful so far.

“The point that my generation is at, we don’t have time to wait for systems that haven’t worked for decades,” he said.

The linking of a Juliana plaintiff with direct action against fossil fuel infrastructure signifies more than individual frustration with inaction on climate. It denotes the rising sense of urgency among young people to remedy a crisis that afflicts them all.

“I fear for my future. It’s zero hour and I can’t watch the Earth die around me. I don’t want to be 30 and telling my kids that I didn’t do anything,” said Lydia Stolt, who risked a college scholarship to be among those locked to the pier.

Oommen’s four-year-old court case been the subject of repeated, and unusually aggressive, emergency petitions by the federal government intended to halt the suit, which has missed three trial dates so far.

“Part of why I’m here is to just give them a little reminder that they can play with us in the system, but we don’t have to stay in the system to have our voices heard,” Oommen said.

Tuesday’s action took aim at the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, a 1,150km (about 700-mile) Canadian project that will boost the capacity of oil transport from the Alberta tar sands to the coast of British Columbia.

The $7.4bn expansion is projected to triple the 300,000 barrels of oil currently transported from Edmonton and would carry heavier oils with higher potential to emit greenhouse gas, making it what many activists consider a potential climate tipping point.

The project was initially proposed by Kinder Morgan in 2012, and the Canadian government approved it, but it was delayed by opposition from First Nations and environmental groups and lawsuits from provincial and municipal governments in Canada. The project was acquired by the Canadian government, which continues to fund the expansion, in summer 2018.

The action by Portland Rising Tide, the local affiliate of the North American direct action group, was the culmination of an international effort to track shipments of the pipe from India through the US into Canada. Greenpeace provided technical assistance, while support from the north came from Mosquito Fleet, an oil and gas direct action group, and First Nations peoples who oppose the pipeline.

Cedar George-Parker, 22, a member of the Tulalip and Tsleil Waututh tribes, said First Nations communities had staunchly opposed the pipeline, which crosses indigenous lands.

He said a study had determined a spill could sicken 1 million people within 24 hours. He also noted potential impacts on the salmon in the Fraser River watershed and orcas in the Salish Sea from increased tanker traffic.

“In Tulalip, the orca is on the crescent [flag], so it’s who they are,” George-Parker said. “We have to do something to save them. They can’t speak English … they can’t go to the legislative building.

St. Paul, MN: Grand Opening of New JPMorgan Chase Branch Disrupted by Climate Activists, Students

cross-posted from Stop Line 3

Grand Opening of MN JPMorgan Chase Branch Disrupted by Climate Activists, Students 

World’s worst banker of climate change under fire for its massive financing of fossil fuels and Line 3 pipeline

Saint Paul –– As the newest Chase branch in Minnesota opened its doors for the first time, activists and students from Macalester College staged a rally and “die-in” in the lobby, demanding that the world’s worst banker of climate change defund fossil fuels. The action follows a blitz of demonstrations across the country this year targeting Chase Bank; from Chicago, to New York, to Seattle, to Los Angeles, to San Francisco.

“As a young person who will be inheriting this uncertain future, I know climate action is needed now,” said Andrew Vrabel Miles, a 23 year old senior at nearby Macalester College. “Chase bank, which is opening a branch right by my school, has taken no action to defund climate change by defunding fossil fuels and major fossil fuel infrastructure projects like the Line 3 pipeline. We demand Chase stop destroying our future!”

According to data from Rainforest Action Network’s Banking on Climate Change 2019 report, since the Paris Agreement, JPMorgan Chase has provided $196 billion in finance for fossil fuels. Chase is the world’s worst funder of fossil fuels and the world’s worst funder of fossil fuel expansion –– by a large margin. Additionally, Chase is one of several banks currently lending to three different active Enbridge pipeline-related loans, totaling approx. $5.4 billion.

“We are taking action today because Chase needs to be held accountable for its outsized role in
the climate crisis,” said Ethan Nuss with Rainforest Action Network. “Our very future is
contingent on an immediate end to the expansion of fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure. We
won’t stop taking action until Chase takes real tangible action on climate.”

###

Port of Vancouver, WA: Activists Blockade Shipment of Tar Sands Pipeline

pic via Alex Milan Tracy

cross-posted from Portland Rising Tide

For Immediate Release: November 5 2019

Contact: Kelsey Baker, 415.599.6672, pdxnopipelines@protonmail.com

Photos Available Here.

BREAKING: Activists Blockade Shipment of Tar Sands Pipeline

 Business at the Port of Vancouver Disrupted to Stop Import of Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) Infrastructure

Vancouver, WA — Community members from Oregon and Washington have shut down part of the Port of Vancouver, WA to block a shipment of pipeline that is destined for the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) project in Canada that would run from Edmonton to Vancouver, B.C. This latest action is the third in a series of actions targeting the Port of Vancouver, WA for its role in transporting dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure. In early September, activists broke the news that pipe for the TMX project’s construction is being imported by ship to the Port of Vancouver, WA and then blockaded a rail line at the Port to prevent the pipe from being transported to British Columbia.

Right now, five climbers have locked themselves to the dock where the shipment is to be off-loaded in order to prevent the pipeline pipes from making it to their final destination in Vancouver, B.C. They are supported by dozens of kayakers and other boaters who are rallying to tell the Port of Vancouver, Governor Inslee, and Prime Minister Trudeau to stop this dangerous fossil fuel project that is jeopardizing a livable future for everyone on this planet.

Kiera, a climber blocking the ship dock, said, “The hypocrisy of the Port of Vancouver is embarrassing. The Port Commissioners should be ashamed — they claim to be environmental stewards concerned about climate catastrophe, yet they are enabling the dirtiest pipeline project in the world by allowing this pipe to pass through the port.”

pic via Alex Milan Tracy

An activist with Portland Rising Tide, Rachel Walsh, said, “I’m here because tar sands crude transported by the Trans Mountain Expansion project would require three times more water for extracting and refining and would release 15% more greenhouse gas per gallon of gasoline when compared with conventional oil.” She went on to say, “We are also taking action in solidarity with Fort McKay First Nations who are suing the Alberta government because tar sands expansion threatens sacred land that the government promised to protect.”

An Oregonian at the blockade, Jesse Hannon, wants to make it clear that, “The emissions from such an expansion of tar sands oil production could spell game-over for our climate.” This mega-project, which is larger than the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline, is opposed by Indigenous communities throughout the region, whose local waters, lands, and treaty rights would be directly threatened by project construction and the risk of an oil spill.

This action, organized by Portland Rising Tide and the Mosquito Fleet, is part of a larger fight against the Trans Mountain Expansion, which has been ongoing since 2014. Both organizations are working with other groups across the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada to pressure Prime Minister Trudeau, Govenor Inslee and the Port of Vancouver, WA, who are all complicit in this project. Groups from the United States, Canada, and around the world have joined together to demand that these elected officials act to stop the Trans Mountain Expansion project immediately, respect the rights of Indigenous groups, and halt any further fossil fuel expansion.

Portland Rising Tide is a local group that is part of a global grassroots network that uses education and direct action to address the root causes of climate change. https://portlandrisingtide.org/

Mosquito Fleet is a local group that organizes on-the-water direct action to halt the export of oil, gas and coal through the Salish Sea. https://mosquitofleet.us/eet.us/

BREAKING: Activists Shut Down Vancouver Port to Stop Import of Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Infrastructure

pic: Madison Rowley

For Immediate Release: October 17, 2019

Media Contact: Kelsey Baker, (415) 599-6672, pdxnopipelines@gmail.com

Photos for press use (Please credit Madison Rowley)

Vancouver, WA — Right now, community members from Oregon and Washington are blockading a rail line at the Port of Vancouver, Washington that is transporting pipe for the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project. In early September, activists broke the news that pipe for the project’s construction is being imported by ship to the Port of Vancouver. Today’s action at the gates of Terminal 5 is causing a major delay in loading pipe onto trains destined for British Columbia.

If constructed, the Trans Mountain Expansion would transport an additional 590,000 barrels of toxic, heavy crude every day from the Alberta Tar Sands to the shores of British Columbia. This boost in export shipments would increase oil tankers in the Salish Sea 700%, threaten endangered Orca whales, and violate Indigenous rights. Moreover, the emissions from such an expansion of tar sands oil production could spell game-over for our climate. This mega-project, which is larger than the controvertial Keystone XL Pipeline, is opposed by Indigenous communities throughout the region, whose local waters, lands, and way of life would be directly threatened by project construction and the risk of an oil spill.

This action, organized by Portland Rising Tide and Mosquito Fleet, is part of a larger fight against the Trans Mountain Expansion that has been ongoing since 2014. Both organizations are working with other groups across the west coast of the U.S. and Canada to pressure Prime Minister Trudeau, Govenor Inslee and the Port of Vancouver, WA, who are all supporting this project. We demand they stop the Trans Mountain Expansion project immediately, respect the rights of Indigenous groups, and halt any further fossil fuel expansion.

Donate to the legal fund.

Portland Rising Tide is a local group that is part of a global grassroots network that uses education and direct action to address the root causes of climate change. https://portlandrisingtide.org/

Mosquito Fleet is a local group that organizes on-the-water direct action to halt the export of oil, gas and coal through the Salish Sea. https://mosquitofleet.us/

###