For immediate release: January 28, 2020 , 11:00 AM CST
Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Water Protectors Stage Direct Action in Fond du Lac in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Fight Against the Coastal Gaslink pipeline
Fond du Lac, MN. –– A group of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Water Protectors, blockaded an access road to a TC Energy work site where the Canadian company—formerly known as TransCanada—is performing work on natural gas lines on the Fond du Lac reservation. Today’s action is in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Nation’s fight to protect their traditional territories from fossil fuel expansion. The hereditary chiefs representing the five clans of the Wet’suwet’en are currently blocking construction on a section of TC Energy’s C$6.6-billion Coastal Gaslink pipeline, which would run through their ancestral lands in northern B.C.
“We will stand for no colonial resource extraction on Indigenous lands any longer, in solidarity with our Wet’suwet’en brothers and sisters in so-called Canada who are fighting the Coastal Gaslink pipeline,” said an Indigenous Water Protector. “We are a new generation of warriors and we have awoken with the call in our hearts to protect the sacred. It is no longer a rallying cry, it is something that we mean to live by.”
Local resistance to pipelines has been mounting in recent years in opposition to Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 tar sands pipeline which would violate Anishinaabe treaty rights to hunt, fish, and gather in their treaty territories. Line 3 and TC Energy’s gas pipelines threaten Indigenous sovereignty and full access to their lands.
“This is a call to arms from Indigenous elders who believe that showing solidarity with other struggles is very needed and very necessary in the fight moving forward,” said another Indigenous Water Protector.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 25th, 2019
Water Protectors Block Gate at Enbridge U.S. Tar Sands Terminal: We Will Stop Line 3
Early Monday morning, water protectors blockaded the primary gate of Enbridge’s U.S. terminal, the entry point of several pipelines carrying Alberta tar sands into the region.
One water protector was suspended from a tripod, in solidarity with indigenous-led opposition to Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 pipeline. Line 3 poses to be a 10% increase of tar sands extraction. The project seeks to pass through the Mississippi River headwater, hundreds of watersheds, and terminate at Lake Superior.
Pics from Northfield Against Line 3
The climber, Sara-Beth Anderson, 21, a resident of Minneapolis, said, “I am a diver and love the ocean with all of my heart. The destruction of the sacred is happening because of these terrible decisions to keep extracting, to keep harming the earth despite what climate science has told the world’s leaders. I take this risk for the unborn, for the indigenous peoples fighting to protect their territories all over the planet, for the oceans. Anyone can take a stand against the greatest threat facing our shared world — get involved, get involved now.”
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)
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.
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 NewYork, 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.”