Colorado Anti-Fracking Activists Take Direct Action at Governor's Mansion
Anti-fracking activists in Denver Colorado have erected a 20 foot mock wooden oil derrick in front of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper’s mansion in a posh Denver neighborhood demanding an end to the practice in their state.
A mother and daughter from the frack impacted community of Loveland, CO have chained themselves to the oil rig in protest, while another anti-fracking activist is perched atop it. Loudspeakers have been mounted to the top of the platform, projecting the personal stories of citizens who’ve been harmed by fracking.
Under Hickenlooper, Colorado has been reckless in its development of shale gas reserves. Over 55,000 wells are currently in production and industry’s cozy relationship with the governor continues to maintain business as usual.
Across the country thousands of instances of health and safety impacts have been reported in relation to the controversial extraction process. While states such as New York and Maryland have taken a cautious approach, Colorado has been reckless in its development of shale gas reserves. State studies of the impact from the Colorado School of Public Health, NOAA, and others were instrumental in New York’s decision to ban fracking earlier this year.
Since 2012 Colorado communities have passed five fracking bans and moratoria via ballot initiative, while being hugely outspent by the oil and gas industry. Governor Hickenlooper and the Colorado Oil and Gas Association have issued lawsuits attempting to overturn the results of the democratic process. The cases are now on appeal and will be decided on by the Colorado Supreme Court.
The fight between the oil and gas industry and communities in Colorado is escalating. Ordinary people are taking to the streets to challenge fracking and shale development. Now is the time for our voices to be heard in standing against this dangerous practice.
Interested in planning a #FloodTheSystem action this fall? Click this link!
Flood Wall Street West: March. Sit-in. Shut down the Climate Profiteers.
Northern California is being ravaged by climate chaos. Massive drought-fueled wildfires are torching tens of thousands of acres of land and stretching the state’s firefighting capacity to its breaking point. Just this past month, fires in northern California displaced over 23,000 people, destroyed thousands of structures, caused billions of dollars in damage, led to one at least one fatality and left the landscape a smoking ruin.
But it’s not just wildfires. California’s unprecedented, ongoing drought is devastating the state. Farms in the state’s Central Valley have been put out of business; local economies have been devastated and the state has resorted to historic water rationing.
These aren’t natural disasters. People bear much of the responsibility – specific people and institutions with names and addresses, many of them in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Bay Area is a playground for corporate criminals that profit off of environmental injustice, economic exploitation and oppression. In the East Bay, five of Big Oil’s refineries spew carbon and other pollutants poisoning our communities and scorching the climate. Further East and South, oil and gas companies populate the skyline of the Central Valley with fracking wells.
Chevron, perpetrator of climate, environmental and human rights crimes across California and the world, sprawling world headquarters is safely nestled in the Bay’s affluent suburb of San Ramon.
To the south, tech giants like Google and Facebook perpetrate a new class warfare in the Bay area through gentrification and rising property rates. Homelessness and working class displacement are on the rise, while resources for essential services dwindle away. Furthermore the movement of Silicon Valley north turning San Francisco into a city devoid of culture and diversity.
In the heart of San Francisco is Wall Street of the West, the largest financial district west of the Mississippi. One of the largest banks in the country, headquartered in the financial district, is Wells Fargo, a predatory lender and financial backer of crushing economic inequality and the prison-industrial complex.
Also headquartered in San Francisco is Bank of the West. Bank of the West, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, is the poster child of climate profiteering. BNP Paribas directly profits off of massive investments in the coal industry while greenwashing its investments in the climate crisis by bankrolling the climate talks in Paris.
Thriving in the shadow of these corporate behemoths are California’s fearsome movements for justice and environmental sanity. From the General Strike in 1934 to the rise of the Black Panthers and the Free Speech Movement in the sixties to Earth First! and Redwood Summer, Bay Area resistance to environmental injustice, economic exploitation and oppression remains strong.
We’re not alone. A little more than a year ago, thousands of us confronted the global financial system in New York City by sitting in and taking direct action at the heart of Wall Street. Now a year later, as people across the continent are fighting for a living wage, storming the police state declaring that "Black Lives Matter" and confronting fossil fuel infrastructure, we’re taking action to call out those profiting from this crisis in the Bay Area.
Wearing blue to represent the sea that surrounds us, we rise in San Francisco’s Financial District, the Wall Street of the West, flooding the area with our bodies in a massive civil disobedience – a collective act of nonviolent civil disobedience – to confront the system that both causes and profits from the crisis that is threatening humanity.
There’s more to come. Flood Wall St. West is the Bay Area kickoff event for #FloodTheSystem, a sustained, continent-wide campaign of direct action in the leadup to the United Nations climate negotiations in Paris this fall. It is a critique of the systems (capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy) driving the climate crisis while targeting tangible institutions like Big Oil, Big Coal and the banks that love them profiting from it.
There is no time to waste – our economic system must be transformed. Through the power of people taking collective action we will build a future based on justice and sustainability and stop the climate crisis.
Flood the System doesn't end locally with Flood Wall Street West. You can be part of making upcoming actions happen. The next flood is coming.
Interested in planning a #FloodTheSystem action this fall? Click this link!
Climate Justice Means Real Solidarity
Today we — a group of Seattle climate activists—chained ourselves together to block deportation buses at the Northwest Detention Center. Alongside members of the Trans and/or Womyn’s Action Camp (TWAC) and Northwest Detention Center Resistance, we risked our safety and our liberty by blocking roads and preventing the week’s deportations.
As climate activists we take these risks because we believe the fight for migrant and climate justice are one and the same. We hope these actions inspire others in our movement to imagine a deeper, more engaged solidarity.
Some have asked us why we are taking this action when the climate is at a crisis point. At the most basic level, we believe that people of conscience must care about human suffering, violence and injustice wherever and however it takes place.
Some of us have had friends stolen from their families by the violence of the immigration system; some of us are recent immigrants or children of immigrants; and all of us who are not indigenous have a family history of immigration. Now more than ever the brutality of our militarized borders are on display. The degrading and dehumanizing conditions inside immigrant detention centers are splashed across national headlines. While the world watches hundreds of thousands of people make harrowing crossings into Europe, the brutality of border imperialism is unmistakable. On top of this the Northwest Detention Center, like so many of America’s prisons, is built on a toxic waste site: adding long term health effects to the trauma of detention and deportation.
Fierce passion about one injustice does not diminish our resolve to end others. The same compassion that forces us to defend communities and future generations threatened by climate chaos compels us to act now. If we want to avoid an ugly future, such compassion is not optional.
As the planet heats up, we will see more and more people leaving their homes and crossing borders. Whether the immediate cause is war, drought, famine or something else, climate change will displace millions of people. This is already happening and will continue to worsen even if we transition immediately to clean energy. Today, people are fleeing a conflict in Syria that was dramatically exacerbated by extreme drought and global warming.
The nations that caused this crisis have a basic obligation to welcome migrants with open arms. We must create a world where safety and justice are more important than arbitrary borders. If we can’t find a way to welcome and support migration in a rapidly warming world, dystopia awaits us. In the climate-disrupted world we will inherit a militarized border and abusive gulag system can only grow into an even more violent police state.
If we truly believe in the world changing impacts of global warming we have an obligation to act now for the open and compassionate society we need to build.
People inside and outside the climate movement have criticized it for focusing more on melting glaciers than people. But finally, we’re seeing the blossoming of a climate justice movement that tells another narrative—one that shows the meaning of the science through the lens of people’s lives: the 2,000 dead in this summer’s Karachi heat wave, the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan, the families without water in central California.
It was heartening to see people from so many movements come together in an expression of interconnectedness for the People’s Climate March in New York last year. The Movement for Black Lives has inspired many climate activists to think, talk, and write about racial justice in our fight and to rethink climate disasters like Hurricane Katrina through that lens.
But true solidarity can’t be built by simply inviting everyone to join us in the climate tent. As a movement we have to recognize that the climate crisis is one of many created by colonialism, capitalism, and white supremacy, and we have to be invested in them as well. We need to demonstrate that our movement can respectfully meet allies in struggle on their terms, and that we are ready to take real risks for them. There’s an important discussion about racial and migrant justice happening in the climate movement, but we need action as well as discussion.
This is one step in that journey. We call on other climate activists to make these connections before it’s too late, and start doing the hard work of building the deeper relationships we need to meet our shared crisis and our shared liberation. This is what climate justice means to us.
We cannot be made safe with fences, walls and borders; we can only be safe if we learn how to take care of one another. By strengthening connections and working together, we can navigate the turbulent new world we’ve created with decency, ingenuity, and warmth. Besieged, earth’s climate is quickly turning both fragile and violent, but we don’t have to. Instead, we can and must strengthen what makes us resilient: cooperation, openness, and compassion. Of these, we can always have an abundance—and whatever comes, they will serve us well.
~ Carissa Knipe, Sierra Klingele, Ed Mast, Hannah Madrone and Matthew Horwitz
September 28,2015, Monday
Justin Herman Plaza
1 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Flood the institutions that are profiting from the climate crisis!
One year ago, thousands of us flooded Wall Street in New York, taking mass direct action in the heart of a global financial system that’s fueling the climate crisis.
Now, a year later, people across the continent are preparing and organizing for #FloodTheSystem, a continental uprising against the economic and political systems threatening our survival.
To kick off #FloodTheSystem, we’re going to Flood Wall Street West: San Francisco’s financial district. Flood Wall Street West will consist of a tour of shame of some of the worst corporate and political bad actors in San Francisco’s financial district. We will take mass direct action to shut down business as usual and emphasize the connections between the climate crisis, capitalism, exploitation and oppression.
Come dressed in blue. We’ll have everything else you need, including chant sheets, banners, signs, props and art.
This is direct action for everybody. While many of us will risk arrest, everyone can participate safely, whether or not you’re willing to go to jail. We will lead a legal briefing and nonviolent direct action training before the march to make sure that everyone is prepared to participate.
Let Us Know You’re Coming or Can Help
If you’d like to get involved in organizing Flood Wall Street West, if you’d like to volunteer on the day of the march, or just to tell us you’re attending, RSVP: http://floodwallstwest.org/. Thanks!
Like and Share Flood Wall Street West on Facebook:
Endorsed by (so far):
350 Bay Area
Alaska Rising Tide
Beyond Extreme Energy
Capitalism vs. the Climate
Diablo Rising Tide
People’s Climate Arts
Portland Rising Tide
Rising Tide North America
Rising Tide NYC
Rising Tide Seattle
System Change, Not Climate Change (UC Santa Barbara)
Wild Idaho Rising Tide
Organized by the Flood Wall Street West Welcoming Committee
As part of the Resist 450 Coalition Flood the System and Rising Tide North America call upon our networks to take action against colonialism and indigenous genocide on September 8th.
On September 8, the City of St. Augustine, Florida is commemorating 450 years since the first landing of Spanish Conquistadors in what would become the United States.
From Resist 450:
The Resist 450 Coalition are planning to demonstrate our opposition to the City of St Augustine’s commemoration, which is honoring and re-enacting the landing of Pedro Menendez on September 8th. This re-enactment of Spanish conquistadors landing on present-day Florida is comparable to celebrating Adolf Hitler’s return for Jewish people.
We welcome everyone who can to join us in St Augustine on this day and for a weeklong action and demonstration camp led by indigenous peopls and their allies from Sept 5 – 9. On September 8th a group of conscious canoeists and kayaktivists paddle out to meet the re-enactment to show our support for the rights of Indigenous Peoples and to uphold our responsibility to bring awareness that Mother Earth is the source of life not a resource for exploitation.
The Pedro Menendez impersonator represents the European colonial mentality of domination and privilege. This misguided and illegal belief is empowered by the Catholic Church’s papal bulls, which directed Christians to “capture, vanquish, and subdue the saracens, pagans, and other enemies of Christ,”to “put them into perpetual slavery,” and “to take all their possessions and property.” As Pope Francis is traveling the world apologizing to Indigenous Peoples for the Church’s actions, the City of St Augustine is still celebrating these acts of terror and theft. We, the Resist 450 Coalition, intend to show that we do not share the same values as those that are attempting to glorify the colonial mentality.
The City of St Augustine essentially became a prison town for Indigenous Peopleswho were held at the Castillo de San Marcos. The origin of the City of St Augustine became the foundation for the abrogation of the rights of Indigenous Peoples and the blueprint for ecocide throughout the world.
This moment in history marks the beginning of what has become the United States Empire, built on genocide, ecocide, theft, slavery, war and exploitation of the Earth for profit. The “Doctrine of Discovery” is the root of the system that has brought the entire planet to the point of irreversible climate change, unprecedented period of mass extinction and the moral deterioration of society.
This and other activities will take place as part of a week long camp from Sept 5 – 9, where Indigenous Peoples, activists and individuals wanting to be on the right side of history are invited to come together to promote peaceful solutions to assure the survival of the future generations of all life by addressing environmental, cultural and social justice issues.
If you cannot attend the event in St. Augustine, the Resist 450 Coalition asks that you participate in planning solidarity demonstration in your own community. The list of cities with Spanish Consulatesoffers an appropriate opportunity to deliver the message to “Renounce the 450th celebration of Spain’s genocidal war criminals and the doctrines that promote the destruction of Nature for profit.”
The Resist 450 Coalition also invites donations to assist in the planning of the camp and demonstrations. Donations can be made by clicking here.
Upcoming Webinar &Past Webinar Recordings
Sept 29 – SURJ Basebuilding: Building Accountability Relationships Across Lines of Race (organized by SURJ, not FTS). Part 1 – Urban Setting. 1.5hrs. Sign up here: bit.ly/1jc3VYl. SURJ sees accountability to people of color as a core principle central to the work for racial justice and transformative change. Join this call to learn more about SURJ’s national accountability structure and to hear from organizers on how they are building local accountability relationships across lines of race. This call is part one of a two part series that will focus on accountability. This month, they’ll focus primarily on working in urban settings. Their October call will focus on accountability in rural and small town contexts.
Sept 30 – Outreach & Coalition Building: System Disrupting Strategies, Spectrum of Allies & More! 1-1.5hrs. Sign up here: bit.ly/ftsoutreachwebinar. This is an interactive webinar. Please bring your stories and experiences doing outreach and working across intersectional lines. This webinar is for organizers looking to recruit (more) people as well as coalition build. We’ll be talking about different outreach tactics, system disrupting strategies, spectrum of allies, how to create materials, the importance of tracking people, using organizing tools to create a buzz and turnout phone banking. Lots!
Oct 7 – Action Planning 101: The Basics and Roles. 2hrs. Sign up here: bit.ly/ftsactionplanwebinar. This is an interactive, screensharing webinar but, we’ll move quickly through the material as there’s a lot to cover. We’ll run through all the organizing components and roles of an action with power narrative analysis lens.
Oct 14 – Action Planning 102: Action Tactics and Communications. Sign up here: bit.ly/ftsactionplan2webinar. This is an interactive, screensharing webinar. Bring your tactic stories, successes and f-ups (with specific contexts). We’ll briefly touch on components of action communications and some things to think about, especially with a limited budget. This call may include some anonymous guest speakers from a few recent actions. Please bring your (or your friend’s) stories of what worked and what didn’t.
Oct 21 – Media, Messaging & Battle of the Story. Sign up here: bit.ly/ftsmediawebinar. This is an interactive, screensharing webinar. Media strategy, spokesperson training and how-to create a compelling narrative. More info to come!
Webinars Not Nailed Down Yet:
- Racial justice for climate organizers + being accountable to intersectional targets. 1.5hrs.
- Target Research & Scouting. 1-1.5hrs.
- Creating a Narrative & Graphics for Your Narrative. 1hr.
- How to make a rapid response video & How to frame an action photo. 1.5hrs.
Past Webinar Recordings:
Have you watched the Graphic Presentation yet? Listen here bit.ly/ftsrecordings
Recordings are available in the #FTS Training Toolkit after the webinars.
Let’s Get Training!
Request Training for Your Action Council or Action Team. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your request . We’ll come to you!
Dig Through The Movement’s Training Materials. A (working) collection of materials is at yr fingertips: bit.ly/ftstrainingtoolkit. Don’t see something? Ask or add it! Help us support others.
Want 1-on-1 mentoring for legal support, social media, fundraising, localized coalition building, or… Email: training@floodthesystem.
Join the Training Working Group! Interested in sharing your movement knowledge and experience? Email Training@floodthesystem.net to get on the trainer list. We’re looking for Action/Movement Building Trainers and Graphic Narrative Facilitators. Learn how to facilitate the #FTS Presentation by listening to a training: bit.ly/ftsrecordings.
Use the #FTS Graphic Presentation as an Organizing Tool!
Sign up to host an in-person or online #FTS Presentation to host, you’ll need find a location and organize a group to attend. We’ll be in touch to help figure out the rest.
What do you think of when you read about wildfires? Oil spills? Floods?
Do you think about the prison system?
This Fall, folks from across the continent will Flood the System to expose and disrupt the root causes of injustice. To help, RADIKO’s Ceci Pineda delved into how climate capitalism exploits incarcerated workers, and how the climate crisis disparately impacts those incarcerated:
“The prison system and the climate crisis share the same destructive and exploitative root causes, disparately placing their capitalistic burdens on black and indigenous communities and the earth for white profit. As an organizer, I see it as my responsibility to understand how these crises are interrelated. I do not believe in false solutions, such as the greening of prisons or preparing them to face climate impacts, but rather will fight for their abolition.”
To overcome climate change, poor wages, unjust economic practices, and the unequal and racist foundation upon which this system is built, we must strive to understand how all of our struggles are connecte
This is the first infographic in a series.If you want to be notified about coming graphics on climate, migrant justice and gentrification be sure to sign up for Flood the System
Today we’re writing to talk about ART for Flood the System!
Around the country, action councils are forming to prepare to flood the system this fall. It’s critical that we keep building momentum and excitement.
That means creating a flood of art that indicates what’s to come, that makes the connections between climate, racial and economic injustice clear and irresistible. It means myriad different illustrations of how our collective power is like water. It means earnestness, righteousness and lightness, songs and videos and illustrations and zines and countless other things.
In short, it means getting all kinds of creative people (like you?) involved and doing what they do – creating.
To instigate and facilitate this explosion of art, we’ve formed a Flood the System Arts & Cultural Strategies working group and made a CALL FOR ART to encourage people across the continent to think about what art would be helpful and how to make it accountability.
If you’re inspired to help, fill out this ARTIST INTAKE FORM to get connected to local organizers and to other artists, as well as to put in requests for funding, mentorship, or advice.*
Just as Flood the System is about getting coordinated in ways that will last beyond this year, this call for art is an opportunity for people who make art for our movements to connect to each other. We know arts and cultural work adds so much power to our movements. Getting organized at scale will lead to inspiring work that grounds and amplifies our collective organizing for years to come.
Is there a song-leader or a banner painter who always throws down for your group? A friend who makes jaw-dropping illustrations? Or is that person you?? If so:
- Respond to the CALL FOR ART! The call includes instructions on how to share work strategically.
- Fill out the ARTIST INTAKE FORM so that they can ask for the support they need.
- Forward this e-mail to your creative friends so they do the same!
*What’s an artist? Well, everyone is an artist, because creativity is an inherently human quality. At the same time, some people identify as artists and do it for fun and/or work. It’s complicated…but you know what we mean!
Today marks one year and one day since Mike Brown was murdered and the Ferguson Uprising began. In Ferguson and around the country people are taking to the streets as part of the #UnitedWeFight Day of Resistance. Flood the System, and the groups participating in across the continent, stand in solidarity with the #UnitedWeFight in unequivocally asserting that Black Lives Matter. During the past year, the people of Ferguson and the Black Lives Matter movement have led the way into a new era of resistance in this country. This resistance couldn’t be more urgent.
This fall, groups participating in Flood the System will carry out escalated actions against the systems that threaten our collective survival. In the lead up, we pledge to fight back against white supremacy, capitalism, colonialism, and patriarchy—the systems that created the climate crisis and leave black communities in the United States in a constant state of crisis of state-sanctioned violence, mass incarceration, and poverty. We recommit ourselves to embody organizing that centers an understanding of white supremacy’s role in the climate crisis and follow the leadership of indigenous and people of color in the Climate Justice Movement. We call upon other climate and environmental justice organizations – and the wider climate movement – to do the same.
This fall, we are deepening our analysis of the ways in which the climate crisis is connected to and fueled by the same systems that create other injustices–from mass incarceration, to poverty wages, to gentrification. We commit to an escalation in our organizing, participation, and the tactical courage we need to achieve a profound societal transformation that uproots the institutions of capitalism, colonialism, patriarchy, and white supremacy. And, we commit ourselves to linking arms with allies fighting for an end to the criminalization, incarceration, and brutal policing of Black and Brown bodies.
Want to support the Movement for Black Lives?
To learn more about how Flood the System organizers are addressing white supremacy, check out the Rising Tide Commitment to Anti-Racism, Anti-Racist Organizing and Accountability for Flood the System.
It’s time to get organized!
This call is a place to get an overview of the #FtS Call to Action, hear regional organizing updates and get linked up with other groups wanting to Flood the System later this fall.
You can also plug into regional work by joining #FloodTheSystem watershed gatherings at the US Social Forums or by joining a regional orientation call.
US Social Forums:
Rising Tide North America and it’s allies are organizing two Watershed Gatherings at the US Social Forums in San Jose, California and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this June. The program schedules for the Social Forums haven’t been released yet, but at both locations, Rising Tide will host workshops for information and training, and a #FloodtheSystem Action Council. We’ll make sure to share the exact time and location of each workshop when the schedule is available. RSVP through these event pages on Facebook:
And register for the US Social Forums here: https://www.ussocialforum.net/registration
Regional Orientation Calls:
You can also hop on regional conference calls in the coming week to help kickstart #FloodTheSystem in your area.
What we’re working on:
#FloodTheSystem organizers are working with local groups to plan escalating actions this Fall. We will help individuals join existing groups or form new ones.
Together we can stream your actions, along with others across the continent, into a flood that will rise in the fall and crest around the UN climate negotiations in Paris. Let’s shift the focus away from the UN’s false corporate solutions to the climate crisis and toward community-based alternatives. Alternatives that address the systemic origins of the crisis: white supremacy, colonialism, patriarchy and capitalism.
We can only make this happen if we get organized.
Over the summer, “anchor” groups in different, regions or relating to different issues (like a focus on pipelines or oil trains all doing an action at the same time), will develop and provide a place to connect and collaborate. These anchor groups are committing to planning Flood the System actions through local action councils and facilitating the process for different groups to work together and plan big, amazing things.