The Valve Turners

On October 11th, 5 activists shut down all five pipelines carrying Canadian tar sands into the US. This is their story.

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A Special Message from Tim Dechristopher


Despite the obvious threats we face as activists and as a civilization, I feel deeply grateful for where my life is at right now. In addition to my personal fulfillment, Im grateful for the ability to do meaningful work as an activist struggling for a better world. Nearly everything that defines my life today can be traced back to that fateful act of civil disobedience I took in 2008. And the main reason that this has been such a positive and joyful path was the resolute support I received from thousands of people across the country.

When I stuck my neck out, countless people stepped up to lend their support physically, morally, and financially. They gave me the courage to make the most of the opportunity I had, and they generously donated to make sure I had the resources to sustain the struggle. Many of you who are receiving this email were among the folks who gave your time, money, and emotional energy. 


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Post Election Strategy Conversation (Round 2)

In this post, Climate Disobedience Center Founders engage one another in conversation about our individual initial thoughts on post-election strategy. We have decided to have this conversation publicly and openly. We are not running our ideas or words by one another before we post them because we know that our best strategies emerge through conversation. We hope you will engage this conversation in the comments sections of the blog posts associated with this discussion. The original Thoughts on Post-Election Strategy post will serve as the table of contents for all posts related to this discussion. You can use it as a reference point to help you find other threads of the conversation.

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Thoughts on Post-Election Strategy (Tim DeChristopher)

These are my first thoughts, and I hope you will share your ideas. For links to post-election thoughts from my fellow Climate Disobedience Center Founders and updates on the conversation, click here.

With the election of Donald Trump, we are entering a different chapter for the climate movement in this country, one in which we will be fighting against a substantially different kind of power structure than previous administrations.  Many of the lessons and principles developed in previous struggles will still be applicable, and some will be more important than ever.  But some of our strategies, tactics and even organizing structures may have to be completely rethought.  We’ve got some ideas about moving forward, but we still have a lot of unanswered questions as well.  Answering some of these might take imagination and creativity, and others might take an agonizing wait to find out just how despotic a Trump regime will be.

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Thoughts on Post-Election Strategy (Marla Marcum)

These are my first thoughts, and I hope you will share your ideas. For links to post-election thoughts from my fellow Climate Disobedience Center Founders and updates on the conversation, click here.

When we launched the Climate Disobedience Center, I argued that we should define “disobedience” more broadly than “civil disobedience” because we need to build a culture of resistance to business-as-usual in our communities. Post-election, I think it’s important to return to this idea – that building principled communities founded on love and the commitment to support one another to disrupt business-as-usual is disobedience. We need to prioritize working with people to develop loving and resilient communities of resistance in order to foster the courage and support that will be required to hold on to the gains we’ve made to date and perhaps even to carve out a few wins against an emboldened fossil fuel industry along the way.

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Thoughts on Post-Election Strategy (Jay O'Hara)


These are my first thoughts, and I hope you will share your ideas. For links to post-election thoughts from my fellow Climate Disobedience Center Founders and updates on the conversation, click here.

Before jumping into post-election analysis a short reality-grounding. I want to start with a bit of context of where we are with the climate - the life support system for all of humanity which in it’s unraveling is bringing and will bring devastation and death in epic proportions to the most vulnerable populations around the globe first. Consider this week’s news that we’ve broken the North Pole: it’s running 36°F hotter than normal right now. It is clear we need dramatic action NOW - not four years from now. But how do we get there?

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Thoughts on Post-Election Strategy

Like pretty much everyone else in the climate movement, the election of Donald Trump has caused us at the Climate Disobedience Center to think long and hard about our strategy for moving forward.  We are not all on the same page yet, and we're not comfortable pretending that we've got things figured out.  We offer our thoughts and conversation via our posts (linked below), and our conversation will continue as updates (we'll add the links here). Please feel free to offer your own thoughts about anything we said, or anything we missed, in the comments sections for each post. 

Tim DeChristopher's Thoughts on Post-Election Strategy

Marla Marcum's Thoughts on Post-Election Strategy

Jay O'Hara's Thoughts on Post-Election Strategy

Stay tuned for thoughts from Ken Ward


Follow the discussion: In Post-Election Strategy Conversation (Round 2), we engage in some back-and-forth conversation about the ideas each of us shared in the posts linked above.

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Statement of Ken Ward at his Arraignment

Statement of Ken Ward at his Arraignment on Charges of Burglary, Criminal Trespass, Sabotage and Assemblages of Saboteurs 

October 20, 2016 in Mt. Vernon, WA 

I have been charged by the Prosecuting Attorney for Skagit County, Washington with four crimes - burglary, criminal trespass, sabotage and assemblages of saboteurs - for my action last Tuesday, closing a safety valve on the TransMountain pipeline and blocking the flow of Canadian tar sands oil from Alberta to the Anacortes refineries. 


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Support Direct Action and the #SHUTITDOWN Activists

PLEASE SHARE! These activists, their support team, and documentarians NEED YOUR HELP FOR BAIL - DONATE NOW:



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Democracy Now: Jay O'Hara and Afrin Sopariwala Discuss #SHUTITDOWN Action

Watch Jay O'Hara and Afrin Sopariwala discussing the #SHUTITDOWN action on today's episode of Democracy Now! Transcript and full episode audio and video are available here.

DemocracyNow! Show Notes:

Ten climate activists were arrested Tuesday for attempting to shut down all tar sands oil coming into the United States from Canada by manually turning off pipelines in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and Washington state. The group, which calls itself Climate Direct Action, includes five activists and five other supporters and videographers. They posted pictures and videos online that showed them cutting chains and turning the manual safety valves to stop the flow through the pipelines. The activists issued a statement on Tuesday saying the action was in support of the call for International Days of Prayer and Action for Standing Rock. They also called on President Obama to “use emergency powers to keep the pipelines closed and mobilize for the extraordinary shift away from fossil fuels now required to avert catastrophe." While all 10 activists remain in jail, we speak Jay O’Hara, co-founder of the Climate Disobedience Center, and Afrin Sopariwala, a member of Climate Direct Action and a part of Women of Color Speak Out, a climate justice collective.

Democracy Now! is an independent global news hour that airs weekdays on nearly 1,400 TV and radio stations Monday through Friday. Watch our livestream 8-9AM ET:

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