Here are some places we are putting major support behind activists right now. Are you in need of advice or support for an action you have taken? Contact us.
The Valve Turners
On October 11, 2016, five brave activists closed manual shut-off valves on the five pipelines carrying Canadian tar sands into the United States. They are now known as the valve turners. Climate Disobedience Center founder Ken Ward along with Emily Johnston, Annette Klapstein, Michael Foster and Leonard Higgins and three other supporters are facing serious felony charges. Ken was tried twice, first in January with a mis-trial on both charges, and again in June when he was convicted of one charge of tresspass and sentenced to 30 days of community service.
The next valve turner trial is scheduled for November 21st in Fort Benton, MT, where Leonard Higgins closed the Specta Express pipeline. The trial in Minnesota is likely to break ground, though it has yet to be scheduled: Minnesota defendants have been cleared by the judge to offer a climate necessity defense at their two trials.
Jess and Ruby
Two activists with the Catholic Worker Movement, Jessica Reznicek and Ruby Montoya, publicly announced this past summer that they had damaged Energy Transfer Partners' Dakota Access Pipeline across hundreds of miles during the pipeline's construction, inspired by the indigenous movement at Standing Rock.
Jess and Ruby are expecting an indictment, but have not yet had charges pressed against them. We at the Climate Disobedience Center are helping the pair navigate their situation as it develops.
In the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, Spectra Energy was building a lateral fracked-gas pipeline to a new compressor station off of their existing AIM pipeline. Several groups emerged working to stop construction of the now-completed pipeline. Beginning October 7, 2015, Resist The Pipeline began a campaign of climate disobedience, getting in the way of active pipeline construction. Climate Disobedience Center founder Marla Marcum provided training, logistical and jail support for Resist the Pipeline.
The campaign grew, and eventually 198 people were arrested and days of work stalled or stopped for many days over the course of a year. The tactics escalated as well, beginning with just a few individuals in front of equipment and ending with large days of mass occupation, and other more disruptive actions.
On June 29, 2016, faith leaders including Boston's Mariama White-Hammond, Union Theological Seminary Center for Earth Ethics director Karena Gore, and Climate Disobedience founder Tim DeChristopher joined an unprecedented action in the campaign: they entered the trench of the pipeline and in silence lay down, evoking the mass graves that were then being dug in Pakistan in response to a massive heatwave which killed thousands.
15 activists from the campaign, including 6 who participated in the "mass graves action," are taking their defense to trial in West Roxbury, supported by the Climate Disobedience Center. Their cases are currently in discovery, as the activists try to pry information about the pipeline from Spectra Energy. The activists are committed to mounting a climate necessity defense, arguing that they had no reasonable alternative to putting themselves in the path of the pipeline's construction.