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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PRESS RELEASE: To avert climate catastrophe, activists shut down 5 pipelines bringing Tar Sands Oil into the U.S, in Solidarity with Standing Rock

The following press release is for the Tuesday, October 11, 2016 #ShutItDown action and is cross posted at

PRESS RELEASE: To avert climate catastrophe, activists shut down 5 pipelines bringing Tar Sands Oil into the U.S, in Solidarity with Standing Rock

Press Contact: Afrin Sopariwala 408.598.7656 [email protected]

Photos Credits: For all photos in this release, please credit ""

This morning, by 7:30AM Pacific time, 5 activists have successfully shut down 5 pipelines across the United States delivering tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada in support of the call for International Days of Prayer and Action for Standing Rock. Activists employed manual safety valves, calling 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.

192 nations have agreed that average global temperature should not increase 1.5C° above baseline in order to avert climate change cataclysm. This objective cannot be met, and any hope of keeping temperature below even 2.0°C depends on a total ban on new fossil fuel extractions and an immediate end to oil sands and coal use. In the absence of any political leadership or legal mechanisms for accomplishing this, these individuals feel duty bound to halt the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels by personal direct action.

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Spokane Residents Occupy Railroad Tracks to Block Fossil Fuel Trains

August 31, 2015 - SPOKANE, WA – Today, a group of Spokane citizens occupied railroad tracks at ​2302 E. Trent in protest of fossil fuel trains​. The direct action was carried out in defense of the health of people and nature locally and across the planet due to the growing impacts of climate change. The burning of fossil fuels is the leading cause of global climate change.

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Breaking the Will to Do Evil: On Various Conceptualizations of Climate Action

DSCF7594.JPGThis text emerges out of the experience of organizing against climate catastrophe over the years, in a variety of forms but often focusing on direct action—e.g. blockades and other forms of direct intervention in, and disruption of, the economic machine that is killing everything. Initially, it is presented as a response to debates about an ostensible conflict between organizing actions that are symbolically meaningful and broadly accessible vs. organizing actions that are maximally disruptive, and therefore sometimes both more difficult and more secretive. 

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Clergy Blocking Frack Gas Pipe Construction

Clergy from many traditions in Boston blocking construction of fracked gas pipeline: American Baptist, Buddhist, Episcopal, Hindu, Jewish, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, and Unitarian Universalist. 

This morning 16 interfaith Clergy sat down on the edge of the trench being dug by Spectra Energy in West Roxbury, Massachusetts and halted construction on the lateral fracked gas pipeline being constructed in the city of Boston. This action kicks off a new project - - which is being supported by the Climate Disobedience Center.

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Welcome to our new Fellow!

InterfaithClimateActionLexingtonOctober2015-Schiel-IMG_0214.jpgWe are pleased to welcome our first Fellow to the Climate Disobedience Center! 

Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman is the Assistant Rabbi of Temple Sinai of Brookline, MA, a vibrant and progressive Reform congregation. She has founded a new initiative,, which aims to network clergy from across faith traditions to step into leadership roles in taking bold non-violent direct action for climate justice.

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