Long term, sustaining, mass mobilization direct action campaigns are stopping fossil fuel infrastructure projects. This isn't how I imagined this could work, but it's proving to be a powerful new arrow in the climate movement quiver. Our own Marla Marcum's experience in West Roxbury, Massachusetts points to a fruitful method that the climate movement is only beginning to appreciate.Read more
Five courageous climate dissidents are preparing to go to trial in Washington State on January 11. In September 2014 Abby Brockway, Mike Lapointe, Patrick Mazza, Jackie Minchew, and Liz Spoerri blockaded a train used to transport bakken shale oil at the Delta rail yard in Everett. They are preparing to use a necessity defense, arguing in court that their actions were necessary in the face of impending climate catastrophe. We are honored to be working with them. You can find more of their story on their website. Here is Liz Spoerri's story of her motivation for action. -JayRead more
Five individuals are going to trial January 11th for blockading an oil train in Everett, Washington in September 2014. Patrick Mazza, along with Abby Brockway, Mike Lapointe, Jackie Minchew, and Liz Spoerri are sharing their motivations and stories with us in the weeks leading up to the trial. They are preparing to use a necessity defense, arguing in court that their actions were necessary in the face of impending climate catastrophe. We at the Climate Disobedience Center are honored to be working with them and will be lifting up their voices as the trial nears. Here is Patrick's statement on his motivations for the action:Read more
I don't know any critic of the Paris climate agreement who wouldn't love to be wrong. Perhaps the consensus climate science hasn't been skewed to appear like we have time when, in fact, there isn't any left. Perhaps the emboldened political leaders of the world will overcome the immense weight of greed and lethargy. Perhaps a crisis rooted in the very marrow of the bones of our species can be neatly solved with a good cap and trade policy. Perhaps the political weight of thousands of moderate protesters is greater than it may appear.Read more
Five courageous climate dissidents are preparing to go to trial in Everett, Washington on January 11. In September 2014 Abby Brockway, Mike Lapointe, Patrick Mazza, Jackie Minchew, and Liz Spoerri blockaded a train used to transport bakken shale oil at the Delta rail yard in Everett. They are preparing to use a necessity defense, arguing in court that their actions were necessary in the face of impending climate catastrophe. We at the Climate Disobedience Center are honored to be working with them and will be lifting up their voices as the trial nears. Abby Brockway, who perched at the top of a tripod blocking the train, wrote the following statement about her motivations to act. We'll be posting the other defendants stories over the next week. You can find more of their story on their website. -JayRead more
We've just published a pamphlet on using the Necessity Defense as a legal tactic for the climate movement. The pamphlet digs into the circumstances under which one would use such a defense, what the process of using this defense would look like, and some recent case history in the climate movement. This piece was researched and written by CDC summer intern, friend and colleague Ted Hamilton, a student at Harvard Law school, who also authored a detailed history of the necessity defense for the Boston Globe in 2015 leading up to the Lobster Boat Blockade Trial. We're grateful to have Ted on board with the Climate Disobedience Center, and we hope you'll find this tool helpful. Please share! And check back soon, we'll have a printable PDF version.
On Monday, Nov. 16, inspired by recent Bill McKibben's #ExxonKnew protest, I blocked a gas pump at a Mobil station in NE Portland, Oregon for about an hour before being arrested. This video by Lindsey Grayzel follows the action and arrest and we hope will encourages others to take such action.Read more
This is the first in a series of posts to dig deeper in to the underlying principles of the Climate Disobedience Center. We invite you to join the conversation in the comments!
The Climate Disobedience Center is a strange organization in some ways. Marla, Ken, Tim and I have come together finding ourselves less driven by clarity about where we are going, but quite clear in our shared philosophy and principles that inform our worldview and underlay our approach to taking action. I think this is a natural place to be given the circumstances: humanity hasn’t faced a problem like this before, and we don’t know exactly what magic sauce is going to ultimately build a powerful enough movement to make the changes we need, but we do have some grounded understanding of what the attributes of our work must be in order to get there. Hence, we start from these principles as we experiment with new ways of action and movement building to make sure we’re on track.
I want to start this series off focusing on our third principle, which cuts to the core of who we are.
3. Engage individuals who see no alternative but to use our bodies in a final effort to avoid the abyss, who approach the task of re-centering society imbued with the hope, joy and serenity which only flow from living in the truth.
As we launch the Climate Disobedience Center, it's hard to believe it was just over a year ago on September 8th, that Ken, Marla, Tim and I, with 140 of our dearest friends, were waiting outside the Fall River Justice Center at the Lobster Boat Blockade Trial, when District Attorney Sam Sutter stunned us all saying "Climate change is one of the gravest crises our planet has ever faced. In my humble opinion, the political leadership on this issue has been gravely lacking." and declaring he'd join the hundreds of thousands of us at the People's Climate March in New York.Read more