For details, see Why Abortion Isn’t Murder
Join us this Friday, June 5th, on World Environment Day for an eveningof art-making, inspiration, music, wise words, and creating a communitythat’s acting in harmony with our shared values and visions of betterway forward.
Rent a Kayak to join the Luminous Flotilla culminating withprocession to the rig and light action! (you can enjoy music beginningat 6pm from the water or on land).
- RSVP for on land activities from 6pm to 10pm
- Paddle with lanterns from 9-10pm
- On-the-water Light Action near the rig 10-11:30pm
We need kayaks!
Ask everyone you know. Help us sniff out spare kayaksthroughout Seattle and beyond. Click HERE to offer to Loan Kayaks!
We are looking for loaners for the month of June, beginning IMMEDIATELY. We have more Kayaktivists than there are kayaksfor them to use. The success of the Rapid Response Network and ourability to defend the Arctic from Shell’s destructive drilling may hingeupon your assistance locating and coordinating boats to loan us.
We are interested in kayaks for Kayaktivists considering engagement inboth non-arrestable and elevated risk of arrest actions.
Last Saturday we were joined by participants from Barcelona, Liverpool,London, Canada and people from throughout the Salish Sea.
Stay tuned for more info about the rapid response efforts. . .
- a person who inspires or influences others.
- a celestial body, as the sun or moon.
- a body, object, etc., that gives light.
Inspire others to join the climate justice movement! Unite with fellowKayaktivists to share your inner light, bask in the moonlight on thewater, and shine a light of truth on Shell’s depraved plans to drill theArctic.
CLICK HERE to RENT a KAYAK for the sHellNO! Luminary Flotilla
We are reclaiming the territory of our imaginations and aspirations,creating a Solutionary Culture of resistance and possibility.
Celebrate our collective creative force with this luminous flotilla andvigil for the Earth! Local artists from throughout the region will bedisplaying their magical light works. The event will open with music andhands-on arts projects to “hold the light” for what is threatened byArctic drilling and climate change. Then we paddle to the Polar Pioneer.
Reserve a spot in a kayak and please pay in advance. We are working withAlki Kayak Tours to provide a Pay-What-You-Can Sliding scale opportunity(it costs us $20-30 per person).
Please finish payment after you RSVP. If you need to find it again visitBackbone’s Kayak Training Payment Portal. Thank you in advance!
Once you register we’ll send you some more info, but plan to wearquick-drying clothing like what you might wear to yoga or hiking, aswell as something warm and a windbreaker (Just about anything butcotton).
If you think this is worthwhile work, we invite you to support our ability to keep doing it. Thanks for sharing in our enthusiasm!
Donate online HERE or send checks to PO BOX 278, Vashon, WA 98070
I commend and support the Backbone Campaign’s successful activism concerning Shell’s plan to drill in the arctic. They are expert at getting media coverage.
But there are many battles to fight, and I wish Backbone would direct their activism towards economic justice. In particular, I want Backbone to expose the outrageously regressive tax system in Washington State. Republicans need to feel the heat for their opposition to a capital gains tax and to adequate funding of education and social services. Had Backbone targeted Andy Hill last year, maybe Matt Eisenhower could have won. (Hill won with under 53% of the votes.)
Of course, progressives must be willing to financially underwrite such activism. (I am a donor.)
It’s mostly Republicans who are harming progressive causes, especially in the state senate. But Dems too have sold out. Governor Inslee, for example, needs to feel the heat for having spearheaded the $8.7 billion giveaway to Boeing.
One other thing: conservatives ridiculed the anti-Shell protesters for using kayaks made from petroleum products and for traveling to the protest via automobiles that consume fossil fuels. Defenders of the protesters have pointed out that there’s little alternative and that arctic drilling would be destructive not just by releasing carbon into the atmosphere but also by threatening the fragile arctic ecosystem.
While I strongly oppose arctic drilling, I think the campaign to limit the supply of oil is doomed to fail unless we can control the demand and encourage alternatives. An excellent analogy is the failed War on Drugs. Despite decades of efforts, hundreds of billions dollars spent, and millions of people imprisoned and killed, illegal drug use continues. When there is demand, there will be supply.
We are addicted to oil and coal. We must encourage alternatives (solar, wind, geothermal, conservation, smaller cars, and public transportation, for example). A carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system would reduce demand. Just restricting supply is insufficient.
Led by the beauty and spirit of the moment,
Emboldened by the drums and wise words of the Duwamish and Native Canoe families and the voices of those on the front-lines of the climate crisis,
Driven by a moral obligation to take principled and bold action in service of a habitable planet and younger generations.
300+ people (and countless others on land) took to the water, paddling straight to Shell’s Arctic destroyer to demand climate justice.
It is in these moments that we solidify the courage to act upon our convictions. The Paddle In Seattle has seized headlines across the world and has inspired others to join the movements for climate justice.
Thank you for sharing in our vision and for striving to manifest it. Collectively we have done something truly beautiful and powerful.
Right now, we are resuming kayaktivist trainings and organizing a rapid response network for when Shell dares to leave for the Arctic. We’re also connecting the solar powered People’s Platform with upcoming night-time paddle actions.
The news from the weekend made national and global headlines in addition to completely saturating Seattle media (best- KOMO 4 TV, KIRO 7 TV, Q13 Fox TV, Stranger, Seattle PI, West Seattle Herald) This has completely changed the conversation around Arctic drilling and rocketed it to being a top national and even international issue. Even Obama found himself extolling the virtues of protecting the Arctic at a USCG Academy commencement address.
Here are a few highlights: on Saturday, the protest was #3 on BBC World News (right beneath the ISIS raid and Morsi’s death sentence, to give you perspective). The Guardian went wild with coverage as well (here, here, here, and here) and it even reached Australia!
The Associated Press story was picked up in nearly every major paper across the country from Atlanta to Minneapolis to Dallas and on ABC and Yahoo news.
The coverage from the NBC affiliate, King 5 TV, was picked up nationally.
The speeches all came from native and impacted people telling us powerful truths. In fact, after traveling to Seattle from the North Slope, Mae Hank and Faith Gemmill-Fredson – founder and executive director of the grassroots indigenous network REDOIL- confronted Shell at the AGM meeting in London. Faith spoke directly to Shell shareholders saying “The moral and financial burden of the irresponsible decision to drill in the Arctic is too risky to consider.”
Arctic drilling dominated the coverage of the meeting, casting serious investor doubt on the project.
Earlier in the week, Kayaktivists were live on MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, followed by an amazing segment on Rachel Maddow during which she spent several minutes reading out-loud the riveting and terrifying piece “The Wreck of the Kulluk.”
Lastly, #ShellNo and “Arctic drilling” were trending on Twitter and Facebook, respectively!
New Kayaktivism Training Dates:
Donate online HERE or send checks to PO BOX 278, Vashon, WA 98070
Valentine’s Day Informational Picket
“HEY KING COUNTY! HAVE A HEART!”
— Roll Back the Fare Hikes!
— Keep Public Transit Accessible to All!
— Honor Transit Workers with a Fair Contract!
Saturday, February 14, 12:00 pm
WESTLAKE PARK, 4th & PIKE, SEATTLE
<span”>After approving more taxes to save bus service, Seattleites now face a fare hike — compliments of King County elected officials. On March 1, fares rise 25 cents, and more for seniors. Meanwhile, Metro is cutting rider info on weekends and denying Metro transit workers a fair contract.
Rather than hand Boeing $8.7 billion in sweetheart deals, elected officials need to fix the state’s regressive tax structure. Help build a movement to win progressive funding that includes taxing King County’s wealth: expand public transit, lower fares, and end Metro’s sweatshop on wheels with a fair contract.
- Call KC Exec Dow Constantine at 206-296-4040 & KC Council at 206-296-1000.
Tell them to show the love for public transit and a humane work environment!
Issued by Shop Floor 587 – a rank-&-file caucus of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 587, committed to the ATU motto “Freedom through Organization.” email email@example.com
Endorsers: Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity (OWLS), Transit Riders Union (TRU) and Seattle Radical Women (SRW)
When: Monday, February 23, 7 – 8:30 p.m.
What: Forum: “Social Security: Why It’s Not Broke & How We Can Expand It”
Speakers: Nancy Altman & Eric Kingson, authors of Social Security WORKS!: Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke & How Expanding It Will Help Us All
Joining them on the program: Seattle City Council Member Kshama Sawant & WA State Labor Council President, Jeff Johnson
Where: UFCW 21, Joe Crump Hall, 5030 First Ave. S., Seattle
Things have heated up in D.C. as the Republican controlled Congress has initiated their first major attack on Social Security. The featured speakers will provide us up-to-date information about the attacks and the best ways to respond.
Martin Luther King Day Rally & March
Garfield High School
23rd & E. Jefferson
- Workshops 9:00 am – 9:50 am
- Rally 10:00 am – 11:00 am
- Pre march speakers 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
- March leaves Garfield 12:00 pm
- Rally in front of Federal Courthouse at Seventh and Stewart.
For a full list of workshops go to MLKSeattle.org
Radical Women and the Freedom Socialist Party will be participating. Stop by our literature table at Garfield High in the morning, then look for our signs during the march.
Some highlights of the day:
The rally at the Federal Courthouse will include speakers Sarah Scott from the Freedom Socialist Party, and José Luis Avila, who is Nestora Salgado’s husband.
Workshop – Room 226 at Garfield, 9:00am
Fighting for Justice from Ferguson to Guerrero, Mexico:
The Case of Nestora Salgado
Nestora Salgado is a naturalized U.S. Citizen and a political prisoner in Mexico. The workshop will have a brief history of Nestora’s community work in Guerrero, Mexico, where she helped to organize against violent drug cartels who were in collusion with corrupt government officials. A basic human right is to live in a crime free community. Although she has been cleared of all charges by a Mexican federal judge, she has been held in a maximum security prison since August of 2013.
The workshop will, after a brief history, lead a discussion about the military and police forces that are being used to suppress communities of color and progressive communities both in this country and in Mexico.
Panelists: Su Docekal, Freedom for Nestora Committee
Grisel Rodriguez, daughter of Nestora Salgado
Patrick Burns, Carpenters Local 30
Jacquie Jones-Walsh, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists
I recently joined hundreds of other activists on a video chat hosted by 350.org to discuss recent developments in the saga of the hotly debated and much delayed construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. As you probably know by now, TransCanada wants to build the KXL pipeline to transport diluted bitumen (dilbit) from the tar sands of northern Alberta across the US Midwest heartland to the Gulf Coast for sale on the global oil market. TransCanada needs approval from the US State Department and President Obama to construct a pipeline across the US/Canada border. The approval process has been stalled for years due to persistent grassroots opposition and in recent months held up due to a lawsuit brought by landowners in Nebraska who successfully argued in lower courts that the planned route of the pipeline was illegally drawn and granted the builders improper use of eminent domain. While waiting for the Nebraska Supreme Court to decide whether to uphold the lower court’s decision, the permit for the pipeline’s path through South Dakota expired leaving the oil giant facing the dilemma of having no legal route for the pipeline while oil prices on the global market are plummeting cutting into their profit margin for a product that is the most expensive (and filthiest) fossil fuel to extract, transport and refine.
The most recent bit of political drama in this ongoing saga was played out in the lame duck Congress when Mary Landrieu, the embattled Democratic Senator from Louisiana, bet the catfish farm on a Hail Mary attempt to pass a bill that would have approved construction of the Keystone pipeline. The bill was defeated by a razor-thin margin of one vote, and Landrieu lost her seat in a December run-off to Republican challenger Bill Cassidy. 350.org credits this victory to citizen activists who made phone calls to fence-sitting senators as well as Occupy-style sit-ins at the offices of Senators Tom Carper of Delaware and Michael Bennet of Colorado at which 350 DC activists were arrested.
Organizer for 350.org Duncan Meisel introduced Jane Kleeb, Executive Director of Bold Nebraska. Kleeb informed listeners that the Nebraska Supreme Court decision could come soon, and expressed the belief that whatever the Court decides, the outcome will be bad for TransCanada. If the lower court decision is upheld, there is no legal route for the pipeline through Nebraska, but even if they strike down the lower court, the lawsuit has shone a light on risks to the environment that reveal shortcomings and omissions in the State Department’s Environmental Impact Statement which could solidify grassroots opposition and give Obama some political cover for a decision to reject the pipeline. One other possibility is that the Supreme Court could decide that the landowners do not have standing as plaintiffs and that could cause more delays and uncertainly in a legal process that has already held up the pipeline for several months. Kleeb is encouraged that President Obama has recently stated that building the pipeline poses catastrophic environmental risks while offering few jobs or other economic benefit and takes these statements as an indication that the President is poised to reject the pipeline outright if it lands on his desk, as seems likely to happen in the near future.
Next to speak was Dallas Goldtooth, Keystone XL Campaigner at the Indigenous Environmental Network. He described the situation in South Dakota where indigenous Lakota, Dakota and Sioux have strong legal and moral standing in opposing the re-permitting of the pipeline route through their lands. A hearing on January 6, 2015 could see TransCanada’s appeal to extend the permit dismissed on the grounds that the tribes were not properly consulted in the permitting process, a right that is established in federal law and the importance of which was recently cited in a speech by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. If the permit is not extended, a lengthy new feasibility study would be required, giving both native and non-native landowners the opportunity to make their voices and opposition to the tar sands projects heard. Goldtooth and Meisel stressed that tar sands extraction is a vicious process that lays waste to pristine boreal wilderness, endangers wildlife, and is also destructive to human health and society as well. The increase in violence against women near the “man camps” similar projects have already created is a serious problem that bears consideration in the approval process.
Sara Shor, 350.org Keystone XL Campaign Manager, pointed out that Mitch McConnell, who will be Senate Majority Leader in 2015, has pledged to bring up another vote to approve the Keystone XL. We can expect such a bill to be tied to must-pass legislation in the manner seen with partisan give-away riders that were attached to the so-called CRomnibus bill in early December. Any such action, in addition to events unfolding in Nebraska and South Dakota, could trigger calls for activists to participate in anti-KXL actions all across the country and at very short notice. The NoKXL Pledge of Resistance, for instance, is prepared to engage in broadly distributed acts of civil disobedience as soon as the decision lands on the President’s desk. Asked what would happen if, despite all the efforts to oppose the Keystone XL, President Obama does approve the pipeline, Shor replied, “All hell will break loose. This pipeline is not getting built.”
Emboldened by the success of efforts to defeat Mary Landrieu’s last minute legislative maneuvers, opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline such as 350.org and their allies are confident that they have the know-how to handle whatever is thrown at them in the next 2 to 3 months, and they are calling on like-minded folks to join them and build their capacity for effective grassroots action. Visit any of the following websites for more information and to offer your support.
350.org – Stop Keystone XL Team: http://350.org/kxlteam
Bold Nebraska: http://boldnebraska.org
Indigenous Environmental Network: http://nokxldakota.org
NoKXL Pledge of Resistance: http://nokxl.org
Contact: Julianna Dauble
November 12, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“Black Friday: Boycott Microsoft and Picket to Demand Tax Fairness ”
Seattle – Washington Badass Teachers Association (WA-BATS) a grassroots group of career educators protecting our public education system from further degradation is holding a public protest on Friday, November 28th, 2014 at the overpass on NE 40th St in Redmond, a block from Overlake Transit Center and near 156th Ave and 136th St. (Here’s the google map location). The public is encouraged and welcome to attend from 5:30-7:30.
Because the average citizen is unaware of how public schools are funded and how regressive Washington state’s tax system is, organizers will be artfully drawing attention to the corporate tax loopholes enjoyed by Microsoft through creative messaging.
Microsoft has avoided paying at least $5.34 billion in state taxes since 1997 thanks to dodging the state royalty tax. Microsoft admits to holding $92 billion in earning offshore to avoid paying $29 billion in U.S. taxes.
The theme of the picket is similar to a funeral procession. Attendees will carry candles for the lost lives and lost learning due to the underfunding of safety net programs and our public schools.
Large lit signs will be visible to traffic on the freeway below. A chorus will perform. Solidarity with all workers will be demonstrated through planned activities on the public sidewalks.
A mock trial and dramatized ‘conviction and sentencing’ of greedy profiteers will be held to signify the injustice to citizens at 4:00 on this day. An audience is encouraged for this event as well.
As public servants and compassionate humans, protesters are demanding the following:
1. Microsoft pay back taxes owed from their manipulation of licensing laws and moving certain financial operations out of state specifically to avoid their tax responsibility.
2. The public boycott Microsoft products including: Microsoft Office, Minecraft, Surface Tablets, Windows, Xbox, Skype, & Nokia phones until Microsoft pays their fair share for Washington State services.
3. Legislators reform tax laws! Each and every legislator swore to uphold their paramount duty when they were sworn into office. Demand legislators change revenue policies to eliminate tax loopholes for corporations. Fully fund basic education. Support students, teachers, small class sizes, and all workers in Washington with a fair budget and sustainable revenue. Support our most vulnerable citizens across the state.
Other social justice groups will be joining the Badass Teachers. Because the event will be in the dark on a non workday for Microsoft employees guest speakers will be using bullhorns and videotaped so messages will be disseminated on various media. Activist leaders will be made available for interview.
For more information about WA-BATS, visit us on Facebook:
Event Invite (public): https://www.facebook.com/events/708053752620832
Contact: Julianna Dauble, (206) 856-1357
Backbone Ally, Washington Fair Trade Coalition invites you to Stand Up For Democracy