Newsletter: Rigged Trade Negotiations Struggle, Protests Escalate


By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. For those concerned about corporate power vs. democracy; jobs, the environment, healthcare, food, water, energy, regulation of banks and more – all eyes were on Atlanta this week where 12 nations were negotiating the massive trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The Atlanta meetings come after more than five years of secret negotiations, secret to the public, media and elected representatives but not to transnational corporations. No matter how Atlanta turns out, we are winning and can finish the job. Our goal: end corporate rigged trade and force governments to re-make trade with a goal of putting people and planet first and doing so by negotiating agreements with transparency so the people can participate.

People's Climate Movement National Day Of Action, October 14

People's Climate Action poster

By The People’s Climate Movement – On October 14, 2015, in cities and towns around the nation, people will be engaging in a National Day of Action to once again call attention to the urgent need for bold steps to be taken to address the global climate crisis. Initiated by the People’s Climate Movement (PCM), these actions are being organized by local groups and organizations from the wide range of diverse constituencies and communities. The People’s Climate Movement hopes local organizers will develop creative, inspirational events that call attention to the urgent need for immediate action on the climate crisis while highlighting the range of communities and constituencies involved in this new movement for climate justice. The TPP and other rigged trade agreements will have a major impact on our efforts to seek climate justice. Some people are organizing actions to stop the TPP and other rigged trade deals. Climate justice and trade justice are closely tied together. If we do not ensure trade justice, we cannot achieve climate justice.

Grassroots Women’s Response To Climate Change

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By Kahea Pacheco and Melinda Kramer in Earth Island – In an event hall in the small village of Sirsi, on the edge of the Western Ghats in the Indian state of Karnataka, more than a hundred women gather to participate in the Malnad Mela, a decade-old festival organized by Vanastree, a seed saving collective of women farmers. These participants, as well as the 800 or more community members who visit throughout the day, have traveled long distances to be there despite a week of heavy monsoon rains and winds, uprooted trees, and power outages. Sunita Rao— seed saver, farmer and founder of Vanastree — believes that the mela is a critical opportunity to bring women home gardeners and farmers together to exchange skills, share and sell produce, and discuss solutions and adaptations to the growing threat climate change presents to the region.

Why Shell Lost The Arctic

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By Hannah McKinnon in Price of Oil – Royal Dutch Shell announced this morning that it would be abandoning its exploration program in the U.S. offshore Arctic for the “foreseeable future” (see our response here). After more than 7 billion dollars and many seasons of almost unbelievable mishaps – Shell made the call along with an announcement that this season’s efforts had failed to turn up any worthwhile find. This is a huge win for the climate. We know that Arctic oil is incompatible with a safe global climate. Big oil’s high cost, high risk hunt for unburnable carbon at the ends of the earth was indicative of just how far the industry is willing to go to cling to last century’s dirty energy. So what went right for those opposing Shell’s arctic drilling? Shell has many drilling seasons under its belt where it did not uncover any huge Arctic reserves, but for some reason this time, enough was enough and the company is calling it quits.

Promises Made In Lead Up To Paris Would Slow Climate Pollution

Climate change activists’ graffiti on a billboard near the Didcot coal-fired power station in Oxfordshire, UK. Photograph: Tim Myers

By Climate Interactive – The current national offers of climate action submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) would reduce projected warming by approximately 1°C, according to a new analysisreleased today from Climate Interactive and MIT Sloan. A Paris agreement based on these offers would put the world on track for a global temperature increase of 3.5°C (6.3°F), with a range of uncertainty from 2.1 to 4.6°C (3.7 to 8.4°F), down from the 4.5°C (8.1°F) of warming above pre-industrial levels if nations continue on the business-as-usual track. Climate Interactive’s Climate Scoreboard analysis, produced in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management (MIT Sloan), shows that the intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) put forward in advance of the UN climate talks this December make a sizeable contribution towards curbing global emissions and limiting warming.

Breaking News: SF Financial District Shut Down Over Climate Profiteers

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By Rising Tide of North America for Flood The System – Breaking News! Currently, hundreds of climate and social justice activists are shutting down San Francisco’s financial district with mass civil disobedience at the front door of climate profiteer Bank of the West. They aren’t demanding superficial reforms from morally bankrupt climate profiteers like Bank of the West. They’re demanding a radical transformation of our economy and our political system, and they’re setting an example for how movements against climate change and capitalism can take bigger, bolder action.

Giant ‘Dying Polar Bear’ Protests At Shell HQs Over Arctic Drilling

Jiri Rezac / Greenpeace

By Kara O’Neill in Mirror – A giant dying polar bear has been placed outside the headquarters of oil and gas company Shell in a bid to stop their Arctic drilling programme. British actress Emma Thompson was among the protesters who manoeuvred the three-tone puppet into place, locking six people inside so the bear cannot be moved. The bear, which is the size of a double decker bus, and is named Aurora (after the Northern Lights) is intended to sit outside the company’s headquarter in South Bank, London, until they cease their drilling. British actor Emma joined the 64 activists before taking to the stage to read an original poem to Shell, penned especially for the occasion. Two weeks ago, Shell was given the go ahead to start drilling in the Arctic Ocean to look for new oil reserves. It has until September 28 to strike oil before it must shut up its operation for winter.

The Pope & Obama’s Climate Legacy

By Stephen Crowley/ NYTimes

By Tom Weis in The Huffington Post – History will be made this week when Pope Francis addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress. Only the Pope and his closest advisors know what he will say, but if his remarkable 184-page climate encyclical, “On Care for Our Common Home,” is any indication, it will include some brutally honest straight talk about America’s moral imperative to address the global climate crisis. As someone who spends most of his waking hours thinking about how we solve this planetary emergency, I was deeply inspirited by the pontiff’s urgent call for a “bold cultural revolution.” It will be interesting to see how Republicans in Congress, most of whom have yet to embrace the basic reality of climate science, respond to the Pope’s moral message of climate truth and justice. As evidenced by nearly a dozen Republican members of Congress who just introduced a House Resolution on conservative environmental stewardship, the Pope’s visit is already having an impact.

Energy Revolution 2015

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This is the year when the fight against climate change could take a dramatic turn. The conference in Paris in December presents political and business leaders with the opportunity to take the critical decisions needed if we are to keep average temperature rises to no more than 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius. According to the IPCC, humankind cannot emit more than 1,000 giga-tonnes of CO2 from now, if we are to stay within this limit. At the current and projected rate of consumption, this entire carbon budget will be used by 2040. Dynamic change is happening in energy supply, but the change needs to happen faster. this Energy [R]evolution scenario proposes a pathway to a 100% sustainable energy supply, ending CO2 emissions and phasing out nuclear energy, and making redundant new oil exploration in the arctic and deep sea waters such as off the coast of Brazil.

Pope Arrives, Hunger Strike Grows Against Oil & Gas

BXE Day 15 the day the Pope arrived in DC

By Melinda Tuhus for BXE – On the day the Pope arrived in Washington, DC, Beyond Extreme Energy entered the 15th day of their water-only fast, outside of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) headquarters, 888 1st St. NE, D.C. The fast, which began on September 8th, is calling on FERC to issue no new permits for oil and gas infrastructure. The fast is growing as two women travelled across the country to join Beyond Extreme Energy’s 18-day fast at FERC). Their communities have been directly harmed by the permits FERC has issued or has pending regarding fracked gas The call for No New Permits is in line with Pope Francis’s call in his recent encyclical for the world’s leaders to immediately address the already devastating impacts of climate change – fueled by the burning of fossil fuels – especially on the poor who have contributed the least to the problem.

Activists Disrupt Governor McAuliffe’s Speech At Energy Symposium

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By Seed Coalition – Five activists disrupted Governor McAuliffe’s keynote address at the Biennial Natural Resources and Energy Law Symposium today by performing a poem written specifically for the Governor and creatively demanding that he “call off” the proposed pipelines threatening to go through Virginia. The activists were members of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, SEED: Stopping Extraction and Exports Destruction, We Are Cove Point, and FANG: Fighting Against Natural Gas. Taking turns with each verse, they stood on chairs and recited a poem entitled “McAuliffe Knows” (see text below). It spotlighted the hypocrisy of the Governor, primarily regarding his continued support of several natural gas pipelines proposed to devastate Virginia and the Appalachian region.

Hunger Strikers Lay It All On The Line To Stop Gas Pipeline Permits

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By Anne Meador and John Zangas in DC Media Grou – It’s come to this. Eighteen days of virtual starvation to draw a line under the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s intransigence, its refusal to do much of anything to address controversy, protest, and mass mobilization against the stream of permits it issues to greenlight gas. In other words, rubberstamp approval for the infrastructure projects it takes to transport fracked gas from the shale fields. The hunger strikers, organized under the name Beyond Extreme Energy, have already attended public hearings; made comments on the FERC dockets; organized petitions; disrupted Commission meetings; protested outside of FERC headquarters for two full weeks with banners, props and art displays; and blockaded its doors, resulting in more than 100 arrests.

FERC Fasters In Solidarity With Dyett12

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By Mackenzie McDonald Wilkins of Popular Resistance. Washington, DC – Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) fasted in solidarity with organizers and hunger strikers working to reopen the Dyett High School with a green energy curriculum. This was the 9th day of the BXE fast and the 30th day of the Dyett hunger strike. BXE is fasting at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) demanding an end to all new fossil fuel infrastructure permits. Their continued permitting of fossil fuel projects disproportionately impacts poor folks and people of color due to project placement (like many LNG terminals in the Gulf South that need FERC approval) and climate change (like Katrina or Sandy).

Climate Disobedience Launched

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By Climate Disobedience – The following are the guiding principles of the Climate Disobedience Center. We aim to… 1. Use creative conflict to break up business-as-usual, forcing attention to the underlying, fatal conflict between global survival and blind adherence to fossil fuel powered mass consumption, and unrestrained economic growth. 2. Replace symbolic, mass, photo-op climate protests with peaceful confrontation at the point of injury in order to create moral clarity, cutting through the numbing tangle of climate half measures, deceit and self interest, as the lunch counter sit-ins clarified and elevated the civil rights struggle. 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. . .

Hungering For Climate Justice

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By Climate Howard – All along, fasters with Beyond Extreme Energy have had two questions: How will this feel, and how will I pass the time? Of course, that’s in addition to the broader concern about how to ensure their actions help bring change. From the day after Labor Day until Sept. 25 — 18 days — a dozen people are on a water-only fast on the sidewalk in front of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, on First Street NE in Washington, just down the street from Union Station. Some have stayed overnight on the sidewalk as well, although most head for Lincoln Temple United Church of Christ to sleep. Other people are fasting for a shorter time, at FERC or in their communities.