People are being asked to contact the White House on Tuesday as a follow up to the week’s actions. But first read what long time activist Ted Glick has written about the week’s events. It is inspiring . This is a long email. Do not be dismayed. Do with it what you can. At the very least read Ted’s essay and call the White House.
Stop Line 3! No New Fossil Fuel Projects! Climate Emergency! | Ted Glick
Future Hope column, October 16, 2021
No Line 3! No New Fossil Fuel Projects! Climate Emergency!
By Ted Glick
The People Vs. Fossil Fuels actions this past week in Washington, DC—655 arrests!—brought back a lot of memories. In November of 1972 I was living in DC when the continent-wide Trail of Broken Treaties arrived there and took over the Bureau of Indian Affairs. I spent time outside the BIA building in the evenings in support. Then, several months later, after local activists and the American Indian Movement occupied buildings in Wounded Knee, SD on the Pine Ridge Reservation, and after a call went out for non-Indigenous people to come there in support, I did so. I stayed for two-plus weeks, helping to set up a support and communications office in Rapid City.
The leadership and visibility and inspiration and music and drumming and actions of Indigenous people from around what is now called the United States were such a very big deal this past week! To feel and experience this beating heart of resistance from peoples who have been under a terrible and wicked, life-draining siege for so long; to be moved by and dance to the sound of the drums; to be inspired by the deep, deep earth wisdom of Casey Camp Horinek; to be there able to respond and actively support the flag pole actions at the Army Corps of Engineers Tuesday afternoon; to be able to support the sit-in led by elders inside the Bureau of Indian Affairs/DOE building Thursday afternoon—these are experiences I will not forget.
Each day of the week began with well-organized actions at the White House. There were very big puppets and colorful banners and flags made by people who knew what they were doing, visuals to go along with the theatre of negotiated arrests by the police of the scores of people daily clogging the sidewalk right next to the White House fence. Throughout all this time each day of marching to and arriving at the White House, setting things up, being given three warnings by the police, and then the arrests, there were short, amplified presentations by frontline leaders of fights against new fossil fuel infrastructure all over the country–Alaska, New Mexico, Texas, Minnesota, Virginia, West Virginia, Louisiana, Nebraska, California, Alabama, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York and more. There were passionate chants and singing.
Other dramatic actions took place Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.
Tuesday’s was at the Army Corps of Engineers. The focus was on Line 3 in Minnesota. A million signatures on petitions was presented, calling for the Army Corps to step in, stop Line 3 and do a serious Environmental Impact Study. Indigenous speakers reported on the piercing of the water aquifers under the pipeline and numerous other violations by Enbridge, their overt attempts to cover it all up, their lies, and the spinelessness of the Army Corps in response. Then, after the stirring rally concluded and a giant round dance was taking place by the hundreds of people gathered there on the street, strong, nonviolent direct action was undertaken: two Indigenous activists, supported by others, began working their way up the two 35 foot or so flag poles flanking the front of the building. For close to two hours they were up there. An American flag was turned upside down, a distress signal, and pro-Indigenous sovereignty banners were held up by the activists clinging to the poles.
Recognizing the determination of and number of people willing to defend our climate warriors, the police never moved in to try to bring them down. Ultimately, they came down on their own, slipped away and the action ended.
The next day we went to the home of Jaime Pinckam, head of the Army Corps, an upper-income condominium complex across the river in Arlington, Va. Hundreds of us were loud and boisterous with chants and speeches calling him out for his dereliction of duty for all his neighbors to hear.
Then on Thursday Indigenous activists surprised the Bureau of Indian Affairs/Department of the Interior security with a lobby sit-in by 55 people, most of whom were arrested, some roughly. They brought with them a list of demands, which included: Abolition of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Restoration of 110 million acres of land taken away from Native Nations, and Bring home our children buried at your residential schools.
Friday morning was the last day of action, a youth-led march from the White House to Congress. To the sound of the drums and Native songs, 90 people were arrested sitting in at an intersection a few blocks from the Capitol.
There was a great deal of press coverage of this week of action. White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about Biden’s response to our demands at a nationally-televised, Thursday press conference. Her response, in effect, was that he is focused on getting Congress to pass Build Back Better legislation that includes action on climate. Perhaps, hopefully, and only because of continuing, unrelenting pressure, he and his administration and obstructionists in Congress like Manchin and Sinema will realize that, as was said throughout the week, that if you don’t respect us, expect us. There ain’t no power like the power of the people when organized peoples, joining together, don’t stop.
Ted Glick is a volunteer organizer with Beyond Extreme Energy and president of 350NJ-Rockland. Past writings and other information, including about Burglar for Peace and 21st Century Revolution, two books published by him in 2020 and 2021, can be found at https://tedglick.com. He can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jtglick.
Below is a link to some outstanding pictures of activists demonstrating outside and also inside at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Many who were there noted a difference in how Indian activists were treated and how white allies were treated by the police.
Below is a link to tweets that can be retrieved to amplify the content if you tweet. While I don’t tweet, I found it interesting to scroll down the list and watch some of the video clips. It really gives you a sense of connection to those marching. Pass them on as you can.
It is not to late to contact the President. It is quick and easy – do it now and again next Tuesday!
From: ‘Maury Johnson’ via Beyond Extreme Energy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, Oct 15, 2021, 10:29 PM
Subject: Armplify: People vs Fossil Fuels mobilization in DC –
Just got back from an inspiring week in DC
Today was DAY FIVE of the historic People vs. Fossil Fuels week of action in Washington DC! Ninety youths and allies were arrested, which marks a grand total of 655 arrests since Monday. Our message to Joe Biden has been clear all week: He must phase out fossil fuels to deliver climate and environmental justice for communities around the country.- Today’s action was led by Indigenous and frontline youth, including those from the District of Columbia, where this entire action has taken place.
The action kicked off with a visit to the White House, followed by a powerful march to the U.S. Capitol. Our message to Biden and Congress was clear: No votes for fossil fuels. We can’t afford support for deadly fossil fuel projects so-called “climate leaders,” and youth won’t support politicians unwilling to stand up to Big Oil + Gas. At the Capitol, several youth gave powerful testimony, then sat in and were arrested to cap the week.
Press Release #1:https://peoplevsfossilfuels.org/friday-press-release
Oct. 19 Call-In Day of Action:https://peoplevsfossilfuels.org/oct-19-call-in-day-of-action-social-media-toolkit
This brings a tremendous week of action to a close, but the fight to phase out fossil fuels is far from over. The next date for your calendar: Tue, October 19, for a Call-In Day of Action to the White House with our demands. We’ll be following up our actions with a barrage of calls urging Joe Biden to protect our climate and communities.
Here is a roundup of content and key links to follow and amplify. Please follow and use the HASHTAG: #PeopleVsFossilFuels
Washington Post: Indigenous youths, climate activists to march to U.S. Capitol on final day of People vs. Fossil Fuels protests
Mic: Thousands of People Are Descending on DC for a Weeklong Climate Protest
Grist: Biden has the power to prevent 1.6 billion metric tons of emissions annually
The Verge: Fossil fuels are forecast to dry up, but not soon enough
DeSmog: Raising Pressure on Biden, Dozens of Indigenous Activists Occupy Bureau of Indian Affairs and Climate Justice Advocates Decry Gulf ‘Sacrifice Zones’Sierra Club: Fire at the White House: Indigenous-Led Protests in DC Call on Biden to Declare a National Climate Emergency
Oil Change International: Emissions from Proposed U.S. Fossil Fuel Projects Equivalent to Doubling U.S. Coal Plants if Biden Approves Construction
SAMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA
- Congress can’t continue to give billions to the fossil fuel industry destroying our planet. We are in DC to demand an END to fossil fuel projects, fossil fuel subsidies, & fossil fuel colonialism. #PeopleVsFossilFuels #EndFossilFuelSubsidies Take action: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/president-biden-choose-people-over-fossil-fuels
- Today’s the final day of #PeopleVsFossilFuels, w/ over 650 people arrested in DC demanding action to confront Big Oil + Gas. Indigenous youth led the charge in our march today. #PeopleVsFossilFuels Take action to #StopLine3 #StopLine5 & say #NoMVP #NoDAPL: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/president-biden-choose-people-over-fossil-fuels
- President Biden: Listen to the people who sent you to Washington & take urgent action to phase out fossil fuels, stop new fossil fuel projects, declare a national climate emergency, & deploy 100% clean, safe, renewable energy. #PeopleVsFossilFuels Join us: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/president-biden-choose-people-over-fossil-fuels
Indigenous people, pipeline fighters, water protectors, young people, scientists, faith leaders, and more are saying enough is enough: It’s time for President Biden to leverage his executive power and use his existing authority to immediately declare a climate emergency and stop fossil fuel expansion.
Please let me know if you have any questions, and a massive thanks for the amplification this entire week. Visit PeopleVsFossilFuels.org for updates and join on Tues (Oct. 19) for a People vs. Fossil Fuels Call-In Day of Action to keep up the momentum from an amazing week!