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This week CLIMATE CHANGE goes on trial in case of the #Delta5

Lynnwood, WA:  This week history is being made as a group of climate activists are helping to put lack of action on climate change on trial.

According to the  Climate Disobedience Center, the five defendants known to supporters as the Delta 5, will call expert witnesses including a co-author of the UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change report and a rail safety expert, to convince the jury that the threat posed by climate change justifies their acts of civil disobedience.

“There came a point where I could no longer sit back and wait for the politicians to act. I had to put my body on the line to demand not talk, but action on a massive scale to rapidly replace fossil fuels,” said Patrick Mazza, a member of the Delta 5 who has worked for years as an advocate for climate action.

This is the first time a U.S. court has heard a ‘necessity defense’ in a case relating to climate action. The trial is schedule to last the duration of this week.

See the full trial press release.

Before the trial began Monday, Tim DeChristopher of Bidder 70 fame and co-founder of the Climate Disobedience Center supporting the defendants, and defendant Abby Brockway spoke with Democracy Now! about the significance of the case.

Dechristopher said in another Democracy Now interview that the climate movement is increasingly turning towards civil disobedience because  “the government is not doing what’s necessary to meet the climate crisis” and that those committing climate related civil disobedience are doing so to “prevent the harm of climate change that really threatens to collapse our entire civilization and cause massive refugees, cause massive starvation and a huge list of extremely serious impacts that we’re trying to stop. So it’s truly a necessity to take that kind of action to stand up to the fossil fuel industry when our government fails to do so.”

DeChristopher is live tweeting from the trial at @DeChristopher.

Delta 5 Activists Go to Climate Trial Armed with Necessity Defense

BREAKING : According to my colleague, climate activist Tim DeChristopher, the judge in the Delta 5 case is allowing the use of the Necessity Defense. This is the legal defense which DeChristopher was denied in his prominent trial for disrupting an illegitimate Bureau of Land Management oil and gas auction in December of 2008. DeChristopher served 20 months for his act of civil disobedience.  Updated 1/8/16

Next week, on January 11th, the  activists known as the Delta 5 are going to trail for their civil disobedience.  A year ago, in September 2014, they blocked a train used to transport oil at the Delta rail yard in Everett, WA.

This is yet another instance of average citizens people like you and me putting their bodies in the way of business as usual for the fossil fuel industry.  Perhaps something we all need to be doing as the fossil fuel industry seems “hell bent on killing the planet” to quote Bill McKibben.

In this video the Delta 5 — that’s Abby Brockway, Mike Lapointe, Patrick Mazza, Jackie Minchew, and Liz Spoerri — explain why they took this action.

My colleagues at the new Climate Disobedience Center are supporting the Delta 5 through this trial.   See related Detla 5 posts on the center’s website:

Wherever you are, you can help these activists by following the trial, sharing related news, and if you can,  support their legal fund.

On Twitter
Look for tweets with hashtag #DELTA5 and retweet.  Here are a few to start with:

Facebook
Share some of the Facebook posts from the Climate Disobedience Center.

Read More
Learn more about the Delta 5 case on their website at delta5trial.org.

Climate Change: An Invitation to New Life?

An inspirational and challenging talk from TedxNewBedford by Climate Disobedience Center founder, Jay O’Hara.

Video Description:
Published on Dec 2, 2015

The climate crisis pushes us into an existential crisis of the soul. While it is natural for us to shirk that discomfort, Quaker and climate activist Jay O’Hara suggests embracing that loss is the gateway to powerful action. Through the lens of his own loss and action, he exposes the paradox of faith that may give us the chance to build the new world we need, and the movement needed to get us there.Jay O’Hara is a Quaker and native of Cape Cod. Inspired by Wendell Berry, he moved back to his hometown in 2007 to pursue a faithful response to the climate crisis, while working as a sailmaker. He is the founder of Climate Summer, a transformational summer training program for student climate activists. Called to bolder action to stop the burning of fossil fuels, in 2013 he, along with Ken Ward, blockaded 40,000 tons of coal destined for the Brayton Point power plant with their small white lobster boat named the “Henry David T”. The ensuing legal proceedings garnered national attention when Bristol District Attorney Sam Sutter reduced and dismissed the charges against the two, calling climate change “one of the gravest crises our planet has ever faced“. Most recently he co-led the faith-based “Pipeline Pilgrimage”, and has co-founded the Climate Disobedience Center with members of the Lobster Boat Blockade team.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Over 600 Fake Advertising Posters Challenge Corporate Takeover of COP21 Climate Talks

PARIS:  Two days before the launch of the UN COP21 Climate Conference, 600 posters were installed in outdoor media spaces across Paris. 82 Artists from 19 different countries made artworks to challenge the corporate takeover of COP21 and to reveal the connections between advertising, the promotion of consumerism and climate change. More images on project website at Brandalism.org.uk

From the Brandelism Press Release:

Over 600 fake adverts denounce hypocrisy of the COP21 Paris climate talks

Over 600 artworks critiquing the corporate takeover of the COP21 climatetalks were installed in advertising spaces across Paris this weekend -ahead of the United Nations summit beginning Monday 30 November.

Amidst the French state of emergency banning all public gatheringsfollowing the terrorist attacks on 13 November in Paris, the ‘Brandalism‘ project has worked with Parisians to insert unauthorised artworks across the city that aim to highlight the links between advertising, consumerism, fossil fuel dependency and climate change. [1]

The artworks were placed in advertising spaces owned by JC Decaux -one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising firms and an officialsponsor to the COP21 climate talks.Other prominent corporate sponsors of the climate talks such as AirFrance, GDF Suez (Engie) and Dow Chemicals are parodied in the posters -whilst heads of state such as Francois Hollande, David Cameron, BarackObama, Angela Merkel and Shinzo Abi also feature.

The artworks were created by over 80 renowned artists from 19 countries across the worldincluding Neta Harari, Jimmy Cauty, Banksy-collaborator Paul Insect,Escif and Kennard Phillips – many of whom featured at Banksy’s Dismalandexhibition in England this summer. [2]

Joe Elan from Brandalism said, “By sponsoring the climate talks, majorpolluters such as Air France and GDF-Suez-Engie can promote themselvesas part of the solution – when actually they are part of the problem.”

Elan continued, “We are taking their spaces back because we want tochallenge the role advertising plays in promoting unsustainableconsumerism. Because the advertising industry force feeds our desires for products created from fossil fuels, they are intimatelyconnected to causing climate change. As is the case with the Climatetalks and their corporate sponsored events, outdoor advertising ensuresthat those with the most amount of money are able to ensure that theirvoices get heard above all else.” The art works were installed on ‘BlackFriday’ or ‘Vendredi Noir’; the most hectic and competitive shopping day of the year [3].

Other posters called on people to take to the streets as part of the”Climate Games” – the world’s largest disobedient adventure game [4] as well as protesting the “Solutions 21” conference – a large corporate exposition being held at the Grand Palais during the climate talks [5].

Bill Posters from Brandalism said “Following the tragic events on 13th November in Paris, the government has chosen to ban the big civilsociety mobilisations – but big business events can continue. The multinationals responsible for climate change can keep greenwashing their destructive business models, but the communities directly impacted by them are silenced. It’s now more important than ever to call outtheir lies and speak truth to power. We call on people to take to thestreets during the COP21 to confront the fossil fuel industry. We cannotleave the climate talks in the hands of politicians and corporatelobbyists who created this mess in the first place.”

NOTES:

[1] Brandalism has previously organised two of the world’s largest’subvertising’ campaigns across different cities in the UK (in 2012 and2014) involving prominent artists such as Ron English, Robert Montgomeryand Paul Insect. See: http://www.brandalism.org.uk/the-project

[2] Dismaland was an illicit exhibition organised by Banksy which involved prominent artists from around the world. At Dismaland, therewas an advertising-takeover installation and a distribution of’hackpacks’. More info here: dismaland.co.uk. The Dismaland artists thatwere involved in this COP21 intervention are Neta Harari, Jimmy Cauty,Paul Insect (shares studio with Banksy), Escif and Kennard Phillips.

[3] On Black Friday, retailers offer large discounts to promote sales.The concept originated in the US and flew over to Europe in the lastyears where it is gaining popularity. It is known to cause violence(including deaths) in front of and inside shops. See more on this here:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/death-counter-records-number-of-people-killed-or-injured-on-black-friday-a6731766.html  The 27th of November is also ‘No Ad Day’ an artist led initiative thatseeks to remove ads from public spaces across the world.

[4] Climate Games – www.climategames.net

[5] For more information on the Solutions 21 conference see:http://corporateeurope.org/climate-and-energy/2015/10/false-solutions-cop21-guide

Paris COP21: Ignoring Ban 10,000 Protesters Form Human Chain

On Sunday, November 29, on the eve of the  COP21 climate talks, more,  more than 10,000 protesters gathered to form a human chain despite protests being banned following the recent Paris terror attacks.

Video is all music, so don’t let French title scare you. Watch it, share it, soak in the solidarity, and know that you are not alone in this fight!  Together we are powerful.

Thanks to Vincent Verzat for this fabulous video!

 

The Best Climate March Photos from Around the World

350.org has collected photos from this weekend’s climate marches held around the world!  We can all use a reminder that we are not in this alone and that together we are powerful.

You can browse their full collection of photos here.

Now, if you’re still watching from the sidelines, it is time to connect and take action!  We can’t do this alone. We need you.

Whether it is a local chapter of 350Interfaith Power and LightMoms Clean Air Force, Citizen’s Climate Lobby, another organization, or just participating in the next global event with family and friends,  it is time to  take action.

My recommendation?  Do it with a friend.  Ask a family member, friend or or colleague from work if they want to check out an organization or attend an action with you.

Zurich, Switzerland

Photos in this post via 350.org Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Melbourne, Australia