Boston, MA — In an effort to bring attention to the growing number of deaths caused by climate driven extreme heat and the dangers of continued fossil fuel extraction, Boston area activists staged the “Mass Graves Pipeline Protests” on June 29th. To connect the dots between mass graves in Pakistan and the trenches being dug by Spectra Energy in Boston’s West Roxbury neighborhood, activists including my colleague Tim DeChristopher (I do media work with Tim) and Al Gore’s daughter, Karenna Gore, stormed and occupied the pipeline trenches.
A total of 23 people were arrested with six seeking to go to trial, including Tim DeChristopher and Karenna Gore. They are calling themselves the Mass Grave 6.
The morning of the action I asked Tim how he was thinking of it. Is this direct action? A funeral? A die-in? Tim suggested this might be something new as we enter a new age of anticipatory mass graves.
After a series of eulogies for those who have died as a direct result of climate change, Tim DeChristopher spoke on our entering the “Age of Anticipatory Mass Graves.”
You can see more of my footage and footage by Kori Feener (she filmed activists taking the trench) in the following Democracy Now! segments.
My photos from the action are available for media use at https://flic.kr/s/aHskDcoQPY with photo credit: Peter Bowden
In this video Tim DeChristopher shares an overview of the Delta 5 trial, the outcome, implications and his thoughts on how to use civil disobedience as a strategy moving forward.
DeChristopher and the Climate Disobedience Center team supported the Delta 5 during the trial.
For more see Tim DeChristopher’s January 16, 2016 talk “The Power of Civil Disobedience: Awakening Our Spirits to the Challenge of the Climate Crisis” delivered the day after the historic #Delta5 climate trial verdict. The event was sponsored by the Climate Action Team of University Unitarian Church, Seattle. Filmed by Todd Boyle.
This talk has been broken up into short topic focused video clips here.
The following is the full program video including introductions and Q &A after the talk.
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.
Tim DeChristopher speaks at the Harvard Heat Week Faith Day on the hard truths that must be spoken about Harvard. Learn more at http://harvardheatweek.org.
Activist Tim DeChristopher speaks at the Massachusetts State House during the #DivestMA Global Divestment Day event on 2/12/15 organized by 350 Mass. For more on Global Divestment Day visit http://gofossilfree.org Tim, an independent climate justice activist, was featured in the documentary Bidder70, and is currently inciting dissent at Harvard Divinity School.
Photos from the event
Available for media use with photo credit: Peter Bowden.
Videos from the event
There are 20 videos in this playlist from the event. This includes those I filmed, plus others as I discover online.
Global Divestment Day 2015 summary video: