The landmark trial of the “Zenith 5” ended in a mistrial last week, with 5 of the 6 jurors refusing to convict them, despite video evidence of them breaking the law. This was the first time the ‘climate necessity defense‘ was used here in Oregon, which is an argument defendants use to justify illegal actions taken on behalf of the planet. Until last year, the defense had never been successfully used.
The five activists were arrested last April for building a garden on the tracks of Houston-based Zenith Energy’s railroad terminal in Portland to protest expansion of the fossil fuel infrastructure.
“That a jury could not convict us of trespass when we showed them a video of us sitting on Zenith’s railroad tracks is a partial victory for common sense,” said Ken Ward. “It is not a victory in any traditional sense, because we shouldn’t have had to take this action to begin with, given the climate catastrophe, but it is a vindication of our call for climate activists to use a climate necessity defense.”
Here’s your 350PDX weekly update.
Goodbye from Anissa
Our wonderful magical Coalition Manager, Anissa Pemberton, is moving on to new pastures. They have brought so much to this organization and have been instrumental in guiding our intersectional focus on climate justice, and our crucial JEDI (justice, equity, diversity and inclusion) work. They will be so sorely missed! Please give your appreciation to them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org! Here’s a short statement from Anissa:
“Hi everyone, It’s been a bittersweet decision, but I have decided to accept a position at Coalition of Communities of Color as the Portland Clean Energy Fund Coalition Coordinator. Thank you for the years of collaborative work at 350PDX, and the opportunity to work alongside some of the most hardworking and dedicated climate justice advocates in Portland. This new position is a great continuance of many of the skills fostered and grown at 350PDX. I will be staying in touch, possibly as a volunteer, but always as a fellow organizer and movement-builder who is passionate about 350PDX’s mission. My gratitude goes out to all of the volunteers, board members, and staff members for the times we have shared together. Please keep an eye out for me and feel free to stop by the office to say, “See you soon!
My very best wishes to 350PDX, Anissa Pemberton (they/them)”
Here’s the statement from the organizers: “After days of deliberation, the Conference Co-Directors have made the truly heartbreaking decision to cancel the 38th annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, which was scheduled to take place March 5-8, 2020. We do not take this decision lightly. The rapidly developing situation with COVID-19 in the Pacific Northwest demanded a cautious response to protect the public welfare.” Read more here.
The Earth Day Organizing Fellow will be focusing on the logistics and organizing of the Earth Day 2020 mobilization. Earth Day 2020 is a movement-building event aiming to build and strengthen the climate justice movement’s work to push forward an Oregon Green New Deal. This is a paid position. More details and apply here. Deadline Friday March 6.
Are you interested in helping 350PDX become more accessible to people with disabilities and people whose primary language is not English? Apply to join the Accessibility Committee! Committee members will lead in creating an Accessibility Policy to launch in 2021. The Committee will meet March – October, 2020. Thank you!
We’re looking for an intern to help us develop and implement a social media strategy which will amplify our work, advance our campaigns, and help us build the big, beautiful movement that we need. Interested? Know someone who might be? This is an unpaid position. Check out details and apply here!
Sign this petition to demand that JPMorgan Chase remove Lee Raymond from its board of directors. As the petition says, “Lee Raymond, the former CEO and Chair of ExxonMobil — is JPMorgan Chase’s Lead Independent Director, whose job it is to put a check on JPMorgan Chase’s CEO and Chairman, Jamie Dimon!
TOMORROW Thurs Mar 5, 12:00PM – 3:00PM @ Chase Bank, 811 SW 6th Ave, PortlandRally from Oregon Water Protectors. Chase bank is one of the biggest funders of the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline. We will be gathering for a peaceful, non-violent demonstration to show that we condemn the funding of fossil fuel pipelines on Sovereign Indigenous Land. Facebook event here.
- Defund / Divest Team Bi-Monthly Meeting
TOMORROW Thurs Mar 5, 6:45PM – 8:15PM @ Online! Register in advance here.
Join the Defund/Divest Team planning for the April 23 Earth Day Finance Actions.They are meeting twice a month until Earth Day. Read more about what this team does and how to get involved!
Fri Mar 6, 12:00PM – 1:00PM @ Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Ave, PortlandEvery Friday folks are assembling outside City Hall in an energetic and colorful vigil to keep the pressure on Mayor Ted Wheeler to shut down the Zenith tar sands terminal in NW Portland, and to raise awareness from people and cars passing by. More info here.
Sat Mar 7, 11:00AM – 1:30PM @ Centro Cultural of Washington County, 1110 N Adair St, CorneliusTransportation is our region’s highest source of climate pollution, accounting for ~40% of our carbon emissions. It is also one of the few emissions sources that is increasing rather than decreasing! For the past year we have been pressuring Metro to make sure their $3 billion transportation package is transformative in bringing down emissions, and in tackling the racial and social inequities that our region suffers from.
We now have a chance to make sure one such transformative proposal makes it into the package – YouthPass4All. We’re looking for transit-dependent youth in Washington County to show up and testify for YouthPass!
More info and talking points here. Everyone welcome, and those most impacted – transit-dependent youth – especially encouraged to attend and testify.
- Film Screening – Washington County Team
Sat Mar 7, 2:00PM – 4:00PM @ The Vault Theater, 350 East Main St, Hillsboro
Please join 350.org Washington County for a free screening (free popcorn, too!) of Anote’s Ark and community conversation about climate action. Link to Register. About the movie: What happens when your nation is swallowed by the sea? With the harsh realities of climate change looming, the low-lying Pacific nation Kiribati must find a new solution for the survival of its people. Anote’s Ark captures the next evolution in the shifting dynamics of climate change—one where borders, technology, and global treaties are urgent and can change daily life as we know it. The Kiribati people offer strength of character and grace as they confront the inevitable change they are facing head-on.
- Benefit for 350PDX – Aqueerium
Sat Mar 7, 7:00PM – 10:00PM @ 3404 NE 83rd Ave, Portland
“Come get groovy with Aqueerium and help raise money for a great cause! Our environment!!!!” Acts include: Foxy Apollo, Spiller, The Whild Jumps, and Tom Ghoulie. $4 entry. Facebook event here.
- Portland Mayoral Climate and Environmental Justice Debate
Sun Mar 8, 6:00PM – 9:00PM @ Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark St, Portland
Together with Sunrise PDX and Harriet Tubman Middle School Environmental Club, we are co-hosting a Mayoral candidate climate and environmental justice forum. Confirmed so far are Incumbent Mayor Ted Wheeler, Sarah Iannarone, and Teressa Raiford. This is going to be a huge chance for the people of this city to see where our mayoral candidates stand on climate and environmental justice. There’s an 800 seat capacity so invite the young people in your life to come along with you. Get your tickets here!
- Climate Emergency Discussion with City of Portland staff – Alisa Kane
Mon Mar 9, 5:30PM – 6:30PM @ 350PDX, 1820 NE 21st Ave , Portland
The City of Portland has released a draft climate emergency declaration to show “that the City understands the urgency of the issue and how our role must shift toward taking even bolder actions that center the communities on the frontlines of climate change.
Please join us on Monday, March 9, to learn more about the City’s plans. 350PDX is hosting a presentation and Q & A on the proposed Climate Emergency Declaration with Alisa Kane. Alisa Kane (she/her) is the Climate Action Manager at the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Bring your ideas and your questions!
- 350PDX General Meeting
Tues Mar 10, 6:00PM – 8:00PM @ 350PDX, 1820 NE 21st Ave , Portland
Join us for our monthly general meeting, where we’ll have an interactive deep dive into a campaign, hear organization announcements, and hear an update about each of our teams. We’re still working out the agenda but it’ll likely be a planning meeting for Earth Day, particularly focusing on our campaign against Chase Bank.
The meeting begins with a community potluck, so feel free to bring a dish or snacks to share, but you can also just bring yourself!
We close the meeting with Teams Tabling, which is your chance to go and chat with members of all our teams to see what they’re up to and how you can get involved. See you there! This meeting is every month on the second Tuesday, 6:00-8:00PM.
- Secrets of a Successful Organizer – Labor Organizer Training
Sat Mar 14, 10:00AM – 5:00PM @ Musicians Union Hall, 325 NE 20th Ave, Portland
Climate justice = economic justice!
From our friends at Jobs with Justice: How to fight back at work and win!
1. Beating Apathy, 2. Assembling Your Dream Team and 3. Turning an Issue into a Campaign
Led by Mark Brenner, co-author of the book that distills generations of know-how into accessible lessons – Secrets of a Successful Organizer (labornotes.org/secrets) – lunch provided, donation suggested – sign up here
Sun Mar 15, 2:00PM – 7:00PM – Vancouver
Sat Mar 28, 10:00AM – 3:00PM
Sat Apr 11, 10:00AM – 3:00PM
For info or to RSVP, contact Bonnie: (503) 705-1943, or email@example.com
This free workshop is for people considering risking arrest, those who want to support others risking arrest, or for those who want a greater understanding of why civil disobedience is an effective tactic.
Workshop Includes: Brief History of Civil Disobedience; Personal Grounding; Possible Legal Consequences; Practical Preparation for Risking Arrest; Know Your Rights; Action Roles and Tactics; Action Practice and Planning
Please plan on participating through the entire session.
- 350PDX Conflict Management Training
Tues Mar 17 and Tues Mar 24, 6:00PM – 9:00PM @ 350PDX, 1820 NE 21st Ave , Portland
Conflict is everywhere and unavoidable, especially in situations where people are in states of high emotional and existential stress (i.e. the entire climate movement all the time). Conflict can either be a force that slows us down (when we ignore it and it festers, or we deal with it badly), or a catalyst for growth and learning. It depends on how we deal with it! Join us for this training where we learn how to deal with conflict in a healthy productive way! RSVP and more info here. Ideally you’d attend both sessions, but if you’re really keen and can only attend one then that’s OK too.
Thank you all for the work that you do, here’s to ten years of radical positive change,
Chris – 350PDX Volunteer & Communications Manager