Break Free from Fossil Fuels

Break Free From Fossil Fuels was a global climate movement, spanning over 30 countries, to blockade the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects and support the most ambitious climate solutions. Break Free in the Pacific Northwest occurred from May 12th to the 15th 2015 and consisted of actions such as; the Sunday March and Sit-in, Kayaks on the Water, the Luminary March, the Blockade of the Tracks, and the Indigenous March. The action had an estimated 2500 participants

Break Free Blog

Break Free Pacific Northwest Action

Shell-Tesoro-12The Break Free (From Fossil Fuels) action in Anacortes Washington was part of a coordinated global ‘week’ of 30 actions across a dozen countries. You can read about some of them here.

The Pacific Northwest Action spanned 4 days from May 12th through the 15th and included trainings, workshops, events such as speakers and meals, a lot of beautiful art making, 3 marches, kayaks on the water and a railroad track blockade that lasted 2 days. All together an estimated 2500 people participated in various aspects of the action.

I found the whole event uplifting and nourishing. Read more

Philippines: 10,000 march to #BreakFree from #coal in Batangas city

marchTwenty seven coal power stations are planned for construction in the Philippines. As part of the global #BreakFree protests, around 10,000 Filipinos marched in Batangas City on May 4 demanding an end to coal and transition to renewable energy. The protest comes just five days before national elections.

People and civil society groups are demanding that the next Philippines administration cancel all proposed coal plants nationwide and hasten a transition to renewable energy, according to a Greenpeace statement.“We are facing a planetary emergency. Now more than ever, we need leaders who are pro-people and pro-environment, not pro-coal and pro-climate change,” said Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, who led the march to the Batangas Provincial Sports Complex.

The anti-coal march highlighted a national campaign called “Piglas Batangas! Piglas Pilipinas!” symbolized by the struggle against the proposed 600-megawatt coal plant of JG Summit Holdings in Barangay (Village) Pinamucan Ibaba, Batangas City. The opposition to the plan is led by the Lipa Archdiocesan Ministry on Environment, local fisherfolk, and other concerned citizens. Read more

Mass blockade of UK’s largest opencast coal mine ends without arrests

26727211272_143c6f2c7a_oAfter 12 hours, the mass occupation and blockade by Reclaim the Power of the UK’s largest opencast coal mine – Ffos-y-fran – has ended with no arrests.

Over 300 participated, making it the biggest ever mass action in a UK coal mine. The blockade also launches a fortnight of similar actions globally, all targeting major fossil fuel infrastructure in 13 countries worldwide.

The mass civil trespass by climate action network Reclaim the Power began at 5.30am this morning and halted work across the site. Activists donned red boilersuits and used creative props such as inflatable cubes, dragon puppets and metres-long red banners.

Hannah Smith, who was part of the action said:

“Today we shut down the UK’s largest coal mine because we must keep fossil fuels in the ground to stop catastrophic climate change. Read more

“…empower people to take more action and connect further the movements…”

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An interview with Juliette Rousseau and Petra Němcová.

Last year over 1500 people blocked the coal mine and diggers at Garzweiler, in the German Rheinland. Over 300 internationals were part of the action. In 2016 “Ende Gelaende” will head to Lusatia (near the German polish border) and the international participation is expected to be a lot higher. Over 40 internationals from 14 different countries travelled to the international preparation meeting in Berlin (12. to 14. February). We asked: what makes Ende Gelaende so appealing to people from other countries? How could one explain the transnational nature of an initially German campaign? Ende Gelaende spoke about this with French and Czech activists.

Read more

The Roots and Shoots of Just Transition

JustTransition-610x390From 1974-1991 I worked on assembly lines at General Electric Appliance Park in Louisville, Kentucky. I hired in right at the end of the post WWII economic boom. In 1974 there were over 24,000 people working at Appliance Park. By 1991 that number had shrunk to about 6,000. Like many at the low end of the seniority list, I had a wild ride in and out of GE due to business cycle boom and bust, robots, outsourcing, and production shifts from one GE factory to another.

The last time I was called back from a layoff, I worked on a refrigerator compressor line, testing for leaks before they filled the system with Freon. This was in the late 1980s while the Montreal Protocol to Protect the Ozone Layer was being negotiated. Of course, Freon, an efficient and safe-to-handle refrigerant, was also the most prominent ozone-depleting chemical. It was disorienting to know this and to experience the nearly total silence on the issue at work. Once it was clear that Freon had to be replaced, GE claimed it had to redesign certain components and retool some of the manufacturing process. The company challenged the union to meet or beat what it would cost to make those parts somewhere else. The union kept the work but with a plan that used fewer workers. By that time, I had moved on to the washer/dryer building, been laid off yet again, moved back to Massachusetts where I grew up, and gone back to school. Read more

Come to Anacortes in Mid May…Because Business As Usual Is Killing Us

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 9.46.15 PMWe know the basics. Our relentless consumption of fossil fuels is killing our planet’s ability to sustain us. We can make personal choices to reduce our own consumption, and that is meaningful. We can be hopeful when we read optimistic forecasts about alternative energy, and that’s reasonable.

But the bottom line is that, on our current trajectory, we are headed toward climate catastrophe. And who knows why — but the fossil fuel industry and those who profit from it seem not overly concerned.

That’s why people all over the world this May are stepping out and stepping up to confront the fossil fuel industry where it lives.

Read more

How the Epic Global Resistance to Fossil Fuels is Growing in 2016

People are holding governments to their word. Yesterday in France, Total was holding an oil summit about offshore drilling, but they were met by hundreds of activists who blockaded the event. While political leaders were agreeing in Paris that the planet needs to stop using fossil fuels, many people also made a pledge — they would use their bodies to prevent climate criminals from wrecking the planet further. Further offshore drilling and a safe planet are not compatible.

If we’re going to have a chance in preventing climate catastrophe, we have to stop extraction and keep fossil fuels in the ground. The movement has grown considerably in 2016 — with more people moving forward with determination.

Here are just a few more of the inspiring ways that people are stepping up to keep fossil fuels in the ground, across the globe. If you’re ready to join them in escalating the fight to defend our climate, click here to join a Break Free action near you. Read more

This May: Break Free From Fossil Fuels

“We are in a kind of climate emergency now” [1]

We have to stay below 1.5°C of warming to avoid radical climate destabilization. No current policies keep us anywhere near this goal: we’re barreling towards double that, leaving us with a broken world. This has to change, and we have to lead. We have to Break Free from Fossil Fuels.

Break Free From Fossil Fuels is a global climate movement initiative to shut down the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects and support the most ambitious climate solutions.

In the Pacific Northwest, we’re breaking free by taking on the Pacific Northwest’s biggest carbon bomb: the Shell and Tesoro refineries at March Point in northern Washington. The Shell and Tesoro refineries combined are the largest unaddressed point source of carbon pollution in the Northwest and refine 47% of all the gas and diesel consumed in the region; they are an integral part of the system that we must change—within years, not decades.

Read more

Photo Galleries

Break Free in the Media

Thousands Protest Fossil Fuel Projects in the Pacific Northwest: Battleground for America’s Vital Climate Justice Movement

The Moderate Voice

Dozens arrested in Washington state environmental protest

Reuters

Dozens arrested in Washington state environmental protest

Raw Story

Anti-oil group blocks train tracks to 2 Washington refineries

Oregon Live

Climate activists in New York, Washington state protest fossil fuels

News Trust

Protesters gather at 2 oil refineries in Washington state

Seattle Times