For a cold, rainy Saturday afternoon, there was a healthy and happy turnout at the Portland march for climate justice at Tilikum Crossing. Roughly 500 people of all ages and backgrounds showed up to participate in the day’s activities, and to support the efforts of the Paris climate talks to make a significant impact on climate change. Activities included open participation in an umbrella flash mob, bucket drumming, singing and Read more
It’s December 12th: Inhospitable weather today for a march and rally, I wondered how many people would show up. I got off the #4 bus at Division and SE 8th Avenue and was surprised by a couple of friendly people deboarding the bus after me. “Are you going to the climate march?” one asked me brightly, before two more joined us, all of us wrapped tight in our raincoats and hoods. We had to cross Read more
Representatives of 196 nations will be meeting in Paris next month to forge an agreement reducing world-wide carbon emissions. Climate groups strategize about opportunities to hear grassroots voices of local people. Perhaps a rally and march December 12, the day after the conference is scheduled to conclude. Perhaps there should be a campaign leading up to that march. What should the campaign be called? Road to Paris? Read more
I’m going to be honest. When I’m exposed to rain water, my emotions can become that of a wet cat: inordinately displeased and uncomfortable. Needless to say, when I was headed to the Portland Opera House for the Climate March I was less than amused about the weather. Don’t get me wrong, I know that Read more
Today over 200 people representing at least 22 congregations of the Jewish, Christian, and Buddhist faith traditions walked two miles through NW and Downtown Portland in an interfaith pilgrimage to call for a just treaty as climate negotiations continue at the COP 21 meeting in Paris, France.
We began at Havurah Shalom, Reconstructionist Jewish Community, by singing “Don’t Let the Light Go Out” and prayer led by Rabbi Joey. Meg Ruby and Peter Sergienko from St. Michael & All Angel’s Episcopal Church read a prayer for our local and national leaders and the negotiators at Paris to act for climate justice. Michael Midghall presented the Pilgrimage with a book of statements by the leaders of the world’s religions calling for climate justice. Read more
Slam poets read beautiful poems about the urgency of climate change at Portland Center Stage to build momentum and stand in solidarity with the Paris Climate talks.
On Saturday night November 21st about 40 protestors from the No LNG movement spent a cold evening outside greeting arriving Multnomah County Democrats at their Holiday party held at the IBEW local 48 offices in Portland, Oregon. Along with the Holiday cheer, arriving guests were greeted with chants of “We Don’t Want No LNG, We Just Want Clean Energy!” along with some solidarity singing. Though the No LNG protestors were not allowed on the IBEW property their presence elicited many “we’re with you” honks from passing cars along with a few Democratic Party delegates stopping to express their support for the No LNG movement.
For those unaware, I’m hiking the pipe this August and September.
Meaning that, along with various groups of other people along the way, I’m walking the route of the proposed Pacific Connector Pipeline from Malin OR near Klamath Falls to just north of North Bend OR on the coast. We’re following the route of the pipeline as close as possible: hiking on public land or on private land with permission or hiking nearby roads. The proposed pipeline is 272 miles and the hike is 37 days, about 5 weeks, from Eastern Oregon to the Pacific Ocean, across 2 mountain ranges and multiple rivers. We will document, witness, and record all that is threatened, meet the people and places at risk, and have lots of opportunities to interact and collaborate. There are multiple events along the way and I’d love it if you showed up.
On Thursday while photographing and standing in 6 inches of water on the overcrowded floating dock, I asked a young man next to me if I could borrow his shoulder to support my telephoto lens amidst the up and down swell of the water. It mostly worked until my lens started really moving up and down well beyond my timing of the swells—and I realized he was crying.
He was an early 20 something moderately tatted guy with an inscrutable political stance, and I thought I was taking a chance by even asking for his help, but necessity trumped wariness and I was rewarded far beyond my request. Not only was I moved by his tears but I found myself welling up too. Hardly anything can deter me from getting the shot I pre-visualize, but in that seminal moment I stopped shooting and watched inside myself as my entire newbie activist history tape-looped in my brain. It was a transformational moment for me, one where I began to jettison my training wheels, and I wanted to share some thoughts for both their cathartic and perhaps inspirational value.
Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me is a book-length letter to his black son about race in America. After writing for 150 pages, this is how he chose to end his book, with the most lyrical, forceful link between climate and racial justice I have ever read:
“the people who could author the mechanized death of our ghettos, the mass rape of private prisons, then engineer their own forgetting, must inevitably plunder much more. This is not a belief in prophecy but in the seductiveness of cheap gasoline. Once the Dream’s parameters were caged by technology and by the limits of horsepower and wind. But the Dreamers have improved themselves, and the damming of seas for voltage, the extraction of coal, the transmitting of oil into food, have enabled an expansion in plunder with no known precedent. And this revolution has freed the Dreamers to plunder not just the bodies of humans but the body of the Earth itself…Something more awful than all our African ancestors is rising with the seas. The two phenomena are known to each other. It was the cotton that passed through our chained hands that inaugurated this age. It is the flight from us that sent them sprawling into the subdivided woods. And the method of transport through these new subdivisions, across the sprawl, is the automobile, the noose around the neck of the earth, and ultimately, the Dreamers themselves.”
—Between The World And Me
Why did he end this book on race with talk about fossil fuels? Read more