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.
On March 7, in recognition of International Women’s Day, Indigenous Amazonian women leaders of seven nationalities including: Andoa, Achuar, Kichwa, Shuar, Shiwiar, Sapara and Waorani nationalities and their international allies took action in Puyo, Ecuador, in a forum and march in defense of the Amazon, Mother Earth and for climate justice. Specifically, they came together to denounce a newly signed oil contract between the Ecuadorian government and Chinese oil corporation Andes Petroleum. In total, over 500 women marched together.
For several days in mid-March, over 800 people marched from Dhaka to the Sundarbans to protest the building of a 1320 MW coal-fired power plant in Rampal. The long march drew in people from all walks of life to protest the coal plant, which would threaten the Sundarbans, a UNESCO World Heritage site, that also is the backbone of the local economy and a key defence against cyclones and rising sea levels as the planet warms.
Despite facing a strong police presence, the march persevered through the heat, and ended with a boat blockade of coal shipments led by local fishers.
On March 21, 300 people joined one of the country’s largest civil disobedience actions ever, blockading the entrance to New Zealand’s biggest oil industry conference. As the oil industry plotted how to dig up more oil and drill in places no company should dare to go, hundreds of people from all walks of life, led by Greenpeace, demonstrated that they will stand up to resist them — for as long as it takes.
In New Orleans, the site of the worst climate disaster in US history, dozens of people marched through the streets and occupied a offshore drilling auction inside the Superdome to tell the Obama Administration to keep offshore oil in the ground. A broad and diverse alliance stood up to the oil industry that is attempting to turn the Gulf of Mexico, and the communities along its coast, into a sacrifice zone for the sake of their profits.
These actions aren’t the beginning — communities on the front lines have been fighting back for years — and they aren’t the end. You can be a part of the global escalation to keep fossil fuels in the ground by joining us to Break Free, this May.