Rising Tide

Young climate activists chain selves to Washington pier amid pipeline delivery

The action described in the article linked above, which is fossil fuel infrastructure-focused, includes this text: “The action by Portland Rising Tide, the local affiliate of the North American direct action group, was the culmination of an international effort to track shipments of the pipe from India through the US into Canada. Greenpeace provided technical assistance, while support from the north came from Mosquito Fleet, an oil and gas direct action group, and First Nations peoples who oppose the pipeline.”

They write: It is apparent that those in power offer little more than lip service when it comes to fighting climate change. It is up to us to take matters into our own hands. Direct action is empowering because it allows us to sidestep the passive process of waiting for change from those in power, and instead create it ourselves. When the government won’t stop a power plant from being built, we put our bodies in front of the bulldozers to shut down construction. When we want healthy, sustainable food for our community, we plant gardens in our backyards and abandoned lots.

There is a long and vibrant history of direct action in the US. From the labor strikes of the early 1900s to lunch counter sit-ins of the civil rights movement to the thousands arrested resisting nuclear power in the 70s and 80s, we come from a long lineage of people who knew how to reclaim power.