May 2016 — Break Free from Fossil Fuels

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May 2016 — Break Free from Fossil Fuels


Join a global wave of resistance to keep coal, oil + gas in the ground

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May 2016:

We’re mobilising to shut down the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects and support the most ambitious climate solutions.

Actions are being planned at locations all over the world, and plans are coming together quickly — be a part of it from the very beginning.


From 7–15 May, 2016 we are mobilising to keep fossil fuels in the ground and accelerate a just transition to 100% renewable energy and a sustainable future for all.

After the Climate Summit in Paris we need to redouble efforts to end the use of destructive fossil fuels and choose a clean and just energy future.

This May we hope to see more people than ever commit to joining actions that disrupt the industry’s power by targeting the world’s most dangerous and unnecessary fossil fuel projects, and supporting the most ambitious climate solutions.

Imagine: tens of thousands of people around the world rising up to take back control of their own destinies. Walking arm-in-arm into coal fields. Sitting down to block the business of governments and industry that threaten our future. Marching in peaceful defense of our right to clean energy.

We are close to a historic, global shift in our energy system. The way we get there is by action that confronts those who are responsible for climate change and takes power back for the people so we can shape the sustainable and just future we need.

This is the moment we’ve been waiting for, let’s seize it.

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What are you hoping to achieve?

Will there be civil disobedience?

What projects are being targeted?

Why mobilise in May?

What kind of support will be provided?

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This year our goal is to force world governments to increase their ambition for climate action, and then hold them to their promises.

This May we're joining a global wave of action targeting the world's most dangerous fossil fuel projects called Break Free from Fossil Fuels. It's time to escalate our work to shut down the fossil fuel industry, and this is the first step. 

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There has never been a better time to Break Free from fossil fuels.

Here are all the plans that have been announced for Break Free so far.


Indigenous people and climate activists will join hands for four different peaceful actions addressing key parts of the country’s oil and gas infrastructure — from where the gas is fracked in Indigenous land, to its risky transportation, to where it is burned. The exact details are being kept confidential, but thousands of participants are expected across more than a week of action in all areas of the country. Click here to join in Brazil.


Last year 1500 people entered the pit of a lignite coal mine in the Rhineland as part of Ende Gelande, and in May hundreds more are coming to Lusatia, where local communities have struggled against mining and resettlement for years. There they will engage in civil disobedience to stop the digging in one of Europe’s biggest open-pit lignite mines, which the Swedish company Vattenfall has put up for sale. The action will show any future buyer that all coal development will face resistance, and demonstrate the movement’s commitment to a different kind of energy system that prioritizes people and the planet over corporate power and profit. Click here to join Ende Gelande this May.


In the Niger Delta actions will be held in 3 iconic locations that epitomise the decades old despoiling of the region. The actions will show clearly that Nigeria, nay Africa, is better off without the polluting activities of the fossil industry. They will also underscore the fact that people’s action remains the viable way to save the planet from mankind’s addiction to fossil fuels. Click here to stand with the action in Nigeria.


On May 4, the people of Batangas, joined by communities and organizations resisting coal all over the Philippines will converge and march at the heart of Batangas City, to rise up and say no to JG Summit Holdings’ proposed 600-megawatt coal-fired power station in Barangay Pinamucan Ibaba, as well as to demand for a national moratorium on all new coal and expansion projects in the Philippines.

United Kingdom

Reclaim the Power will be shutting down the UK’s largest opencast coal mine – Ffos-y-fran in Wales 11-million tonne mine run by the company Miller Argent. The local community have battled the mine for years already, and face the threat of a new mine next door. The coal from this mine also fuels Aberthaw, a power station so dirty it’s been breaking the law for eight years. This action will stand in solidarity with them, and with communities on the front lines of extraction and climate change across the world. Click here to stand in solidarity with them.

United States

Activists are targeting 6 key areas of fossil fuel development: new tar sands pipelines in the Midwest with an action near Chicago; fracking in the Mountain West with an event outside Denver; ‘bomb trains’ carrying fracked oil and gas to a port in Albany, NY; Shell’s devastating refinery pollution north of Seattle; action around offshore drilling in the Arctic, Atlantic, and Gulf coasts taking place in Washington, DC; and dangerous oil and gas drilling in Los Angeles. These diverse actions will all escalate critical local campaigns that target the unjust practices of the fossil fuel industry that burdened the poor and people of color with the bulk of the industry’s pollution. Click here to see everything planned in the US.


In a country that plans to add 80 (yes, 80) new coal plants in the coming years, residents in the Izmir region are uniting to confront plans for coal in their communities. They will come together to oppose the use of an illegally-operating coal waste dump that services 3 coal plants and 2 petrochemical plants. This action will unite several fights against individual coal plants into a unified stance against the current Turkish government’s plan to dramatically expand the use of coal in the country. Click here to be a part of the event in Turkey.

By confronting the power of the fossil fuel industry, we can create space for something better to grow in its place: from clean energy projects to local solutions that provide for a just transition to a new kind of economy

And by coordinating our escalation across the planet this May, we will show the fossil fuel industry that they have no place left to run: the world is through with their pollution, their corruption and their greed.

Together, we can make this the turning point.

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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...


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

such a movement would have a bit more credibility if they also opposed the geostrategic wars for access to the fossil fuels...this is a must! So Syria, Libya, Palestine, Ukraine ad nauseum....cutting back on fossil fuel and expensive productions in the West can only intensify the wars for the cheap stuff, while playing into the hands of the finance corporations in their quest for more control and access to funds for more arms trade and bought politicians and wars....

our job is to make such links!


Everytime I read about things like this all I can think of is this



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Gov. Cuomo Rejects the Constitution Pipeline, Huge Win for the Anti-Fracking Movement

In a win for climate activists and the anti-fracking movement, and a blow to fossil fuel polluters and the federal regulatory agencies that enable them, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) denied a key permit to companies seeking to build a 124-mile fracked gas pipeline....



This morning an angry but well-behaved crowd of well over a thousand Fuleni residents forced the Regional Mining Development Environmental Committee (RMDEC) to abort their site visit to Fuleni for Ibutho Coal’s proposed open cast mine on the boundary of the iMfolozi Wilderness Area. The site visit would have familiarised RMDEC with the area before the meeting tomorrow, at 10h30, at Enseleni Nature Reserve, KZN, to hear submissions from I&APs and their lawyers to substantiate their comments and objections to the Fuleni mine.
In the early hours of the morning, irate Fuleni residents blocked the main road to Ocilwane with rocks and tyres, which they set alight to create a barricade to prevent vehicles entering Fuleni. Ocilwane is the village that will be most affected by the proposed coal mine....

IMG 5102

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Undeterred Students Keep Up Second Week of Divestment Sit-Ins

Students at Columbia, NYU, and U-Mass Amherst continue school building occupations despite threats of suspension and arrest


Other organizers said they would not leave until Columbia's president Lee Bollinger agrees to recommend to the Board of Trustees that the school divest its $9.2 billion endowment from the top 200 publicly-traded fossil fuel companies.

"Suspension threats are the administration's way of bullying us out of Low Library," CDCJ organizer Lucas Zeppetello, who is participating in the sit-in, said Monday. "They seek to drain our morale and demoralize the group. This strategy has failed largely due to the support we have received from on campus groups dedicated to peaceful protest."

In fact, more than 60 professors, staff, and other faculty members from Columbia and Barnard (the woman's liberal arts college affiliated with Columbia) published a letter of support for the students on Monday, calling on Bollinger to "directly and immediately" engage with the protesters....

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Does anyone know of May actions in southern Ontario?


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arielc wrote:

Does anyone know of May actions in southern Ontario?'s ottawa page. events on the right hand side

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Movement to Break Free From Fossil Fuels Escalates With Global Protests Kicking Off in May

Hundreds of people are gathering in Wales this weekend to shut down the UK’s largest coal mine near Merthyr Tydfil as part of a mass global protest against fossil fuels kicking off in May.
In Wales, environmental activists aim to close one vast mine – Ffos-y-fran, 178m deep, covering 3,500 acres, with almost 11 million tonnes of coal left to be dug up - and send a signal that other mines currently in the planning process across England and Wales must never be dug.

The camp is, in particular, supporting the long-running local campaign to stop the proposed Nant Llesg mine next door, with 6 million tonnes of coal.


In May, protests at Ffos-y-Fran will not stand alone. An astonishing array of actions will be happening across every continent except Antarctica, with tens of thousands of ordinary people rising up to call an end to the most destructive fossil fuel projects.
In Brazil, people will take direct action to close the Jurong Aracruz shipyard, which produces oil and gas rigs to explore for yet more fossil fuels in the Atlantic.
In Ecuador, protests aim to stop oil drilling in the Yasuni National Park, a pristine part of the Amazon considered one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet.
In Germany, echoing the successful protest last year, thousands of people in the Ende Gelände movement will invade a vast lignite mine near Berlin, demanding the shutdown of this most dirty form of energy.
In Australia, the world’s largest coal port will be shut down, signalling that Australia’s future is in clean energy, not coal exports.
In Indonesia, new coal plants will be stopped by a mass action in East Kalimantan, where vast new opencast mines are tearing through the rainforest.
In Nigeria, multiple actions will target the country’s most dangerous oil drilling operations, which for many years have extracted resources from the country, leaving local people with polluted ecosystems.

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..check out this 41 minute film about the break free action happening around the world.


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This is Our Moment: Youth & Students Prepare to Break Free

short video

Students and youth are prepared to put their bodies on the line to 'Break Free from Fossil Fuels' in Vancouver. Last weekend, young people took part in a direct action training to get skilled up and ready to take action against the Kinder Morgan pipeline on May 14th.


'Death Sentence': Climate Crisis Driving Global Conflict, Poverty & Racism  - Naomi Klein

"It is not about things getting hotter and hotter and weather but things getting meaner and uglier..."




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..txs for that find ndpp.


So, what this means is no more cars, no more planes, no more ships hauling low cost materials around the world.  How do you deal with that?  

Electric cars?  The batteries and high efficiency motors are made of rare-earth metals that are mined and refined using toxic metals in countries with NO environmental controls whatsoever.  The potential supply for these metals is far to small to replace every car in the world.

Electric planes?   Very funny.  

Back to sailing ships like the 18th century?  Or do we just bite the bullet and make all ships nuclear powered?

And if we adopt vast electric cars and electric heating of houses - what is the source of electricity?  Renewables (wind/solar) are still TINY fractions of the power grid, even after huge investments.  And thye work when nature says they work, not when you need them.  The only alternative to fossil fuels are fuels with even higher energy densities - thorium and uranium.  Get ready for a vast nuclear construction industry.

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So, what this means is no more cars, no more planes, no more ships hauling low cost materials around the world.  How do you deal with that? 

..what this means to me is that we transition away from practices that are making the planet uninhabitable for humans and other living things. there are plenty of threads in babble having this discussion that are addressing most if not all your concerns. but to be sure it's a work in progress. much of it is based on the premise that we begin by coming together and making decisions at a community level. and that it is here that we can figure out what is best for us.


Work in progress, yes.  Moving away from fossil fuels will probably take in excess of a century, with a committed focus on R&D (which you cannot predict the outcome or success of), and acceptance of viable technologies like nuclear power.    Trying to do this quickly will result in vast wasted resources, reduced incomes for the vast majority of people, and problems of competitiveness between markets.  Ontario is already suffering with this because the sky high electricity prices are driving industry away.

Wind and solar can never replace high density energy sources, because the number / scale of the turbines/panels would be a blight on the face of the earth.  Electricity storage at scale is a very long way from commercialization.  The only way I can see solar working at true scales (terawatts) is through orbiting collector arrays transmitting power to the surface via laser - but that has it's own problems.

This will all be moot if ITER can make nuclear fusion work, however.

See France: 

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..all what you say taliesyn is debateable. this thread though is meant to report on the break free actions being taken around the globe. again there are other threads you can go to to have that debate.


epaulo13 wrote:

..all what you say taliesyn is debateable. this thread though is meant to report on the break free actions being taken around the globe. again there are other threads you can go to to have that debate.


My break free attitude is that anyone who takes part in these should forever be banned from buying gasoline, diesel, plastics, food grown with fertilizer or transported using ships, planes or trucks, or using pharmaceuticals produced from fossil fuels (e.g. tylenol).  You want to break free, walk the walk and stop using these products yourself.  Live like a pre-industrial farmer.

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From Philly to Australia, People Rise Up Against 'Fossil Fuel Dinosaur Economy'

The climate movement was out in force on Saturday as demonstrators from Australia to Philadelphia laid their bodies down and raised their voices up to demand a just transition to renewable energy.

In Newcastle, Australia, over 1,000 kayaktivists and other protesters shut down operations at the nation's largest coal export port.

"For the first time in a very long while, no coal came into or left Newcastle Port today," organizers with climate action group 350 Australia wrote in an end-of-day recap of the dramatic occupation.

"Kayakers blocked the harbour entrance in the largest flotilla ever seen here. While at the same time over 60 people blocked the only coal transport train line into the port, preventing any coal from getting to port for over six hours," they said. "Other brave folk suspended themselves from coal loaders and mooring lines of major coal assets."...

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An activist hangs from a coal loader in Newcastle Harbour, Australia. (Photo: 350 Australia)

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'Not a Symbol, A Signal': Wave of Direct Actions Points to Fossil-Free Future

Mass arrests took place during the weekend's Break Free actions around the world, and more demonstrations were happening on Sunday, the final day of a global wave of actions calling for a just transition away from fossil fuels. 

More than 100 people were arrested Sunday at a coal mine in Germany, the site of a three-day mobilization that saw close to 4,000 participants total—"unprecedented in Europe," noted 350 Europe, which released this video summing up the protest:

Meanwhile, in Anacortes, Washington, 52 people were arrested early Sunday morning when police raided the Break Free encampment and blockade of the train tracks leading to nearby oil refineries. 

A press statement from organizers noted that there is "No word yet on charges for those responsible for the climate crisis. Shell and Tesoro officials are still at large."

Oil train blockaders in Albany, New York, called it a day around midnight on Saturday, after having successfully shut down crude oil train traffic in the city for nearly 12 hours. Police officers in Albany had opted not to make arrests, though five people were taken into custody earlier in the day....


Ende Gelände 2016: Germany (Here and No Further)


I guess people should never have fought slavery or any other ill until they had all the answers.

There is more and more (hydro) electrificaiton of our public transport system here in Montréal, and the BIXI stations run on solar energy.

If we can't eliminate all airplanes, we can start by reducing flights within the same continent, and especially short and middle-distance flights. I have taken legs of flights between Ottawa and Montréal, and between Brussels and Amsterdam. Those should not exist.

There are many things that can be done right now to reduce the use of private cars and increase the use of public transport and walkable and cyclable neighbourhoods. As well as better planning to reduce sprawl.

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..txs lagatta

Faced With a Fracking Giant, This Small Town Just Legalized Civil Disobedience

A tiny community sitting on a 27-square-mile piece of Western Pennsylvania wanted to send a big message to the energy company planning to deposit toxic fracking wastewater under its neighborhoods. And its 700 residents wanted it to be perfectly legal for them to loudly object.

Grant Township had seen what happens when people nationwide take to the streets to protest bullying corporations: Arrests. Lots of them.

So Grant Township planned ahead. Two weeks ago, it passed a law that protects its residents from arrest if they protest Pennsylvania General Energy Company’s (PGE) creation of an injection well.

Residents believe this law is the first in the United States to legalize nonviolent civil disobedience against toxic wastewater injection wells. Township Supervisor Stacy Long said. “We’re doing it to safeguard the residents and protect as many people as possible,” she said.

Long said legalizing direct action is a response to the ongoing problem of rural residents seeing their voices excluded from discussions between state governments and big corporations on issues that have local ramifications....


I stumbled upon the following site which seems good (apologies if it's been posted already):

It's a petition by oil sands workers calling for training in renewable energy.

ETA:  CBC article about the group here:

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Kinder Morgan Vancouver terminal surrounded by activists shouting 'Keep it in the ground!'

They came from all over North America and their chants echoed over the waters on Saturday as they gathered around a major oil tanker terminal near Vancouver B.C.

All of them had a message to the energy industry and the terminal’s owner, Texas-based pipeline operator, Kinder Morgan, the continent’s largest energy infrastructure company: the population wants energy companies to move away from oil and "keep it in the ground."

There were dozens on kayaks and hundreds more marching on foot, encroaching on the terminal's private property in a collective act of civil disobedience.

“The age of oil is over,” shouted Grand Chief Serge Simon of the Kanesatake Mohawks, who travelled from the Montreal region to attend the demonstration. “With your help, if we all pull together, this thing is only going to be a sorry memory in our history.”

The weekend protest was organized by multiple Canadian environmental groups and Indigenous leaders to coincide with global action to "break free" from fossil fuels in Germany, Nigeria, Brazil, New Zealand, and other countries....

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Indigenous leaders from across turtle Island presented the Tsleil-Waututh Nation in Vancouver with a gift of solar panels to thank them for leading the struggle against the Kinder Morgan pipeline. In doing so, these leaders called upon Prime Minister Trudeau to break free from fossil fuels. They also strengthened their resolve to lead the way to a 100% renewable energy economy.

This delivery took place two days before the Break Free Canada action -- during which hundreds will take action to swarm and surround the Kinder Morgan terminal on the land and the water.


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43 people arrested for blocking tar sands refinery on Lake Michigan

The Council of Canadians expresses its solidarity with the 43 people arrested yesterday for blocking the BP Whiting refinery in Whiting, Indiana on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Whiting is situated about 28 kilometres south of Chicago and about 430 kilometres west of Detroit.

The NW Times reports, "Police in riot gear arrested about 40 people Sunday afternoon after [about 1,000 people] marched more than a mile to BP Whiting Refinery’s Gate 15 to call for action on climate change. The group of those arrested sat in a circle in front of the gate, holding hands while chanting and singing. A crowd of onlookers cheered for each person as police got the protesters up one by one and led them to prisoner transport vans. Those arrested were taken to the East Chicago Public Safety Facility to be booked on a misdemeanor charge of criminal trespass and were expected to be released Sunday on their own recognizance, attorney Roy Dominguez said."

In its promotion for this action, Break Free Midwest highlighted, "The fossil fuel era is over. We are demanding a just transition to a sustainable future, a transition that does not harm workers or communities already devastated by fossil fuel addiction."

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..resistance at a bp tarsands refinery in indiana. the dilbit is brought in by an embridge pipeline.

#BreakFree2016 Midwest Action Against Climate Change


image1 marchcredit mahyar sorour

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'Break Free' fossil fuel protests deemed 'largest ever' global disobedience

Thousands of people have taken part in what organizers have called the largest ever global civil disobedience against fossil fuels, with dozens of activists arrested during protests that shut down coalmines, rail infrastructure and a port.

The protests, held over the past two weeks in countries including the US, UK, Australia, South Africa and Indonesia, saw activists call for oil, coal and gas to be kept in the ground. A coalition of environment groups, which called the actions “Break Free”, are pushing for a complete shift away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.


More than 50 protesters were arrested in Washington state for trespassing after large groups camped out on railroad tracks that transport oil to the Shell and Tesoro refineries. The action managed to shut down the rail line over the weekend.

A further 1,300 marched in Washington DC to call on Barack Obama to end offshore drilling for oil and gas, while dozens were arrested near Chicago after 1,000 people protested against the planned expansion of a BP refinery there. A further five people were arrested in Albany, New York, after another action to stop trains from transporting fossil fuels.

The actions follow a wave of protests around the world, including the efforts of a group of kayakers to shut down the world’s largest coal port in Newcastle, Australia. Hundreds of activists invaded the UK’s largest opencast coalmine, located in south Wales, while Europe’s largest opencast mine, in Germany, was also swamped by protesters and forced to shut down.

Further anti-fossil fuel activity has taken place in Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa and Canada. Some of the largest protests took place in the Philippines and Indonesia, with an estimated 10,000 people marching to oppose a new coal-fired power plant in the Philippine city of Batangas.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture's an updated list of town hall consultations happening as promised by the liberals. i will be attending my second one in wpg on the 25th of this month.

RSVP to a consultation happening near you this spring