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Locked to Your Love

by Valerie Costa

Lock yourself to your love. Sounds sweet, yeah? How about locked to your love to block the gate to a construction site at the crack of dawn, assuming you’ll be cut out and arrested hours later?

Jan and Gary Woodruff are an extraordinary couple. I met them a couple years ago, in the lead up to Break Free, three days of action in Anacortes targeting the two oil refineries there. Jan and Gary were living in Anacortes at the time, and Jan had been researching three high-incidence cancers in the area. She engaged in her first direct action in 2014, when she locked her arm in a concrete barrel on the rail line to Tesoro’s refinery, to protest the dangers of shipping oil by rail. Gary has filled critical action support roles over the years–making sure there are enough port-a-potties for crowds, ferrying materials around, being a go-to troubleshooter during an action. He had never risked arrest at an action–not until Block the Gates on December 18, 2017, when a couple hundred people blocked the gates to Puget Sound Energy’s LNG construction site in Tacoma.

I interviewed Jan and Gary to learn more about their story and their motivations, and to ask their advice for other retirees, as well as for younger people dipping their toes into this movement.

What did you do before you retired?

JW: I’m 64 and retired from being a marketing consultant in Portland.

GW: I’m 66 and am a retired construction manager.

So you locked yourselves together, why?

JW: We want to make a difference–we want the world to be a better place. We feel obligated to stand up for what’s right.

GW: We older folks have an obligation, basically. We had decades of privilege, had things go our way. We’ve made money, been big consumers…and now realize that wasn’t the right thing to do. We’re doing this in part to repair the damage that’s been done by our age group, by being lucky enough to be born with the opportunities that we had. Other people don’t have that, and the more you realize that, you see…something’s gotta change.

But, why lock yourselves together? I mean, you could have done something else.

JW: Climate change is an emergency and requires emergency measures.

GW: To bring attention to this issue–to the expansion of fracked gas here. Locking ourselves together, risking arrest….it makes people wonder why are there people out there with their hands in tubes. And then we can tell them why.

JW: Being older white people, our presence is disarming to the police; it makes them think twice about using drastic measures. I think it’s important for old bodies to be on the line for that reason if nothing else.

GW: We’re trying to change that head-in-the-sand mentality that seems to prevail out there.

What made you care so much about climate change?

JW: I came into this more from a NIMBY point of view. I discovered that Anacortes had high rate of cancers, and I wondered what was going on. Once I went down that path, I started learning more about the refineries and climate change. I got a nasty little education.

I don’t know if it would have been better to learn earlier in life, and live with that cloud over me. It comes as a bigger shock when you’re old and you believed in the American dream.

GW: – We’ve traveled a lot and been to a lot of places where the light bulb has come on at a zillion watts, seeing people who have been completely screwed over.

Jan’s first direct action, and Washington State’s first oil train blockade. Photo by @seattleactivist

Aren’t your afraid of getting cut out of the lockboxes? That part makes me nervous.

JW: I have a lot of trust. I know everyone planning these actions takes safety very seriously. The trust comes from the warmth, you feel taken care of. You know you are taken care of if you need something. The planning, the safety precautions. We’re doing our civic duty in a safe way.

GW: The lockbox didn’t bother me much to do that; I guess because I could have left anytime I wanted to as well. I didn’t have an issue unclipping.

But seriously, didn’t saws make you nervous?

JW: Is it not the saw they take casts off with? They wouldn’t take that chance–they don’t want to get sued. Does that mean we still believe in America? (laughs.)

OK – how about having to wear a diaper when locking down?

GW: I’ve only worn them once and they were fine and dandy. And they add some padding.

JW: I have to pass on this advice: you put on the diaper, then you put on the underwear. Always wear underwear over your diapers.

To something lighter – how did locking down together affect your relationship?

JW: How did co-criminality help our relationship? What a way to bond!

GW: It’s just another day in paradise.

JW: We support change agents. We’re social people. I find like-minded people. It certainly has created this little rag-tag family for us.

What makes it like family?

JW: Respect. Caring. The support you get in an action. People feeding you sandwiches, people massaging your shoulders. Trust. Honesty. I cannot imagine life without this…really. I don’t know what we’d do.

Tell readers about the Goose.

JW: It’s an RV in service to the frontlines. The night we woke up in Olympia (during the tarpee encampment on the statehouse lawn), it was 4 in the morning. The police car lights made me delirious.. red lights. Like a psychedelic disco. The cop knocked at the door. “Ma’am you’re gonna have to move the RV.” It was a little freaky.

They [cops] know exactly when to come; when your brain is asleep.

Sometimes we take the Goose to marches and the med team can work out of there. Or sometimes we have children come sit in the Goose. It’s a hospitable place for people to come in out of the cold and rain.

You’re both so wise. What advice do you have for other retirees? People who may be hesitant to join.

JW: The world is in a state of emergency … there are thing you can help fix if you want to get involved. What’s your legacy? Did you do something to help?

GW: One of the key things for older people is they don’t know what they can do to help. It can be simple things.

JW: There’s this mind switch you have to go through … Americans think you have to do something big — but it’s opposite. It’s the little things that add up.

GW: All gifts are cherished and treasured. Whether you made cookies for a meeting, locked down, or sat next to somebody who was locked down. Or you send $10/month to support the actions.

JW: This movement will give you all the challenge and all the social interactions you could ever want. My family says “she has the courage of her convictions” about me. And if you believe something is wrong, you must act with integrity toward it. I’ve always been that way and that’s why I’ve been in trouble and a troublemaker and a rebel.

You seem really happy and fulfilled being part of this movement.

JW: Gary and I have been support for each other since teenagers. Being and working with wonderful, skilled, supportive changemakers facilitates our journey to reach our highest potential.

Want to join Jan and Gary in engaging in direct action to stop new fossil fuel infrastructure from being built and to support climate justice? Sign the Pledge of Resistance today.



Youth Lead the Way Wrap-up!

Watch our amazing wrap-up video from Monday’s Youth Lead the Way Climate Lobby Day:

The youth held a press conference, presented redwood tree saplings as part of the “Moving the Giants” effort, and met with legislative aides. They already have one signer–Rep. Fitzgibbon–to their 3-pronged pledge (they took our Climate Countdown demands, and one-upped us with a third, which makes us very happy). Please call your legislators in support of their demands, and thank Rep. Fitzgibbon!

Video by Ale Blakely. Animation credits: Student Energy on Youtube


February Newsletter!

We’ve got youth in Olympia, a big day for PSE actions and a whole lot more packed into the shortest month of the year! Check it out:


Join the children and youth of Washington state in demanding the Washington State Legislature take bold action on climate NOW! On February 19, youth from around the state will protect their right to a healthy future by calling for legislation that halts all new fossil fuel infrastructure, transitions Washington State to an economy running on 100% renewables by 2028, and increases carbon sequestration in Washington’s forests and soils.

Know young people who would be interested in participating? Interested in supporting this action in Olympia or where you live? Sign up here.

Statewide, all day
Children and young adults from across Washington state should call, email, and send creative messages to their legislators demanding bold action on climate now! Send a letter here!

Olympia, February 19, 9:30am – 12:30pm (with optional lobbying after lunch)
Youth and their allies will gather on the steps of the Washington state legislature and call for bold, science-based legislation from our elected representatives. All youth speakers, including plaintiffs from Our Children’s Trust and activists from Plant for the Planet, will call on the Washington State Legislature to protect our future and our planet. After lunch, youth will have the opportunity to visit with legislators and deliver their demands. RSVP and schedule here.

“Our future is only as protected as we ourselves make it. If the adults are not going to do it, we’ll have to do it ourselves. There isn’t time anymore to wait around.” Athena Fain, 14 years old

“There is no point in passing weak legislation just for the sake of saying you’ve “done something.” The crisis is too severe for that. We need bold legislation that actually puts us on the track to 350ppm and climate recovery.” Jamie Margolin, 16 years old

And speaking of kids saving the planet…

Our Families Uniting Now workgroup invites youth activists to sign up for:

Free Plant for the Planet Academy

Saturday, March 3, 9:00am – 3:30pm

Hosted by St Andrews Church

111 N. 8th Street, Seattle 98115

Optional free parent workshop, 9:00 – 11:00am: What Does Climate Change Mean for Families

This event includes: snacks and lunch, a Plant for the Planet T-shirt and a copy of the book Tree by TreeRegistration required. Questions? Contact Sue.


There’s less than four weeks until the end of the legislative session–Have you called your representatives yet? Let’s keep up the pressure! Visit our Climate Countdownpage for talking points, info on bills, ways to get the word out through social media, and opportunities to help others sign on to our Climate Countdown demands: No new fossil fuel projects, and a transition to 100% renewable energy in ten years.

Get updates on bills in Olympia from our Policy page, including SB 6203, the Governor’s carbon tax, and then click here to find your legislative district’s town halland be an advocate for the climate without traveling to Olympia!


The battle against Puget Sound Energy’s LNG fracked gas infrastructure will be fought on two fronts on Wednesday, February 21 and we need a huge showing of support for each one!

In Seattle
The proposed City Council resolution against the PSE Tacoma LNG facility will be discussed in committee. We need them to be bold and use the strongest language possible. Public testimony begins at 2:00pm (arrive early to sign up) followed by a discussion of the resolution by the Civic Development, Public Assets, and Native Communities Committee.

Resolution Against Tacoma LNG
Wednesday, February 21, arrive by 1:45 to sign up to testify at 2:00pm
Council Chambers, 2nd floor, Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue, Seattle 98124
Talking points and more info available here.

In Renton
At the very same timePSE’s 20-year plan is up for public comment in Renton. This is a big deal: they only do this every two years, and there’s a lot about this plan that needs changing. We need to show up strong and let the Utilities and Transportation Commission know that rate-paying customers want renewable energy and will no longer fund our own disaster!

Hearing on PSE’s 20-Year Plan
Renton Community Center, 1715 Maple Valley Hwy, Renton 98057
Wednesday, February 21. Rally at noon, public testimony from 1:30 – 7:00pm
RSVP and learn more here. To carpool or join buses from Seattle and Olympia, sign up here.

Our PSE Plan page includes high level talking points and instructions for commenting. Also, check out what CENSE has to say about PSE’s Energize Eastside initiative. And take a moment to sign this petition!

What if we owned PSE?
Puget Sound Energy is owned by Australia’s largest investment bank, whose board members make decisions based on maximizing their profits, not on sustaining our environment. So, here’s a thought: Let’s turn PSE into a Public Utility District!Join us for a lively discussion of what this would entail.

Saturday, February 17, 2:00 – 4:00pm
First United Methodist Church of Bellevue, 1934 108th Ave. NE, Bellevue, 98004
Event page with more details here.


Our efforts against PSE’s disastrous LNG fracked gas facility in Tacoma are paying off! Resolutions against the project have been passed in numerous legislative districts and state caucuses including the Washington State Democratic Central Committee. 14 of the Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest sent a letter to Governor Inslee urging that construction stop while permitting concerns are addressed. And a huge win came when the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency announced a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement that includes life cycle emissionsis needed before a permit could be considered! Stay tuned for more work (and more progress!) in this important fight.

Native Daily Network
Let’s face it: mainstream media doesn’t like to cover opposition to fossil fuel projects and doesn’t do it well. So, here’s an alternative: subscribe to Native Daily Network.Supporting local independent media is crucial to getting the truth out and spreading awareness!


On March 10, members of Tseil-Waututh are launching Kwekecewtxn: Protect the Inlet. This ambitious project to stop Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline, begins with a mass mobilization in Vancouver B.C. To learn more, attend this online webinar:

Kwekecewtxn: Protect the Inlet
Facilitated by Clayton Thomas-Muller, with Will George, Tiny House Warriors, and Coast Protectors
Tuesday, February 13, 6:00pm
Online webinar – register here

Carpools from Seattle will be organizing soon! For updates contact Ruchi.


We’re hosting a panel discussion between several grandmothers who’ve engaged in civil disobedience to protect the climate, for treaty rights, and to help stop PSE’s LNG project in Tacoma. Panelists are legendary Puyallup member Ramona Bennett, who was involved in the fishing wars and tribal occupations of the 1970s,Marilyn Kimmerling and Cynthia Linet, who locked down to construction equipment at the LNG site last May, and valve turner Annette Klapstein, who helped shut down all tar sands pipelines coming into the US in October 2016.

Grandmothers in the Resistance
Wednesday, February 28, 6:30 – 8:30pm
University Friends Meeting, 4001 9th Ave NE, Seattle 98105
More information and shareable event page here.


As many of you know, Michael Foster was sentenced to a year in prison on February 6, 2018 for shutting off the Keystone 1 tar sands pipeline. We’re pretty heartbroken about this, but his spirits are good. We’re still sorting out phone calls, but Michael did say that instead of letters, what he really wants is for people to call their legislators, plant trees, and otherwise engage in climate action that matters.Then you can write him letters, and include photos of what you’ve done! (Prison hasn’t made Michael any less stubborn… nor do we expect it to!) Please sign up for his solidarity pledge here!

In other valve turner news, Lindsey Grayzel’s movie about Ken Ward, The Reluctant Radical, is being featured at the Big Sky Film Festival next month; Leonard Higgins will be sentenced in Montana on March 20; and Emily Johnston, Annette Klapstein, Ben Joldersma, and Steve Liptay won’t hear from the Minnesota appellate court till mid-May, so until then their trial can’t be scheduled. Whether they’ll be able to use the necessity defense won’t be clear until then.


The Frontline Allies work group examines the ways that white privilege and subtle forms of racism, patriarchy, and class oppression are unintentionally embedded in the climate movement, and challenges all in our organization to be better allies to communities most directly affected by climate change and the fossil fuel economy. Many roles are available, with lots of ways to contribute. RSVP to Kara to be part of this workgroup.

Ally events
In solidarity with the Annual Indigenous Women’s Memorial March in Vancouver, BC we will again support the candlelight vigil at Westlake Park in downtown Seattle in honor and remembrance of our missing and murdered indigenous women.

Annual Indigenous Women’s Candlelight Memorial Vigil
Wednesday, February 14, 6:00-7:30pm
Westlake Park, 401 Pine St, Seattle 98101
Event page.

Join the 350 Seattle team supporting Got Green as we look ahead to “Celebrating Ten Years of Got Green,” a huge annual fundraiser. This is a great way to connect and learn from some of our strongest Climate Justice allies. Contact Paul if you can join us!

Got Green Grassroots Fundraising Workshop
Thursday, February 15, 6:00 – 8:00pm
6230 Beacon Ave South, Seattle, 98108
Event page.

And save the date: Community Canvass, April 21st, Ten Year Celebration, May 19th.

Our People Gonna Rise – Undoing Racism
If you missed this popular series led by the Mangrove Collective the first time around, there are still a few spots open for this return offering. We recommend all three sessions as they build on each other, or one or two if you need to fill in from missing one the first time. Register here.

February 18, Solidarity with Natives
March 25, Allies to Immigrants
April 29, Black Liberation
12 noon to 6:00pm
Duwamish Longhouse, 4705 W Marginal Way SW, Seattle 98106

Cost for each workshop: $35 (supporter $50), or for the series of three: $100 (supporter $150). Discount for limited income: $10 each. Non-participating volunteers are also needed to help with food. Contact Kara.


The week of February 19th our intrepid trade group will be meeting with Congressional Representatives and Senators to push for climate and worker-friendly trade policy, an idea that’s popular in the EU and with some of our more enlightened Senators. Want to come along? Contact Karen Moskowitz.

To prepare, we’re collecting post-cards from their constituents that express our opposition to the corporate trade tribunals used to challenge environmental and climate-related laws. If you can help collect signatures for these cards, please let Karen know.


Impress your friends: Testify at a municipal code amendment hearing! Join us at an important public hearing on a small but meaningful code amendment that starts to reform our toxic transportation system. As you know, transportation accounts for about half of Seattle’s GHG emissions and lots of other pollution. These changes will:

  • Require landlords to unbundle the cost of parking from rent, so those who don’t want to pay for a parking space won’t have to;
    • Reduce the parking a developer must construct in the parts of the city served by frequent transit;
    • Allow for off-site rental of underused private parking, another way to reduce new parking construction;
    • Improve bike storage!

Here’s the deets:

Cleaner Air, Cheaper Rent: Support Seattle Parking Code Changes
Wednesday, February 21, 9:30am
City Council Chambers, 2nd floor, Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue, Seattle 98124
RSVP for the event here

The Transportation Team will be there with banners and signs, and talking points if you want to testify.


It’s true – the diesel pollution from Amazon deliveries is harming our health and destroying our climate. The company hasn’t taken any responsibility or even disclosed any data on its delivery emissions. Amazon Watch (an org protecting the rainforest) has tracked down that Amazon.com relies on oil drilling in the Amazon rainforest for delivery fuel. (Oh, cruel irony!) Sign the Amazon Watch lettercalling on Amazon to #EndAmazonCrude.

Stack Overflow for Climate
Do you work in the tech industry? A group of tech workers and 350 Seattle members are creating workshop activities to get more tech folks involved in climate action! Want to join the planning group? Contact Rebecca to get involved.


Local mega coffee company Starbucks is also a mega polluter. Their paper cups – 4 billion per year – are made from fresh-cut trees, lined with oil-based plastic, and are neither recyclable or compostable. YIKES!

Our friends at Stand have been campaigning to get Starbucks to change their cups for a fully recyclable, earth-friendly cup. We’ll be holding signs and props, passing out flyers, and creating some staged theatrics!

Starbucks Annual Shareholders Meeting
Wednesday, March 21, 7:00-10:00am
McCaw Hall, Seattle Center, 321 Mercer St, Seattle 98109

Breakfast, coffee, and fun will be had. Contact Bob Kaminski to join the consciousness-raising!


Come join us create beautiful art for the Youth Lead the Way Climate Lobby Day, and for Housing as a Climate Solution!

Art Build! Art Build!
Saturday, February 17, 12 noon – 4:00pm
Fremont Powerhouse, 3940 Fremont Ave North, Seattle

Looking for creative and ooey-gooey warm ways to get involved? Then come be part of Artful Activism! No experience needed and no specific time commitment is required. Artful has sub-teams which include visuals, dance, music, theater, youth art, poetry and more that would really benefit from new volunteers or people willing to co-lead. We’re also looking for more wonderful people to sign up for our art deployment team and to help at art build stations.

So sign up for the artful list and/or watch the calendar for upcoming builds. Lots more specific information about how to get involved on our web site, or contact Shemona with any questions!


We have a new workgroup dedicated to the basic necessities of our community! The Community Resilience group focuses on taking care of each individual’s needs, not as a luxury, but as something essential. Our liberation rests on the foundation of our own well-being.

A few projects in the works: A Climate Hope support group, a “Wellness Team” building a resource list of local practitioners willing to tend to activists on sliding scale, special rates and/or for free, Self-Care Workshops and more!

If you want to get on our email list for upcoming support groups for climate activists, or want to participate more actively in the planning and building of this fundamental workgroup, or are just curious, please email Ale.

Our dance co-leads, Felicia Tripp and Jasmmine Ramgotra, are co-teaching a dance healing workshop where individuals can come together to move, practice mindfulness, learn techniques for emotional and physical well-being, and build community.

Dance Healing Workshop
Velocity Dance Center
Monday, February 19 and Monday Feb 26, 6:15-7:45pm
$15, for more information, contact Jasmmine.

It’s not too late to add self-care to your New Year’s resolutions –#letspreventburnout as we #moveintomakingchange for 2018.


We need you – for our Operations and Social Media teams! Check out this list of available roles and let us know if you see yourself filling any of them. In particular, we are looking for people to join our Octopie spring fundraiser planning team. If you like planning special events, logistics, pie, karaoke and having fun, then you’ve found the right team! Think of it as a 3-month commitment. Email Shemona to get involved.

And finally, can you help keep us going?
Thanks for scrolling all the way down here! If you can pitch in $5/month to help pay for all this awesome climate action, please make a Climate Commitment to 350 Seattle today. Thank you!

From youth to pie, we love y’all! Thanks for stepping up!

350 Seattle



Hooray PSCAA!

This is what it looks like when another one starts biting the dust! Thanks to overwhelming public outcry (including a great eight days in December), the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has sent PSE back to the drawing board, with a need for a greenhouse gas Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). Their hubris intact, they continue to build (despite lacking key permits)….but make no mistake, the tide has turned.

Stay tuned, and make sure to call the Council this week!


Last night, the resolution opposing the LNG facility was passed unanimously by the Washington Environment and Climate Caucus. On Saturday it will be put forward at the Democrats’ statewide party meeting in Bellingham. It was also passed without dissent by the King County Democrats, after previously being passed by the 43rd, 46th, 32nd, and 36th districts. They were joined by the 38th last night.As a result of passage, copies of the resolution will be sent to the Port, City Council and Mayor of Tacoma, the Governor and state Attorney General. This is momentum–please help us keep it up!

Want to do a resolution in your own city?


Day One Wrap-up

In a remarkable disruption of business as usual on Monday, 300+ of us from across Washington State descended on the State Capitol in Olympia to begin the Climate Countdown. At the same time, an indigenous-led encampment of dozens of people centered around four “tarpees”‘ (tarp-covered teepees) on the lawn in front of the Capitol, which had been set up in the pre-dawn hours to protest the construction of the new Puget Sound Energy Tacoma LNG facility and the new Trans Mountain pipeline, and to stop net pen fish farms. The encampment is still holding.

We are not done till the legislature meets our demands–that its members ban all new fossil fuel infrastructure in the state, and that they enact legislation to spur the State to 100% renewable energy within the next ten years.

Watch the video!

In coming weeks, we will be showing up in Olympia and engaging the legislature in many ways. Take a look–this is just the start!

Only 58 days left. Join us!


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From giving testimony at hearings to blockading oil trains, we work on all levels to fight for climate justice. We’re building a movement here in the region, and we need you!



Watch videos of our actions, events, members and community as we work together at all levels to safeguard our planet. 


The Science

Why 350 is the most important number in history: To protect our world from devastating climate disruption, science tells us we must stop global warming in its tracks, and justice demands it. This means holding total warming to the peak seen since the last ice age, just a little over 1°C


- Naomi Klein

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