Black Lives Matter. There is no climate justice without racial justice.
(Photo by Austin Smith)
We are still in the middle of a massive nationwide uprising for Black Lives. History shows that sustained and disruptive protest is one of the only ways to bring about deep systemic change, and we stand in solidarity in the fight against anti-black racism and the police state, following the lead of black organizers.
See Seattle: Black Lives Matter Solidarity for where and when to show up in the streets, what petitions and open letters to sign onto, and who to donate to here in Seattle.
Important protest guides and safety info:
The Seattle-King County Black Lives Matter Protest Guide
A guide put together by some local Seattle street medics, with graphics.
350 Seattle Racial Justice Learning Series
Join us for a series of conversations about the deep connections between racial justice and climate justice. 350 Seattle teams will discuss how their campaigns support the BLM resistance and other movements for justice.
Sign up here! There is no Climate Justice without Racial Justice!
We’ll follow up soon with unique registration links to each webinar in the series! Have questions? Please contact Shemona.
As climate change intensifies cycles of injustice, Got Green, a Climate Justice organization led by low income and communities of color, fights for transformative change by building community power in South Seattle, most recently with their Emergency Justice COVID-19 Platform and petition.
350 Seattle is again hosting a team in this year’s online Green-A-Thon. We’re using this opportunity to directly support Got Green by donating, encouraging 5 friends and family members to donate, and getting involved in the fight for Emergency Justice.
SEATTLE MUTUAL AID: NEIGHBORHOOD PODS
You are invited to take leadership to help community grow within your own neighborhood so that we can help each other where there is need. These neighborhood pods are being used to build relationships, hold documentary watch parties, and discuss the important issues raised during this uprising for Black lives.
Neighborhood captains are in contact with each other, so resources, information, and support of all kinds can be distributed between different pods across the city. These pods should last well beyond the current crisis and create the kinds of resilient communities we will need to face future climate challenges, as well as to help organize for solutions and build leadership capacity for the overlapping crisis we will continue to face.
Join a neighborhood pod here, or better yet, sign up to be a pod captain and lead your neighborhood organizing efforts! We’ve got lots of tools and people to help you get it going and figure things out along the way! We also have other volunteer opportunities, so let Lisa know if you are interested and have skills to share.
JOIN THE SOLIDARITY TEAM
Fighting climate destruction means fighting against all the systems that fuel the destruction of our planet, including white supremacy, colonialism, heteropatriarchy, classism, ableism, and more. We invite you to join the Solidarity team as we work to build coalition across justice-oriented movements.
Using our node model, smaller groups partner with organizations and communities pushing forward specific issues, like immigration justice. Nodes meet at least once a month, in addition to a larger monthly meeting for the whole Solidarity Team.
We seek real power shifts and transformational change. We engage in both action and reflection as we work to avoid recreating the same systems we seek to change.
FROM #BLACK LIVES MATTER TO BLACK LIBERATION
This year the 350 Seattle Book Club has been examining racism and white supremacy from different perspectives.
We started with a deep examination of white privilege with the help of Robin DiAngelo’s What Does It Mean To Be White. Next, we learned from Ibram X. Kendi (How To Be An Antiracist) about the difference between claiming not to be a racist and actively examining and overcoming the racism within us and the society we live in. This led us to look at the psychological aspects and physiological impacts of racism. In his book, My Grandmother’s Hands, Resmaa Menakem hypothesizes that deep trauma carried forward through generations perpetuates racism in whites, Blacks and, topically, police.
Our most recent book, White Rage by Carol Anderson lays out a brief history of the brutality and violence—physical and structural—that has been launched at Black people. It is staggering. Yet, sadly, considering the state-sanctioned violence perpetrated against Black people today, it is not surprising.
From #Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation, by Keeanga-Yahmatta Taylor
Alternate Wednesdays, beginning July 29, 5:00–7:00pm
Email bookclub@350Seattle.org for details.
Our next book focuses on what we can do to change the system, eliminate white supremacy, and create a better future for all of us. We will start discussing Keeanga-Yahmatta Taylor’s From #Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation on July 29th. We are meeting via Zoom and would love more people to join us!
ONE VOTE AWAY FROM HISTORIC WIN
For the past six months, activists across the city have been pushing for legislation that addresses Seattle’s structural inequality, funds affordable housing, provides pandemic relief for frontline workers, and promotes a Seattle Green New Deal—all through a tax on the city’s wealthiest corporations. And on Wednesday, July 1, we saw the work of that grassroots movement culminate in a major win! The Seattle City Council voted 7-2 in its Budget Committee for a big business tax that will raise up to $240 million annually, $40 million of which will fund Green New Deal programs. This would be the largest tax on big business in Seattle’s history, a step toward reversing Washington’s regressive tax system, and a chance for the City Council’s 2019 Green New Deal resolution to become a tangible reality.
City Council is set to finalize the tax at Monday’s City Council meeting at 2pm. To ensure that we can still proceed to the ballot should the Council vote falter or fail, we’re continuing to gather signatures for the Tax Amazon ballot initiative until the Tax Amazon Action Conference on Wednesday, July 8, where the movement will decide whether to celebrate this historic victory or proceed to the November ballot with an even stronger initiative.
To learn more and get involved with the Big Business Tax Team, email Amanda.
STOP THE MONEY PIPELINE
How White Supremacy Built Wall Street
Stop the Money Pipeline is partnering with Take on Wall Street to host a webinar that dives deep into the intertwined history of white supremacy and Wall Street. We’ll examine how Wall Street used slavery to build wealth for white communities, and how for centuries Wall Street has systematically denied black communities opportunities to build wealth, resulting in the shocking racial wealth gap that exists today. Please join us for this important webinar!
Resistance to the destructive and risky Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline expansion has a new target: the insurance industry. The risks of Trans Mountain are so great that under Canadian federal law, the pipeline cannot transport any oil without insurance. If we can stop the flow of insurance money, we can stop the flow of oil. We’re ramping up pressure on Liberty Mutual and the other Trans Mountain insurers this summer, because their insurance policies expire at the end of August. Call executives at Liberty Mutual to demand that they stop backing Trans Mountain.
Collaborating with many of the 130+ organizations that are part of the Stop the Money Pipeline coalition, the Chase campaign is moving into a planning phase, selecting our key tactics for the year ahead. There’s no shortage of ideas in the hopper: Adopting executives, organizing employees, mobilizing the public (again!), organizing state treasurers to vote out climate deniers, pushing museums to cut ties with Chase, and holding mass card cutting actions are just a few of the tactics that are getting us excited for the year ahead. Stay tuned for more on this front coming soon.
Meanwhile, this month an important report came out detailing JPMorgan Chase bank’s white supremacist lending practices: In Chicago, JPMorgan Chase has loaned forty-one times more money in white neighborhoods than black neighborhoods since 2012. For every dollar the bank loaned in white neighborhoods, it invested just 2.4 cents in the city’s black communities. In response, an emergent Black-led coalition in Chicago is demanding reparations from Chase for its business practices that have helped fuel the shocking racial wealth gap.
Are you an academic? Do you know academics who support climate justice? Please email Alec! We’re supporting a letter from academics across the country that will be sent to New York State legislators, calling on them to pass the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act. If passed, it would create a huge precedent in the fossil fuel divestment movement and could trigger billions of dollars being divested from fossil fuels. The letter is being led by an incredible network of nationally known academics, including James Hansen, Michael Mann, Caroline Levine, Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Jeffrey Sachs, and Bill McKibben.
It’s been a while since we spelled it all out, so let’s review!
The Trans Mountain Expansion project in Canada would bring 7 times more oil tankers into the Salish Sea. The existing pipeline has already ruptured multiple times, most recently just last month resulting in a 50,000 gallon spill on Indigenous land. The oil would be brought from the Alberta Tar Sands, the same region that supplies the Keystone pipeline and has been called the most destructive industrial project in human history.
The original project owner was Houston-based Kinder Morgan, but after a massive protest against them in 2018 they threatened to cancel the project, so the Canadian government stepped in and bought it to make sure that wouldn’t happen. A few months later a Canadian Federal Court of Appeals ruled that the company had failed to adequately consult the Indigenous nations that would be affected by construction of the pipeline. The following year, the Canadian government ignored this decision and approved the project anyway. A coalition of Indigenous groups, including the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, and Coldwater First Nations filed a lawsuit appealing the approval on the grounds that there had still been no meaningful engagement with them, but unfortunately last Thursday the Canadian Supreme Court dismissed this appeal, meaning that the strongest legal challenge to the project is now over.
This is a major blow, but we’ll never stop fighting this project or standing up for the communities that it puts in harm’s way. Ordinarily we’d be joining Canadians taking to the streets again, but this is problematic during a pandemic, as was cynically pointed out by Alberta’s energy minister.
There are still other avenues available, and we invite you to hear about potential next steps by attending the…
Folk That Pipeline Festival
Thursday, July 16, 5:00pm
Online webinar, register here.
One promising strategy, already mentioned in Stop The Money Pipeline above, is to pressure insurance companies to fully account for all of the risks involved. This strategy has already seen major banks start to take steps away from funding some of the worst forms of fossil fuel extraction.
The Trans Mountain Pipeline’s largest insurer is Liberty Mutual, which also provides consumer insurance policies and will be more sensitive to their reputation. If we can stop the flow of insurance money, we can stop the flow of oil. Here’s another message to send to put them on notice!
PSE & TACOMA LNG
Washing young brains
Gas companies like Puget Sound Energy (PSE) are working hard (and spending a ton of money) to convince us that fracked gas is a safe, “natural” green energy solution. The most recent example is aimed at our children, in the form of coloring book pages titled “Natural Gas Town” and “Don Fuego” a smiling gas flame mascot, a song teaching kids to be a hero and call 911 if they smell gas, and an online game called Gas Dash. More gruesome details here: Puget Sound Energy Wants Your Kids to Love Natural Gas.
Meanwhile, back in reality…
Downtown Puyallup was evacuated, and nearby roads closed, due to a major Puget Sound Energy gas leak last week. The Greenwood neighborhood in Seattle lost several buildings to a PSE gas explosion in 2016 after the company failed to properly shut off the gas to pipes no longer in use. With LNG-by-rail recently legalized, communities far from the 8-million-gallon tank in Tacoma could be finding themselves “in the blast zone” next year if the legal appeals scheduled for this October do not overturn the highly controversial, final project permit.
Systemic environmental racism
While we are vocal about the safety and climate impacts of the Tacoma LNG project that affect our communities, we must be just as vocal about the environmental racism and Treaty rights violations involved in the placement of this facility, and the use of law enforcement to quash dissent. Last month, 350 Seattle helped host a screening of Ancestral Waters, a documentary by Native Daily Network, chronicling the Puyallup Tribe and Puyallup Water Warriors in the fight to protect their Treaty, their water, and their way of life from Puget Sound Energy’s massive fracked gas refinery and storage facility currently being built on Medicine Creek Treaty Territory.
After the film, a panel discussion dug into the similarities between police violence, environmental racism, and unequal legal protections that we see play out in the film, and the systemic issues at the heart of the current movement for Black lives. Check out the full panel discussion here.
Ready to join a team of 350 Seattle volunteers actively fighting to protect our communities from this dangerous project and uplift indigenous sovereignty?
No LNG Workshop
Thursday, July 16, 12:00–1:30pm
Online workshop, register here.
Join us for a workshop on Puget Sound Energy’s Tacoma LNG project, the history of resistance to it, the Puyallup tribe’s opposition, and the overall status of the project. Learn how to plug into the campaign and how we’ll raise awareness about the project at this crucial moment. Leave with opportunities to make a difference. RSVP here!
Can’t make it on the 16th, but want to plug in? Drop Anna an email!
CRUISIN’ TOWARDS CLIMATE COLLAPSE
Can you help tell elected Port of Seattle Commissioners to permanently abandon plans for a new cruise ship terminal? We know that during our current climate emergency, global health pandemic, and looming financial recession, this is no time for tax dollars to fund an investment in a fossil fuel intensive form of luxury travel.
- Via email: click here!
- Give public comment, via phone, at an upcoming Port Commission meeting. Details here.
Climate Assembly Washington has moved a step closer toward creating a citizens’ assembly that addresses the topic of climate change by securing 5 endorsements from the Washington Legislature.
They need your help to take the next step!
Join either of the workshops below to hear practitioners of deliberative democracy discuss how a Citizens’ Assembly in Washington can create momentum for policy and how you can get involved.
Climate Assembly Workshops
Thursday, July 9, 10:00–11:00am
Monday, July 13, 10:00–11:00am
RSVP for access to either workshop, or for more information.
Marcin Gerwin, Ph.D. is a specialist in sustainable development and deliberative democracy and has coordinated citizens’ assemblies across Europe for many years. Rebecca Willis, Ph.D. is an expert in environment and sustainability policy and practice, at the international, national, and local levels. She is a Professor in Practice at Lancaster Environment Centre and an Expert Lead for Climate Assembly UK.
It is important to center communities on the frontlines of economic and environmental change in this conversation. Climate is a huge topic, and the Citizen’s Assembly will focus on a question that the participants will answer, together.
Join the Artful Workgroup and get on our email list: We welcome all skill levels in any art form, but during these stay home, stay healthy times, some skills are needed more than ever!
We’re looking for people with tech, graphic design, and video skills! Yep, we’re thinking How-to Webinars, coordinated individual art actions, and more, so we can still be impactful and connected with art across distance! Got creative ideas and know-how? Comfortable with Zoom, webinar, web presentations? Contact Lisa.
Also looking for mural and chalk artists and other creative social distance art forms. Contact Lisa!
Do you have skills in any art form? We are always building out our teams in photography/videography, graphic design, music, sewing, prop building, and visual arts. And we’re looking to build teams in dance, spoken word, guerilla art, and theater. Sign up here to be added to our general Artful Activism List.
THE PEOPLE’S ECHO
MASK not what your country can do for you—MASK what you can do for your country.
The People’s Echo IN-PERSON Song Teach-In
Wednesday, July 22, 6:30–8:00pm
Volunteer Park, Seattle: Details and map posted here.
This is our first in-person song teach in since February! We will meet (see the map posted in the event page) in Volunteer Park. PLEASE WEAR MASKS, bring chairs if you need or blankets to sit on the ground if you would like. If you need a mask and don’t have one, or have accessibility needs, please email Ahlay.
The People’s Echo will measure distance at 10 feet between each quarantined pod or individual. We will wear masks the whole time.
For those who are not able to come in person, we will livestream the song teach-in on Zoom. For logon information, please email Ahlay.
We will be meeting on the grass and would also like to make it accessible to everyone who plans on coming. If that doesn’t meet your needs, please let us know and we will make another plan for where it can work!
GENERAL MEETING UPDATE!
Hi friends! No General Meeting in August!
But keep a lookout for a wonderful education series via webinars happening this summer!
Questions? Contact Shemona.
Stay safe, friends!