Virtual Rally: Rise with the Wet’suwet’en!

For the last few weeks, we’ve been honored to follow the indigenous leadership of the Wet’suwet’en people fighting the Coastal Gaslink pipeline on the frontlines of the COVID and climate crises.

Tomorrow, May 7, we’re gathering online for a #ShutDownKKR virtual rally and communications blockade where we’ll deliver more than 200,000 signatures (including yours!).Join us!

We’ve already told you how despite the pandemic, TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) — the same company behind the KeystoneXL pipeline — is still sending workers to build the Coastal GasLink pipeline. TC Energy staff, backed by armed police are invading Wet’suwet’en lands without consent, putting Indigenous elders and land defenders that already don’t have easy access to healthcare at a higher risk of getting COVID-19. Workers are living by the hundreds in “man camps” that are also breeding grounds for violence against Indigenous women.

But pipeline construction can’t continue without investors funding the project — and the biggest Coastal GasLink pipeline investor of all is KKR, a New York-based equity firm.

KKR still has still time to walk away from the pipeline, if they want. So our plan is to flood KKR with calls, emails, and tweets and make it clear that nobody will ever do business with them again if they invest in genocide, colonization and climate chaos!

Join our event on Facebook tomorrow and we’ll share easy and accessible tools to email, call, and post on KKR’s social media accounts. While the COVID-19 pandemic may keep us from gathering in the streets, it will not stop us from being defiant and uncompromising in our opposition to fossil fuel profiteers.

Take one minute right now to RSVP join the May 7th #ShutdownKKR virtual rally and communications blockade on Facebook.

Dirty, Dishonest Dominion can’t duck divestment online

Dirty, dishonest, Dominion Energy – the principal company backing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline – is holding their annual shareholders meeting (AGM) online tomorrow, May 6. They hope that because the meeting is online this year, due to the pandemic, that we’ll stay home and not pressure them to stop investing in fossil fuels, especially the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, like we have in the past

Dominion’s wrong – and we’re showing up online tomorrow right before the shareholder meeting to give them a piece of our mind. Can you join us?

Here’s what’s going on: Last year, Dominion held their shareholders meeting in my hometown of Columbia South Carolina. We worked with a team of activists from SC, NC, VA and beyond to show up and hold a protest outside the meeting while a crew of activist shareholders went inside to lobby Dominion to divest from fossil fuels and especially the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP).

In the year since, things have not gone well for Dominion and the ACP. The pipeline has been mired in court over legal objections to their plan to cross the Appalachian Trail on US Forest Service Land. That court case landed at the US Supreme Court in late February, and we were there as part of a street protest and Non violent civil disobedience action lead by North Carolinian’s impacted by the project.

While the pipeline has been stopped (for now) by the courts, the costs haven’t stopped going up. In fact, a new report out today from our friends at NC Warn and Friends of the Earth found that sticking with the ACP will increase energy costs $30 billion across VA, NC and other impacted states.

But while the news is mostly-bad for the pipeline, it has been mostly good for Virginians who want to invest in clean power. In March, Virginia passed the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which mandates that the state’s utilities, including Dominion, switch to pollution-free energy by 2045.

That one decision basically makes the ACP un-viable. But the pandemic, combined with a major drop in oil and gas prices have pushed fracking and pipeline companies to the brink of bankruptcy and dramatically slashed demand for gas pipelines and power plants. While Trump and co are angling to bail out big oil and gas producers, it would take months or years for that money to trickle down to utilities like Dominion.

Faced with all these headwinds, you’d think that Dominion would drop its support for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. But instead, they’ve been doubling down on their support – taking on more investment in the pipeline and lobbying to get around the Virginia law and scuttle clean energy requirements in North Carolina and South Carolina.

So, tomorrow, before their shareholders meeting, we’ll gather online and make some noise telling Dominion and their shareholders that it’s time to divest from fossil fuels and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Join us tomorrow (May 6) at 8:30 am before the shareholders’ meeting on zoom to take action. Together we’ll post on social media, call executives and take online action! We’ll hear reports and briefings from experts and shareholder advocates and give you all the info and talking points you need.

PS we’ll also be meeting at 11am on Thursday May 7 before the Duke Energy Shareholders meeting. Join us for that one too!

Join us for the Bank of America Shareholder meeting

From April 22-24, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, millions of people around the world are going online for a three-day mobilization to stop the climate emergency. And on Earth day – Wednesday, April 22 – Bank of America is holding their Annual General Meeting (AGM) for Shareholders.

As shareholders show up online for the meting online, we’ll join allies from across North Carolina to demand they “Stop The Money Pipeline.” Can you join us?

At 9am, we’ll meet up in a video-chat to sign letters, call Bank of America Executives, tweet at them, and leave reviews on their social media accounts! We’ll share a few memes – just for fun 😉 We’ll inform, educate, and welcome new activists!

Bank of America is headquartered in Charlotte, and is the lead funder of the Atlantic Coast Pipelinea climate and human rights disaster. BofA is also the 4th largest funder of climate-killing fossil fuel projects in the world, having invested $156 billion in the fossil fuel industry since the Paris Climate Agreement was signed in 2015.

BofA is ignoring science, public comment, and international law by continuing to fund the ACP and fossil fuels. And with every dollar they spend, they are driving all of us closer to climate catastrophe. Their funding of fossil fuels is also bad for business! With oil prices tanking, and fossil fuels in steep decline across the economy they’re wasting money and momentum that could be used to build a sustainable future.

During their shareholders meeting BofA is especially attuned to public and investor opinion. If we call them out on these destructive behaviors and encourage them to invest in renewables instead, we can make an impact!

Join Us! We need your voice at this moment!

Sign Now: Wet’suwet’en solidarity in the face of disaster capitalism

As I type this, in the midst of a pandemic, the Wet’suwet’en First Nation in Canada is under attack by the same company behind the KeystoneXL pipeline.

We’ve seen this again and again over the last few days: Billionaire oil CEOs and industry lobbyists see the corona virus crisis as an opportunity to push through fossil fuel infrastructure and demand massive government bailouts while they think the world is looking the other way.

Today, it’s happening in Canada as TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) is pushing ahead with construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, putting communities and their workers at even more risk. The investment firm KKR is in the process of buying 65% of Coastal GasLink. If we can stop the sale, we can help stop the pipeline from being built.

That’s why today, March 23rd, we’re joining allies and friends across North America (turtle island) to flood the inbox, phone lines, and twitter feeds of this projects financiers with messages telling them to respect the rights of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and drop the risky Coastal GasLink pipeline immediately!

Take a moment to sign our #ShutDownKKR petition and tell all your friends to do the same! If you’ve already signed (more than 140,000 of us have as I type this), click here to take the next steps by writing, calling, and/or tweeting at KKR.

Here’s the back story, if you’re just learning about the Wet’suwet’en today:

The same company that wanted to build the KeystoneXL pipeline, TC Energy, is about to start building a 417-mile, multibillion dollar fossil fuel pipeline in northern British Columbia, Canada. It’s set to cut right through Wet’suwet’en lands without the consent of the hereditary chiefs. To protect their sovereignty and defend their lands, different camps were built along the pipeline route where land defenders have been living for over 6 years.

In the last month, militarized police have raided the Wet’suwet’en camps with assault rifles, dogs, sound cannons, and helicopters while Indigenous elders and youth stood by in shock. Now, all eyes are on Wet’suwet’en — and their hereditary chiefs are urgently calling out for massive global support. 

Here in the U.S., you can help by calling out the largest funders of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, JPMorgan Chase and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR). Their plans to invest in the pipeline aren’t final and there’s still time to stop them.

Sign the petition to protect Wet’suwet’en & demand climate chaos profiteers JPMorgan Chase and KKR to stop financing the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

photo credit Michael Toledano

Join the Wet’suwet’en Strong day of action!

Despite the COVID-19 crisis, TC Energy is still going ahead with construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, putting communities and their workers at even more risk.

We need all eyes on the Wet’suwet’en frontlines right now. Billionaire oil CEOs and industry lobbyists will see this crisis as an opportunity to push through whatever they can when the world is looking the other way.

That’s why on Monday, March 23rd, we’ll be flooding KKR’s inbox, phone lines, and twitter feeds with messages telling them — respect the rights of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and drop the risky Coastal GasLink pipeline immediately! KKR is currently one of the pipeline’s biggest financiers.

Will you take one minute right now and join the online day of action. Here are 3 things you can do:

  1. Email KKR with our easy message tool
  2. Call KKR at 1-888-593-5407 and follow the instructions. Talking points:
    1. I am calling to demand you respect Indigenous rights and the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, and drop the risky Coastal GasLink pipeline immediately.
    2. The Coastal GasLink project would lock us into decades of increased fracked gas.
    3. Building Coastal GasLink would disregarding the lack of consent by Wet’suwet’en community and the impacts to climate, air, water.
    4. All pipeline construction poses risks to indigenous women by allowing man camps to be built along the route. The problems with missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada and the US are well documented
  3. Tweet at @KKR_Co and tell them to drop Coastal GasLink

Thanks again for taking action! You can also share this post, and graphic to spread the word!

Fossil Fuel Divestment Day #F2D2

2020 is shaping up to be the year of Divestment, and today is a great day to join in the fun! Right now, students at more than 50 college and university campuses are taking action today for Fossil Fuel Divestment Day and online using the hashtags hashtags #fossilfueldivestmentday & #F2D2. They’re taking a stand and fighting for climate justice by calling on their universities to divest — or withdraw their assets — from fossil fuel corporations. (You can read their op-ed announcing the action in TeenVogue here)

If you’re a student, faculty or administrator at a college or university, we hope you’ll get out and join the #F2D2 actions today. But for everyone else (and everyone in general) there’s another divestment campaign you can support as well – Divestment of our local, state, and federal employees’ pension funds. Click here to write to your local elected officials and demand they divest our public pensions in honor of Fossil Fuel Divestment Day!

Every single one of us is subsidizing the fossil fuel industry with our tax dollars, and we don’t even know it! That’s because nearly all public pension funds in the U.S. are invested in fossil fuel companies. That’s the retirement savings of every public school teacher, every local fire fighter, and all of our Mayors, County clerks, and other hard-working state and local officials being used to prop up the profiteers of climate chaos.

In many cases, the same first responders on the front lines of responding to climate chaos have their retirement funds invested in fossil fuel companies causing the problem.

To make matters worse, state pension funds’ investments in fossil fuels actually place our those workers’ retirement at risk. Fossil Fuel companies are already underperforming compared to the rest of the market. And when the “carbon bubble” bursts, it could cause losses greater than the 2008 financial crisis, according to a recent study.

The Big California pension funds CalSTRS and CalPERS, which represent nearly three million retired teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other public employees, lost more than $17 billion already, costing an average teacher or firefighter $5,572 – $6,072.

That’s probably why “Mad Money” creator Jim Cramer (no friend of the climate movement) recently said, “I’m done with fossil fuels. They’re done.”

One essential step in solving the climate crisis is to move our collective money – bank accounts, retirement funds, insurance coverage all of it – away from the fossil fuel companies that are causing the climate crisis, and instead invest in a just transition to a low-carbon economy based on renewable energy and green jobs. State Treasurers, Governors, and local elected officials have the power to divest these massive state and local pension funds. But they wont act unless we speak out together, and in support of bold youth-led movements like today’s.

It’s time to demand that our elected officials act to freeze all investments in fossil fuel companies and divest public funds from all direct and indirect investments in fossil fuels.

Sign and send a letter to your governor and state legislators urging them to divest pension funds from fossil fuel industries. It is time to stop supporting climate chaos with our retirement money!

Dirty, Dishonest, Dominion Energy #DIVEST!

We had a busy 2 days of action targeting dirty, dishonest, Dominion Energy at their shareholder meeting in Columbia SC this week.

Check out the reportback video on all our actions, or scroll down to read an account of the more than 5 hours of meetings, speeches and actions. Once you see all the stuff we did, I hope you’ll be inspired to chip in $1.98 or more to support us. We’re still about $500 short of our goal for covering costs of all these events.

Here’s a quick budget for your information :

ItemCost
Food for Community supper$100
Bus Transit for Justice First$1000
Flyers, signs and materials$250
previously raised-$143
Donations from other partner groups-$500
TOTAL left to raise:$707

Monday Night – Community forum and supper

Monday night about 50 of us gathered at the historic Zion baptist Church in Columbia (where Dr King once spoke) for a community supper and teach in. We had reports and stories from all over Virginia, South Carolin, North Carolina and beyond about Dominion’s dirty, dishonest past, as well as a briefing on our plans for the shareholder meeting.

Here’s some video clips of the speakers from that night

Mary Cerulli from Mothers Out Front talked about our global power as a movement working with more than $2 trillion in assets to #Divest from fossil fuels and pipelines.

Greg Yost from NC APPPL talked about the fight against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and how the Carolinas (North and South) are connecting to stop this fracked gas pipeline.

Freeda Cathcart, Indivisible VA talked about the importance of coalitions and working together to make change:

And Finally, Rev Leo Woodberry, from the Justice First tour and New Alpha community development corporation brought it all together in a keynote address that had everyone on their feet marching in one big wave of solidarity by the end.

At the end of Rev Woodberry’s keynote, we had a community supper downstairs, where we heard some more about Justice First’s recent trip to Africa helping communities in Liberia and Sierra Leone set up solar power, and from Chief Pete of the Pee Dee Tribe who talked about struggles with environmental justice during and after the flooding from Hurricane Florence, as well as their concerns about the Atlantic Coast pipeline and harvesting of souther forests for biofuel.

Tuesday – the main event!

On Tuesday we gathered outside the Shareholder meeting and 8 shareholders were admitted in with proxies to address the meeting. The rest of us handed out about fliers And held banners outside so everyone knew our demands. At the end of the Shareholder meeting we held a press conference touching on Dominion activity inside and outside the shareholder meeting.