Join ShutDownDC tonight for an election protection party!

Hey metro-DC area friends. Are you worried about the election results? I don’t blame you, if so.

While we’ve been preserving the pillars of our democracy and fighting for the future that we need and deserve; Trump and his enablers have been attacking the democratic process with voter suppression, intimidation and other schemes to undermine the will of the people.

That’s why we are going to keep showing up and keep supporting each other until the people swear in the new government. Since you’re in the DC Area, I wanted to invite you to join ShutDownDC in the streets to hold them all accountable and shut down any attempt to disrupt the election or stop the vote count!

On November 3rd, after you vote, volunteer at the polls, and get out the vote, come to Black Lives Matter Plaza. 

We’re going to start this next phase of the election cycle in the streets. We’ll have GoGo bands, salsa dancers, artists, cultural workers, and much more. We’ll also be watching the election results coming in on big screens. Votes will still be coming in, so this will (probably) not be the time we need to create disruption – yet. But we’ll be together and in a good place mentally and physically to respond to whatever might happen. 

This has been a really long and dark era so we’re going to be together to process our feelings of hope, anger, fear and exhaustion as a community. Regardless of the results, election-night programming will probably wrap up around midnight so we can be energized and ready to hit the streets again on the 4th. 

This is a very fluid time and logistics could change so please make sure to text DEMOCRACY to 88202 for the latest updates. 

What comes next

I’ve been pretty quiet here the last few weeks, but with less than a week until election day I wanted to post a preview and some updates about what comes next. Specifically what to watch for, and how to prepare in the event that Trump tries to dispute the election results or stage a coup to stay in power.

This project is not allowed to campaign for candidates. So while we’ve been quiet over here, I’ve been getting out the vote and I hope you have too. If you haven’t voted yet, please do. If you’re not sure who to vote for, check out the vote climate ballot guide from our friends at Climate Hawks Vote, which has listings for local, state, and federal candidates from nearly every state. If you need help looking up rules on how to vote early, vote by mail, or locate your polling place – check out the non-partisan tools at VoteAmerica.com

Millions of Americans have voted already. And millions more are watching uncertainly – having seen numerous news reports that Donald Trump may not accept the election results.

With this in mind, and given that this blog was itself created in part as a response to the crisis created by Trump’s 2016 election, it makes sense to be prepared for a crisis on and just-after election day. We sincerely hope this information will be unnecessary, but if you’re wondering how to respond – peacefully, forcefully, using digitally-backed direct action methods – we believe you will find these resources useful.

Key dates and principles

No matter where you live, participating in and securing a fair democratic outcome is every citizen’s right, and duty. In usual times, this just means educating yourself on the issues, voting, and paying attention to the results. These are not ordinary times. So what to watch out for may be more complicated, and suggests that a little extra reading and reearch may be helpful.

In a contested election or attempted coup, things will happen fast and information may be unclear. Here are a few key dates and principles to keep in mind. For a long-form read on this topic, we recommend the excellent briefing “The Count” written by movement leaders for this moment. You may also want to check out Stopping the Coup: the Disruption Guide for 2020, which has more principles and preparation on how to form affinity groups and mutual aid networks in advance of the election.

Key dates from The Count with some additions

NOV 3Election Day: In a close election, we are unlikely to know which candidate won on election night.
NOV 4-12The Count This is the window where we should expect conflicting reports of who has one, and a flurry of legal challenges in swing states, especially MI, WI, GA, AZ, NC, and FL. This is also the initial time where we expect to need citizens to take to the streets and demand that every ballot be counted, and that no winner is declared until all votes are tabulated.
DEC 8The “Safe Harbor” Deadline: States must resolve disputes over which ballots to count and report final vote totals or risk their Electoral College votes not being counted by Congress.
DEC 14Deadline for Governors to Report Election Results to Congress: In each state, the governor must send a “certificate of ascertainment” to Congress reporting which candidate won the state and which slate of electors has been appointed to the Electoral College.
The Electoral College Meets: In each state, the winning candidate’s slate of pledged electors meet, cast their votes, and send a record of their votes to Congress.
JAN 3Start of the 117th Congress: All newly elected or reelected senators and representatives are sworn in.
JAN 6Congress Counts Electoral College Votes: Congress convenes in a joint session held in the House chambers to count Electoral College votes and choose the next president. Note that in a contested election, the House awards 1 vote per state delegation, not one vote per member. Since Republicans control more state delegations, this opens the possibility of the House voting to install Donald Trump, even if he did not get the most votes.
JAN 20Inauguration Day: The newly-elected President is sworn in. If Congress hasn’t chosen a new president, the newly-elected Vice President is sworn in as the acting president. If Congress hasn’t chosen a new Vice President, the Speaker of the House is sworn in as the acting president.

To prepare for Nov. 3 and beyond, we wanted to share some resources and opportunities to take action. Please make use of these, share widely with your members and neighbors, and be prepared to jump in to protect our democracy, support the movement, and build our power for the fights to come.

Actions to Join

The Protect the Results coalition is organizing in-person actions across the country to demand all the votes are counted, with a special emphasis on the first weekend after the election, Nov 7-8. Check out the map for hundreds of planned events, as well as resources to organize your own. 

If you’re in the DC area, our old friends ShutDown DC are organizing trainings and actions ahead through Nov. 3 and beyond. Find a list of events and actions here: ShutDownDC.org/calendar 

If you’re in the Bay area, check out the emerging coalition at Bay Resistance, which has trainings and actions planned centering on a Nov 4 day of action in San Francisco and Oakland.

Direct action all-father George Lakey and other long-term allies have also started Choose Democracy, which has tools to pressure your local elected officials to count all the votes, monitor polls, and pledge to take action in the event of a coup or contested election.

United we Dream and the Movement for Black Lives – two non-environmental mobilizations we’ve worked closely with over the Trump years – have teamed up to create the The frontlines. They have opportunities in many cities to protect each other and Democracy on election day and in the aftermath.

Finally, our old friends at the Poor People’s Campaign are calling for an army of poor people and their allies to show up as election monitors and democracy defenders before, during, and after election day. They want you to do MORE: Mobilizing, Organizing, Registering, and Educating people to vote.

Join the #ShutDownKKR communications blockade!

For five years, TC Energy (formally Trans Canada), the same company behind the KeystoneXL pipeline, has been trying to build the Coastal GasLink pipeline on sovereign Wet’suwet’en land. We’ve told you before about how they are doing this despite opposition from the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en, whose rights and title require their consent, not merely consultation for a project like this.

The project is being driven by KKR, a US-based private equity firm, that purchased 65% of the Coastal GasLink pipeline. But there’s still time to pressure them to pull out of the deal. Last week, KKR tried to shut our movement down by having our Facebook page, and dozens of allies, banned from posting right before a planned action. Our account has been un-frozen, for now, but it’s clear the pressure is getting to KKR.

Can you join our communications blockade today?

  1. Email KKR today by using our easy messaging tool by clicking here.
  2. Tweet at @KKR_Co and tell them just how awful they are for ignoring Wet’suwet’en concerns about their rights, the climate, land, air and water. Need some tweet inspiration? Click here!
  3. Call KKR by dialing 1- 212-750-8300 and following the instructions you hear from us. Click here for some talking points for your call.
    1. UK callers: Call KKR by dialing (+44) 020 7839 9800 then asking the switchboard to patch you through to Johannes Huth, KKR’s Managing Director.

We know this kind of investor pressure can work: In the last few years, a number of strategic investors have pulled out of so-called liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, including Chevron, Woodside Petroleum, and even ExxonMobil. In March 2020 Warren Buffet and Berkshire Hathaway pulled out of a LNG project in Quebec following several weeks of rail blockades in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs.

KKR hasn’t made the same decision, yet. But the fight is getting more urgent and important by the day.

As COVID-19 ravage our communities, wildfires devastate the west coast and Hurricanes pummel the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, TC Energy has continued to push onwards with Coastal GasLink pipeline construction, sending workers into “man camps” and militarized police officers onto Wet’suwet’en territories. Construction and over-policing of pipelines put these communities at greater risk. Just a week and a half ago, there was a confirmed COVID-19 case at a Coastal GasLink worksite.

Last week, Facebook blocked the accounts of hundreds of affiliated people to the #ShutDownKKR campaign, just hours before we had initially planned to host this online day of action. Although accounts have been restored, many questions are left unanswered. Today, we give KKR a reminder that we will not stop fighting to shut them down, despite their censorship tactics.

KKR must be held accountable for ignoring the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, putting the Wet’suwet’en land and water at risk, endangering Indigenous women and two spirit people by building man camps along the route, and fueling the climate crisis. Click here to send a letter, and then come back to this page and take action by phone or on social media!

KKR has a lot to answer for: They’ve invested in militarized police forces even as black Americans call to #DefundPolice and invest in our communities. They profited off tear gas, and crowd suppression in some of the most violent anti-democracy protests of the last decade, and only stopped in response to pressure from us and other allies. And they denied thousands of Toys ‘R’ Us workers severance pay in a shocking display of vulture capitalism.

We must hold KKR accountable for all of this violence. Join our online communications blockade today and stand with indigenous communities to stop the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline!

ShutDownKKR communications blockade

Once you’ve sent your letter, use the tools on this page to support our #ShutDownKKR communications blockade and stand with indigenous leaders to stop the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline!

Can’t call or tweet today? Chip in $1.98 to keep us fighting.

Need more info? See the previous post.

ShutDownKKR Call Script

  • Call KKR by dialing 1- 212-750-8300 and following the instructions you hear from us.
    • UK callers: Call KKR by dialing (+44) 020 7839 9800 then asking the switchboard to patch you through to Johannes Huth, KKR’s Managing Director.

“Hello KKR, I am calling to demand you respect the Indigenous sovereignty of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, and drop the risky Coastal GasLink pipeline immediately. The Coastal GasLink project would lock us into decades of increased fracked gas, disregarding the lack of consent by Wet’suwet’en community and the impacts to climate, air, water and the risks posed to Indigenous women by man camps built along the route. Furthermore, you are further entrenching police brutality by supporting the NYPD through investing NYPD pensions to increase their value, allowing murderous cops to comfortably retire. You are also fuelling imperialism around the world by funding Ingersoll Rand, a corporation that globally supplies hydraulic pumps to US military bases. This violence must stop.”

ShutDownKKR Sample Tweets

Tweet at @KKR_Co

  • During the entirety of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, @TCEnergy has pushed ahead with @CoastalGasLink pipeline construction, sending more workers onto Wet’suwet’en territories, putting communities at risk of COVID-19. @KKR_Co, respect Indigenous sovereignty now! #WetsuwetenStrong
  • Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs are being removed from their land so @TCEnergy can build the @CoastalGasLink pipeline, despite having rights and title to the land since time immemorial! @KKR_Co, is it typically your policy to invest in Indigenous rights violations..? #ShutDownKKR
  • Hey @KKR_Co, your Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) Responsible Investment Policy, and commitment to the @UN_SDG goals doesn’t seem to fit with kicking the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs off their territory by investing in @CoastalGasLink’s pipeline. Care to explain? #KKRGlobalImpact
  • .@KKR_Co investments in NYPD pension funds protect murderous cops, and @KKR_co’s investments in Ingersoll Rand, a corporation that globally supplies hydraulic pumps to US military bases, fuels western imperialism #ShutDownKKR
  • Last week, @Facebook blocked hundreds of accounts affiliated with the #ShutDownKKR campaign and has stated “no third party intervention” but timing is suspect. @KKR_co, do you believe in silencing tactics?

No more business as usual. Tell the Senate to stop FERC now

We live a in climate changed world. From the wildfires out west to the hurricanes in the east — one making landfall this week while four more are active offshore. So why is Congress rushing to approve more Trump nominees to key energy agencies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)? What, exactly, would it take to convince Senators to just STOP the madness and extraction?

The Senate Energy Committee, once again, is considering new nominees to serve as commissioners at FERC. And FERC has continued its work rubber stamping new fossil fuel infrastructure all through the pandemic. We’ve called and written them thousands of times: Most recently some 40,000 of us asked FERC not to extend a permit for the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

But FERC won’t stop until Congress stops them by instituting real reforms. Will you tell the Senate Energy Commitee that this is no time for Business as usual – and demand they stop the nomination of two new FERC Commissioners this week?

Call nowCall the Senate switchboard 202-224-3121 & tell them to vote NO on all new FERC Commissioners until there are real reforms!
Click here to tell them on Facebook
TwitterClick here to tell them on Twitter
Or, just forward this post to your friends!

The entire west coast is on fire. Hurricane Sally is making landfall today in the Gulf, even as communities re still struggling to recover from Hurricane Laura, which itself made landfall on the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. And the Mid west is still trying to put itself back together after a massive derecho (a sort of one-directional tornado) and back to back storms that produced massive flooding.

Donald Trump continues to spout his nonsense and ignore science. But it’s his enablers – the agency heads and administrators that keep rolling back climate regulations and rolling out the red carpet for more fossil fuels extraction and infrastructure – who do the real damage.

The two newest nominations — Allison Clements and Mark Christie — aren’t as bad as some of the people Trump has nominated in the past. But that’s hardly the point: As long as Trump and his cronies are calling the shots, FERC will never be an agency that supports real climate action. We need bold changes, like a Green New Deal that changes FERC in to a Federal Renewable Energy Commission – and that change could be coming soon.

But until those changes come, we stand with our allies at Beyond Extreme Energy in calling upon Senators to abstain from voting for either of these nominees. Next week there will be a people’s hearing on FERC’s numerous offenses against the climate, our communities, and people. That needs to be followed quickly by real reform legislation that Congress can vote on FIRST, before they continue to feed the Fires of FERC’s climate disaster.

Tell FERC: Time’s up for the Mountain Valley Pipeline

The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is years behind schedule, drowning in debt, and has no clear path to getting the permits it needs, let alone being built. But that didn’t stop them from going back to FERC and asking for more time.

The MVP is a 303 mile long fracked gas pipeline that Equitrans plans to build from Wetzel County, West Virginia, to Pittsylvania County, Virginia. Along the way it would cross the Appalachian trail, more than 1000 rivers and streams, and require clear-cutting wide tracks of the Appalachian mountains.

For years resistance has built against the MVP — including countless community rallies, several long-standing tree sits, and blockades by activists. Click here to tell FERC to deny their request, and stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline for good?

Due in part to that diligent work, the MVP is two years past its initial 2018 completion date and $2 billion over budget – including more than $2 million in fines imposed by the state of Virginia for violating environmental and public health lawsGiven all the fines and delaysthere are real questions about whether MVP is accurately reporting how much of the pipeline is being built, and investors are starting to get cold feet and abandon the project.

Despite all signs indicating that this pipeline is about to be canceled — as its sibling, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, was canceled in July — Equitrans has applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a two-year extension of its Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. If this is granted Equitrans will be able to work longer on getting key permits that have halted construction.

You can help us stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline by signing this petition demanding that FERC deny Equitrans the certification extension!

All signatures received before September 11 will be included in official comments to FERC, and once you sign you’ll be redirected to a page with instructions on how to back up your signature with a hand-written comment.

Laura, Katrina & a chemical fire: Katrina 15 anniversary

Tomorrow marks Katrina 15, a decade and a half of ongoing recovery from Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf South. And just as organizers were gathering to mourn, remember, rally and act together – Hurricane Laura slammed into the petrochemical hub West of New Orleans.

Today, thousands are without access to power, or clean water and at least one chemical plant was still burning Thursday evening. That means, as one New Orleans ally just explained to me, that people who lost their roof in the storm are being told to stay ‘indoors’ because the air outside is toxic.

The profound level of environmental and climate in-justice that permeates this moment is hard to take. But community leaders from across the Gulf South have been planning for months to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Katrina.

In the wake of Hurricane Laura, and the unfolding tragedies in its wake, we invite you to join them for a day and honor the sacrifice of the region in the global fight for climate justice.

Here’s an update in their words:

In solidarity with our family recovering from Hurricane Laura which made landfall on the Louisiana central coast this week, we are shifting our #Katrina15 programming to center the frontlines impacted by Hurricane Laura, offer lessons learned from 15 years of ongoing recovery from Hurricane Katrina, and share disaster recovery resources and ways to stand in solidarity with communities in Louisiana and Texas. Register here to join us for an abbreviated virtual program, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020 at 10amCDT.

If you’re able, we encourage you to also make a donation to support frontline groups in Louisiana and on the Gulf coast who are rendering direct, mutual aid to impacted people and communities. Our friends have begun compiling a list and there should be more information on the call tomorrow at 10amCDT.

Stop the North Brooklyn Fracked Gas Pipeline & LNG depot

Right now, corporate utility National Grid is expanding a massive fracked gas transmission pipeline in North Brooklyn. This project is not a replacement of leaking pipelines, it is an expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, in the middle of a pandemic, and at the cost of our climate, communities and

And worse, we have to pay for all this pollution and destruction! National Grid wants to charge New York rate-payers millions of dollars through rate hikes for this pipeline. That money will fill their shareholders pockets, and keep us locked into fossil fuels when we want to change to affordable and clean renewable energy like geothermal, solar, wind and energy efficient buildings.

Fortunately, elected leaders in New York City have the power to stop this project through denying key permits needed by the company. Can you join our friends at Sane Energy in New York and tell them to stop the Brooklyn fracked gas pipeline?

National Grid’s toxic and dangerous North Brooklyn Pipeline is being built predominantly through Black and Brown neighborhoods without community consent.

National Grid also wants to expand its Greenpoint fracked gas depot on Newtown Creek by adding two new liquefied fracked gas (LNG) vaporizers and LNG trucking capabilities. National Grid has done no assessment of the climate impacts of these projects, as is required by NYS Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, and and is ignoring or down-playing local impacts on public health and the environment.

These unnecessary projects run contrary to New York city and state’s climate goals and laws. These communities have suffered for decades from the health impacts of environmental racism and injustice, and they should not be forced to pay to build new fossil fuel infrastructure that will continue that polluted legacy for generations to come.

To add insult to injury, they are asking for an unjustified rate hike of hundreds of millions of dollars to build these unnecessary projects that will lock us into decades of fossil fuels and exorbitant stranded assets.

Click here to sign on with our allies in New York City to Demand the following:

  1. Revoke any permits already granted to National Grid from The City of New York for their Metropolitan Reliability Infrastructure project AKA North Brooklyn Pipeline and immediately halt construction.
  2. Deny any permits needed by National Grid to expand their Greenpoint LNG depot.
  3. Deny any permits and variances for National Grid’s plans for LNG trucking on NYC streets, which is currently illegal.

Sign here to stand with communities on the frontline and tell New York elected leaders to reject any permits, and exercise their powers to stop National Grid’s fracked gas projects.

Don’t let Dominion exec’s off the hook for the ACP

Like all of you, we cheered big hearty cheers when the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) was finally abandoned by Duke and Dominion. We’d been fighting that racist, climate-killing, ratepayer-busting pipeline for years.

And for all the time we were fighting the pipeline, the people who stood to profit were the corporate executives at Duke and Dominion. No one person was more culpable for the ACP, or more directly associated with it than Dominion Energy’s Tom Farrell. Now he must resign. Sign here if you agree.

You’ve already heard, over and over, how the Atlantic Coast Pipeline was an environmental and human rights disaster:

  • It would have generated more than 67 million metric tons of global warming pollution each year — the equivalent of 20 coal plants.
  • It would have required 38 miles of mountaintop removal and damage thousands of acres of farm and forest land.
  • And the ACP would disproportionately harm poor, African-American and Indigenous communities all along the route. The plan included building an enormous fracked gas compressor stations in Union Hill — an African-American community of great historical and cultural significance in Virginia. And thirty thousand Native peoples live in the project area across North Carolina.

Behind this project that terrorized communities in West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina and threatened our climate was Dominion Energy, one of the most powerful monopolies in America. And Dominion’s leader, Tom Farrell, continued to push this project for years despite the potential consequences. As recently as May of this year, dozens of us attended Dominion’s online shareholder meeting to protest the ACP, and Farrell was still defending the ACP and repeating the lie that it was a ‘clean’ and ‘cost effective’ solution to our energy needs.

Rev. William J. Barber II of the Poor People’s Campaign and Vice President Al Gore have already called Farrell’s legacy a “reckless, racist, ripoff.” But Farrell has found another way to dodge responsibility for his actions.

A few weeks ago, Dominion announced that Farrell will become the company’s executive chair, effective Oct. 1, 2020 and continue to serve as chair of the Board of Directors. Day-to-day operations will be run by Robert Blue, Farrell’s former operating officer, who will still report to Farrell.

Farrell has proven himself to be a bad corporate executive. By relying on a business model built on extraction, environmental injustice, and political corruption, he cost ratepayers and shareholders billions of dollars. But instead of firing him after the entire ACP debacle came crashing down, Dominion promoted him!

It’s important to pipeline fighters everywhere that we don’t just let Farrell walk away from the wreckage of the ACP without consequence. If he can get away with it, there’s nothing to discourage Robert Blue, or Duke CEO Lynn Good for that matter, from reviving the ACP in the future. Just as important, there’s no message to corporate leaders and lenders everywhere that betting big on fossil fuels is as dangerous for your career as it is for our communities and climate.

Let’s make an example of Farrell, like we made a symbol out of the ACP. Sign the petition to demand that Tom Farrell resign in disgrace as Executive Chair of Dominion Energy.

HOLD THE LINE: Don’t let corporate polluters get away with murder

Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans already gave more than $3 billion of COVID response money to fossil fuel polluters. Now, they’re planning another big oil bailout as part of a Coronavirus response bill they’re negotiating.

This time they don’t just want to give away our money: they want to let fossil fuel companies get away with murder. 

Call your Senators at (800) 914-0328 and tell them to hold the line against McConnell’s liability shield and make sure COVID response funds benefit people, not polluters!

For weeks, we’ve been telling you about the #BigOilBailout where fossil fuel companies got access to literally billions of dollars of public money that was supposed to help main street employers and workers. The House passed a package weeks ago that’s a good start — called the HEROES Act — and we’ve been pressing McConnell to take that bill up, and give our allies in the Senate a chance to make it even better by banning direct payments to the fossil fuel industry.

Instead of doing that, McConnell is pushing something called a “liability shield” which would protect corporations against lawsuits from workers who get Covid-19 because of unsafe conditions.

We don’t need to encourage corporations to be even more reckless with their workers’ safety and health. And that’ why nobody wants this liability shield, except for Senate Republicans and corporate billionaires like the fossil fuel industry. Doctors don’t want it; Major League Baseball doesn’t want it; low-income workers of color who are doing many if not most of the “essential” jobs in the pandemic as nurses, delivery drivers, certainly don’t want it.

McConnell’s plan will put frontline communities at risk, as fossil fuel companies and others spread disease from their facilities. 

It gets worse: corporations would have these protections for the next five years and they are likely to try using them to block all sorts of lawsuits, including those who are trying to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for their fatal pollution and climate lies.  

We can stop this cynical attempt to let corporations put our lives at risk. 

The White House has already said they may be willing to drop the liability shield in negotiations over the stimulus. If we can generate a massive public outcry over the next 24 hours, we may be able to stop it for good. 

Please call your Senators at (800) 914-0328 and tell them to kill the liability shield and make sure this stimulus protects people, not polluters. 

When you’re on the phone with your Senators, remind them that the fossil fuel industry has already received billions of dollars in tax breaks and bailouts. Meanwhile, tens of millions of people are still out of work. Nearly 30 million Americans reported they went hungry last week. Black, Brown and Indigenous communities continue to be the hardest hit. 

Call at (800) 914-0328 and tell your Senators to drop McConnell’s deadly plan, and bail out people, not polluters.