How to stop a coup

I’ve been struggling to pull myself away from the news and twitter to talk about the coup attempt this week. As someone who’s planned and participated in dozens of events and actions at the Capitol – many where we peacefully and non-violently risked arrest and were met with a substantially larger, armed, and violent response – I share the shock, outrage and emotion of all of you.

It’s important to be very clear about two things in the immediate aftermath:

  1. This was a Coup attempt, and it’s not over yet.
  2. This week’s coup is nothing like the non-violent, civil disobedience and protest we’re a part of every day, and we must be mindful that our reaction is orderly, legal and based in love and justice – not hate and violent retribution.

If you agree that Trump must be impeached and removed from office, click here to sign on.

Donald Trump directed the mob to go to the capital, and incited them to violence – not just on January 6 but for weeks before that. For years Trump and his enablers have built a culture of white supremacy, and demonstrated a conviction to rule through force and fear. We’ve been calling Trump a fascist and warning of exactly these kind of outcomes for more than four years. For years Very Serious People called us “deranged” or warned us not to exaggerate the threat. Now, finally, they seem to agree.

Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate soon-to-be Leader Chuck Schumer – who are usually slow to act in a crisis like climate change, or Trump’s previous abuses of power – are calling for swift action to remove the coup-leader, the deposed ex-President Donald Trump from power.

There’s a lot of talk about the 25th amendment, which Trump’s cabinet could invoke. But it’s not an instant solution – requiring complicated votes by the cabinet that are not easy to convene, and confirmation by Congress. And anyway, most of Trump’s cabinet seems to feel that resigning is a safer path to restoring their reputations (another thing we cannot allow to happen), rather than removing Trump from power and risking the wrath of the same people who smashed up the capital days ago.

Which is why invoking impeachment, again, is the only sure step to remove Trump from office. And it’s a step Congress must take right away, before Trumps last 12 days in office expire, because the coup isn’t over yet. Students of history and political insurrection around the world know that often, fascists and authoritarians often have to try more than once, and more than one method, to hold on to power.

What we saw Wednesday was only a link in a long chain of events where fossil fueled, white-supremacist fascists try and seize control of our government, and bend it to their will.

They won’t go away when Trump leaves office on January 20. And Trump himself has already talked about running for President again, and clearly intends to retain ‘control’ of the GOP. But if Congress impeaches, and convicts Trump before Jan 20, he will be barred from running from office ever again.

Click here to sign on to our joint petition with many national partners. Only by working together can we build the pressure necessary for Congress to act. And only through Congressional Action can we stop this coup and prevent Trump from trying to seize power again.

We’ll have lots more to say, and lots more to talk about, why our non violent, civil disobedience actions — including ones where we risk arrest in the US Capitol — are nothing like the fascist coup attempt we saw this week. A short, simple, explanation might be that intent matters, and how we conduct ourselves while speaking truth as a minority political power, to a majority political power.

When we take action, we come in peace and we speak and act – at times disruptively – to cry out for justice and a safe and healthy planet for all. Often we bring or bear in our hearts the stories of those impacted adversely by the policies in question – bearing witness to their pain and bearing it into the sight and hearing of those in power who would rather ignore it.

That’s more or less the opposite of what happened this week: A violent, hateful, mob broke down the doors to stop the functioning of Democracy and demand that their already-powerful leader be given more power, or else. They brought with them the failed emblems of other white supremacist insurrections. And they clearly felt entitled to seize power, no matter who they had to hurt, step over, or disenfranchise to get there. When police pushed back and arrested a paltry few of the thousands or rioters, they responded with shock and alarm – literally saying “they’re supposed to shoot BLM not [us].”

Like I said, lots more to say on this in the future. But for today I’ll leave you with this simple image: Of Rev Warnock, now a United States Senator, being arrested peacefully at a non-violent, civil disobedient prayer vigil for universal health care in 2017. It’s a lot like a lot of actions we’ve helped organize during the Trump regime’s rise to power. And we wont stop until all of them are gone and barred from our government for good.

Join the digital rally to Stop Line 3

Last week we told you that fossil fuel and pipeline giant Enbridge is already working to construct Line 3 — another toxic tar sands pipeline across Indigenous lands and the fresh water lakes of northern Minnesota.

The pipeline is being challenged fiercely by Indigenous nations and  leaders, grassroots organizations, youth, and environmental groups. But Trump and Enbridge have made clear that their plan is to finish construction before January 20, 2021, and local elected leaders like Gov Walz and Attorney General Ellison have so far failed to block them. 

Please join local and national leaders fighting this pipeline this Wednesday, December 9, at 5 pm PT/ 6 pm MT/ 7 pm CT/ 8 pm ET for a digital rally to stop Line 3.
(You may also RSVP and share on Facebook here)

Line 3 is a new tar sands pipeline that would cross more than 1,000 miles from Hardisty, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin. If completed, it will transport 760,000-844,000 barrels of tar sands crude oil from Alberta each day, and release as much global warming pollution as fifty coal fired power plants.

Along the way, it would violate Ojibwe treaty rights and put the state’s water, ecosystems and communities at risk. We cannot allow this new pipeline to be built.

Minnesota based leaders have delayed the project for seven years. They need support now to #StopLine3. Join us and join the fight this Wednesday evening.

Call now to stop the Line 3 pipeline

BREAKING NEWS: Governor Walz and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency just pushed through the final permit for Line 3 pipeline. This means construction could start TODAY, unless the MN Department of Commerce (DOC) supports an emergency stay on construction.

Local tribes and water protectors, including the Red Lake and White Earth Nations have already filed a motion for a stay on construction that almost all parties support — except the DOC. With the Public Utilities Commission reviewing the motion this Friday, the deadline for the DOC to support these motions is TODAY, DEC 2!

Can you call Governor Walz (651-201-3400) and DOC Commissioner Grace Arnold (651-539-1755) today to tell them how much we need a stay on construction?

Your message can be quick and simple:

Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling to tell you how critical it is that the MN Department of Commerce support a stay on construction for Line 3 TODAY. Enbridge must not be allowed to build the pipeline while there are pending legal challenges and a raging pandemic. Rushing construction of this pipeline will spread COVID-19, and irreparably damage our water, land and climate. Please take action now and protect the legal process by supporting a stay on construction.

Voice mail full? Click here to send a quick email in addition/instead:

To: grace.arnold@state.mn.us
Cc: commissioner.commerce@state.mn.us

Dear Commissioner Arnold,

Please support a stay on construction for Line 3.

Enbridge must not be allowed to build the pipeline while there are pending legal challenges and a raging pandemic. Rushing construction of this pipeline will spread COVID-19, and irreparably damage our water, land and climate. Please take action now and protect the legal process by supporting a stay on construction.

I’m urging you to take action today: protect the legal process and the public health by supporting a stay on construction. We know why Enbridge is rushing and it’s not in our best interest.

Thank you for your consideration,

As a reminder, Line 3 is a disastrous, unnecessary tar sands pipeline that would create more pollution than 50 coal plants, threaten hundreds of waterways with oil spills and leaks, and violate the treaty rights of several tribes. That’s why we were so disappointed just weeks ago when the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency under Governor Tim Walz approved a final water crossing permits for the Line 3 tar sands pipeline in Minnesota.

All indications are that Gov. Walz and Enbridge will attempt to start construction before the end of the year, despite the risk out-of-state workers pose during the COVID-19 pandemic and the multiple pending lawsuits against the project. Gov. Walz’s Department of Commerce has this one last chance to stand with his agency experts, scientists, and elected officials including his own Lieutenant Governor and listen to the facts.

Activists and water protectors in MN are doing everything they can to stop the pipeline. They’re holding a press conference with health professionals today to discuss the pipeline’s COVID-19 risk. And they’ll be at the MN Public Utilities Commission hearing on Friday, December 4, to push the PUC to rule in favor of the motion for a stay. And, of course, they’re taking non violent, direct action to slow the construction:

The DOC has supported our movement in the past, including refiling their appeal against Line 3 back in August. Supporting a stay would be the logical next step in making sure their appeal is protected and the legal process is upheld. Please contact them — we need this stay to keep the land, waters, and people of Minnesota healthy and safe.

Call Governor Walz and the MNDOC today and tell them to honor the treaties, support the stay, and stop the Line 3 Pipeline – NOW!

PS – Want to do more? You can also Donate to support:

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.

Make DC the 51st state – and win climate justice

This is one of my ideas that sounds crazy, but it’s actually really not: Make DC the 51st and deliver climate justice for all.

Like how a Green New Deal that ends fossil fuels would create jobs, rebalance the economy on behalf of millions of working Americans and stop climate catastrophe. Or how chocolate + peanut butter are two great tastes that taste better together. DC statehood is actually a simple, just, good idea – that actually might be a key to solving the climate crisis.

I’ll explain more, but if you’re already on board – Sign here to tell Congress: Make DC the 51st state, and deliver climate justice for all.

Here’s the simple facts: More than 700,000 people, most of them black and brown, live in the District of Columbia. They vote, pay taxes, serve in the armed forces, and are responsible for maintaining the roads, safe drinking water, breathable air, and police that serve and protect every member of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the White House — but they get no vote in Congress, have no say in federal policy, and cannot even stop armed federal troops from attacking their citizens. They are the very definition of “taxation without representation” which the founders of America fought a revolution over.

But this Friday, June 26, Congress will vote on whether to make DC the 51st state for the first time since 1993. And if they vote to approve DC statehood, we could gain more than a 51st neighbor and ally – we could get 2 more votes in the US Senate to affirm a Green New Deal, and end to fossil fuels, and a real, just, response to the climate crisis.

The fight for DC statehood became all the more urgent this month. On June 1, Donald Trump sent federal troops into DC neighborhoods to round up nearly 200 people protesting police violence in the wake of the police killings of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and hundreds of other Black people across the country. 

While Trump has been clear he hates DC statehood, his actions may have galvanized the new the civil rights movement, and lent new urgency to our cause.

Sign and send the petition to your member of Congress: Demand they pass the Washington, DC Admission Act to enact DC statehood.

D.C. residents serve on juries, in the U.S. military, pay taxes, and work hard to build safe, strong communities where they live. But they have no vote on any decisions our Congress makes every day.

And that’s too bad for the climate, as well as civil rights. In the last few years DC has banned plastic bags, considered an aggressive carbon tax, and shut down coal plants and gas pipelines. These people are our allies in the fight for climate justice – and we’ll never have a better chance to add 3/4 of a million votes in favor of our values than right now.

There’s more energy now than ever in Congress to ensure DC residents have direct representation federally. A few weeks ago, the House Oversight Committee voted in favor of legislation supporting DC statehood, and H.R. 51, the Washington, DC Admission Act, has over 223 cosponsors. 

This Friday, the full house will vote on H.R. 51 to recognize DC as the 51st state, and we must ensure that lawmakers pass this overdue civil and climate rights bill for DC residents.

Sign and send the petition: Urge Congress to pass the Washington, DC Admission Act to enact DC statehood.

Thanks for signing – Can you help these local PR groups?

Thanks for signing our petition Below are some tools to share the action with your networks online. Because Congress isn’t able to send the full aid package quickly, we’re also including links to some local groups in Puerto Rico. If you wan to bypass the racist Trump regime and fund direct aid to the people who need it, these are some places to start.

share on Facebook
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Or, email this link: 
http://bit.ly/2020PRAid_198m 

This list is copied from a REmezcla article by Raquel Reichard. Thanks to her for writing and to Friends of the Earth friends who shared it with us.

Ayuda Legal PR

Ayuda Legal PR is a nonprofit organization that provides free and accessible education and legal support to low-income people and communities in Puerto Rico. Following Hurricane María, the group, made up of lawyers, legal experts and law students, began focusing on legal assistance during and after disasters, particularly access to justice, the right to housing and fair recovery — all of which will undoubtedly be needed for people rebuilding houses and businesses, seeking health care and more after the earthquakes. Donate here.  

Brigada Solidaria del Oeste

Also born out of the devastating 2017 storms, Brigada Solidaria del Oeste is a community initiative comprised of individuals from various organizations, creative spaces and social struggles that meets with members of communities on the island’s west coast to identify the needs of the people and work to support them. Currently, group leaders are headed south, where the earthquakes and aftershocks were felt the most, to speak with locals, assess needs and help communities on the ground. Donate to the brigade via PayPal through their email address brigadasolidariaoeste@gmail.com. 3

Casa Pueblo

On the archipelago, Casa Pueblo is a community-management project that has been addressing climate change since 1980, when the government attempted to mine deposits of silver, gold and copper, by protecting natural, cultural and human resources and advocating for a more environmentally friendly and sustainable Puerto Rico. Their efforts and education are particularly crucial as the island is increasingly hit with natural disasters. In fact, in December, think tank Germanwatch released its annual Global Climate Risk Index 2020, which found that Puerto Rico is affected by climate change more than anywhere else in the world. Donate to Casa Pueblo here. 

Correa Family Foundation

Created by Puerto Rican professional baseball player Carlos Correa, the Correa Family Foundation is a nonprofit foundation that supports low-income and/or ill children. Correa, a shortstop for the Houston Astros, was in his hometown of Ponce, which was hit hard during the earthquake, with his wife Daniella Rodriguez Correa at the time the 6.4 magnitude quake hit. On Twitter, Rodriguez said she has “never been so scared in my life,” while Correa told CBS affiliate KHOU 11 â€śthere’s a lot of victims.”

With multiple schools affected by the series of quakes, including an institution in Guánica that was destroyed, Correa started a fund through his children-oriented foundation to help rebuild impacted schools. Donate here. 

World Central Kitchen & Comedores Sociales de Puerto Rico

While Spanish chef JosĂ© AndrĂ©s’ World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization providing free meals to people in the wake of natural disasters, isn’t native to Puerto Rico, the group works with local chefs and community leaders to help those in impacted areas. After Hurricane MarĂ­a, World Central Kitchen served more than 3,000,000 meals and is often applauded on the archipelago for its quick and impactful disaster relief. In a tweet on Tuesday, AndrĂ©s said that his team is heading to the southern coast of Puerto Rico, where they will be using solar power and generators to serve affected municipalities. Donate here.

If you prefer to support local food initiatives, Comedores Sociales de Puerto Rico, a project of Centro para el Desarrollo PolĂ­tico, Educativo y Cultural (CDPEC), is a self-managed food distribution initiative providing free meals to communities at the University of Puerto Rico’s RĂ­o Piedras and Cayey campuses. Donate here.

Trump’s racist, climate denying Puerto Rico Policy

Last summer, more than 70,000 of us wrote, called and spoke out to Demand Congress send emergency relief money to Puerto Rico despite the Trump Administration’s racist objections. More than 200 days later, and after Puerto Rico has been rocked by earthquakes left more than 8,000 people without a safe home to sleep in, Ben Carson is releasing less than half the money, and only on the conditions that Puerto Rico pay workers less than $15 an hour, and do nothing about the island’s electric grid.

The crisis is still unfolding, but one thing is clear: Trump and Ben Carson – his Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – are using aid money Congress has already appropriated as leverage to enforce their racist, climate-denying policy agenda. Will you speak out now to stop them? Sign here to demand Trump and Carson stop illegally withholding ALL federal aid to Puerto Rico.

Sadly, this is only the latest example of how Trump combines climate denial and racism into a policy that hurts our neighbors and fellow citizens. Carson was legally required to disburse the money last September, but has been delaying the release of $18 billion that Congress appropriated for Puerto Rico. The money is supposed to upgrade infrastructure, including the islands old and fossil-fuel powered electric grid, and help mitigate and adapt to climate-fueled super storms like Maria.

Trump’s ongoing anti-Puerto Rico agenda– to deny 3.2 million Puerto Ricans funding—is based on racial and ethnic prejudice, petty politics, and a calculated agenda to beat down the island’s economy and people so banking and big real estate & development cronies can cash in. A slew of reports have shown that the island remains at great risk of natural and man-made disasters. The 2020 Global Climate Risk Index ranked Puerto Rico, along with Myanmar and Haiti, at the top of places most vulnerable to extreme weather events.

If the money had been spent on-time, it’s possible that houses, schools and the electric grid could also have been more resilient to the huge earthquakes that rocked the island in recent weeks.

Instead, HUD is releasing less than half the money – about $8 billion in emergency disaster aid funding. And that movement is only coming after intense coverage of the human suffering caused by the earthquakes, and after Congress threatened to defund all of HUD unless they answered questions.

We’re proud to fight alongside allies from the Power 4 Puerto Rico Coalition once more. Together, we demand that Carson and Trump release ALL the aid money, and stop adding ridiculous pre-conditions like how much to pay workers. Sign here if you agree and tell Trump and Carson to stop illegally blocking aid for Puerto Rico. Note – after you sign well redirect you to a page where you can chip in to support local PR groups working to rebuild after the earthquakes.

IMPEACH!

198 methods was born out of the ‘election’ of Donald Trump. It seemed clear, three years ago, that we needed new kinds of action and campaigning. Trump represents all our worst fears of fossil-fueled-fascism.

Now, for a moment, he’s being held accountable for (some) of his mis-deeds. Only two presidents have ever been impeached by the House of Representatives. The evidence against Trump is clear and unequivocal – whatever he and his cronies may spin or say about it on Fox News. This is one of those moments history remembers – and remembers where we were.

So don’t sit on the sidelines. Join the tens of thousands of people on Tuesday, December 17. Together we’ll ensure every member of Congress sees that the public supports impeachment right before they vote.

The quick plan is for people to gather at every congressional office and town square in America. Most of the events are after work – around 5 or 6 local time, and all of them are family friendly, peaceful, and solemn. More than 500 events are planned already, and more keep getting added to the map every hour.

Make sure you R.S.V.P. and then share the event with your friends and family.

This is our last chance to show Congress and Trump that the people won’t stand for corruption, high crimes, or abuse of power before the House votes. Let’s tell Congress to do their duty to impeach and remove Trump because nobody is above the law.

Click here to find an event near you, R.S.V.P., and then invite your friends, family, and neighbors.

Sign Now to Demand bold protections for climate refugees

If you’re one of nearly 120,000 people who signed our petition demanding justice for climate refugees from the Bahamas, you already know that it’s time to act. Will you sign here to tell Congress to protect climate-displaced communities?

If not, here’s a quick reminder: Last September September, the Bahamas were slammed by Category 5 Hurricane Dorian. The storm killed dozens of people and left more than 70,000 Bahamians homeless.

You probably also remember that in 2017, Puerto Rico was hit by Category 5 Hurricane Maria, killing 3,000 people and leaving over $90 million in property destruction.

If you’re a close watcher of climate news, you might even have seen that, just this month, hundreds of thousands of people in Kenya, Somalia, and South Sudan have been displaced due to climate-fueled super storms and the unprecedented flooding that follows.

And yet, Donald Trump’s racist policies seek to turn away climate-displaced peoples from the Bahamas, Kenya, Sudan and other communities. He even denies disaster assistance to communities of color in Puerto Rico and California while protecting his own resorts in Florida.

It’s up to Congress to act: Sign here to tell them to pass a pair of bipartisan bills that will protect climate-displaced people from Trump’s racist policies.

These are only a few recent examples of climate-fueled disasters around the world. Storms, droughts, fires, and floods will all get more extreme as our planet tips towards climate chaos. And climate disasters are already driving a global wave of migration that will only accelerate in the coming years

We must, of course, take bold action at the local, state and federal level to reduce emissions and institute a Green new Deal. But while those solutions are enacted we must pass humanitarian protections so climate refugees are guaranteed safe passage to new communities in the U.S where they can rebuild their lives.

Time and time again, communities of color, the poor, and those in the global south are hit first and worst by climate disasters. Instead of turning away climate refugees — who are often from countries and communities least responsible for the climate crisis,– Our elected officials must step up to meet these climate refugees’ needs.

Sign if you agree: Climate refugees deserve safe passage to the U.S.

Fortunately, lawmakers who see the strong connection between migration and the climate crisis have introduced S. 2565 and H.R. 4732 to support directly-impacted communities. If passed, these two pieces of legislation would both create a designated immigration status for climate-displaced persons and would establish a global climate resiliency fund to provide humanitarian aid and relocation services.

If you’re ready to welcome climate refugees from across America and across the world into your community, please sign this petition and tell Congress it’s time to protect climate-displaced communities.

Prosecuting climate crime, one state at a time

We’re close to winning a victory in court to hold fossil fuel profiteers like Exxon accountable for their lies. We told you last month about a group of State Attorney Generals and local prosecutors bringing lawsuits against these companies for lying to us since the very beginning of the climate crisis. Now, it’s time to make them pay.

The New York case brought by Attorney General Letitia James against Exxon for fraudulently deceiving investors about its business and climate change just wrapped up and a ruling is expected soon. The US House of Representatives recently held a public hearing into what #ExxonKnew and when they knew it. And as New York’s case wrapped up, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced her state is suing Exxon too; joining prosecutors in Los Angeles, Baltimore, and dozens of other cities.

The dam has officially broken, and climate polluters are being called to answer for their crimes. Next month, a delegation will attend the global climate talks in Madrid, to share evidence, legal strategy and encourage other state, local, and national governments to open their own investigations and lawsuits.

Will you back them up by sending a letter to your U.S. Senators, your Representative in the U.S. House, and then your state’s Attorney General and say: I’m counting on you to hold Big Polluters accountable? Just click here to get started.

It’s time to hold Big Polluters liable — for the losses and damage they’re knowingly causing, and to pay for the solutions we need to transition to a just, sustainable future. It’s time to make them pay.

For decades fossil fuel giants like Chevron, Exxon, and Saudi Aramco made billions in profits, and spent millions funding denial and inaction. In fact, a report in the Guardian showed that just 20 fossil fuel companies are responsible for more than one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the modern era.

In opening her case against Exxon, New York Attorney General Letitia James said “This fraud reached the highest levels of the company.” And her case is making waves – she compelled former US Secretary of State and ExxonMobil strongman Rex Tillerson to testify in open court. And her case is just the opening shot in what some are calling a legal war that is just beginning.

The fossil fuel industry has caused and is continuing to cause grave damage to people and our planet. And just like we’re not all equally responsible, we’re not all impacted by this crisis equally: Around the world, low-income communities, indigenous people, youth, communities of color, and people in the Global South are bearing the brunt of the climate crisis.

And despite what their greenwashing advertising says, climate criminals are still up to no good. Last year the top five oil companies raked in more than $80 billion in profit, while fossil fuels spent more than $125 million lobbying (in the U.S. alone), and invested just 1% in renewables.

For the last few weeks, thousands of us have joined with dozens of organizations to demand world leaders kick Big Polluters out of climate policy, make polluters pay for climate crisis, to fund real, just solutions to address the climate crisis.

Elected officials are clearly paying attention — as the surge in lawsuits and congressional hearings indicates. Now is a critical moment to take action. Before the climate talks start, write to your members of Congress and your state Attorney General and urge them to take action to hold the fossil fuel industry liable for their decades of deception.