SEATTLE, OCCUPIED DUWAMISH TERRITORY — June 4, 2015
At this moment, Shell is preparing its Arctic oil drilling fleet at Terminal 5 of the Port of Seattle. Work is proceeding seven days a week, from 7 am to 2 am. Shell expects the fleet to leave sometime from June 10th to June 15th. If they are delayed through June 29th, Shell will miss the Chukchi Sea’s ice-free season. We must be the delay.
You have heard the stark facts already. Indigenous peoples on the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas rely on the ocean for their way of life, including the Inupiat people across western and northern Alaska. The journal Nature reported five months ago, if the oil below the Arctic Ocean is burned, global warming of two degrees Celsius is guaranteed; which would cause a sea level rise of approximately 32 feet in the next century.
Several groups in Seattle have issued a call to action for a “June Against Doom“:
The continued attempts at exploration for oil by sHell in the fragile, pristine ecosystems in the Arctic around Alaska, which are home to tens of thousands of indigenous peoples, hundreds of animal species and a brutal, unforgiving sea is a blatant continuation of colonization, putting profits above life and the land.
WE INTEND TO STOP THEM!
We know that Indigenous People, People in the Global South, Migrants and Communities of Color are the first and most impacted by the effects of Climate Change and contamination of our habitats.
We know that Environmental Racism is one of many ways violence is perpetuated against our communities; that this fight is a fight to respect life and it intersects with all other fights to protect our and all species’ right to life.
Some globally intersecting movements are:
Idle No More
Black Lives Matter
Anti-prison and deportation
With this in mind we are putting out a call for support and unified resistance from all land defenders, decolonial warriors, disabled people, migrants, pigmented people, poor folks, prisoners, workers, queers, parents, children, animal lovers, hikers, environmentalists, teachers, students, activists, revolutionaries and anyone who resides on planet Earth. Your help is needed in Seattle, occupied Duwamish and Suquamish Territory, to join the ongoing fight to defend the land and life from sHell‘s poisonous plan to destroy the Earth…
The Profit Pioneer and its support vehicles have an extremely short time-frame to get up to Alaska and take advantage of the thawed ice to attempt their drilling. As such, the goal of the entire month of June Against Doom is to create slow-downs, delays, lost work hours and general disruptions to stop sHell from getting their death machine up to the Arctic to fulfill its genocidal mission. Profit Pioneer is scheduled to depart on June 10th. So, we have very limited time to activate and the circumstances require a sustained community-wide effort.
To succeed we only need to delay the Profit Pioneer until roughly June 29th! That is why this whole month is going to be JUNE AGAINST DOOM. This is just the beginning!
According to the federal government, not that we trust what they say…there is a 75% chance of major spill, which would immediately affect the Pacific Northwest and West Coast in general—fishing communities, fishing industries, fish, whales, birds, humans, and aesthetics.
The Plan for the Weekend
We will come together as people who care about passing on a planet to future generations at a, soon to be disclosed, location near Terminal 5 on the mornings of Friday June 5th, Saturday June 6th, and Monday June 8th at 5:30 am in order to be down to the terminal gate by 6:30 am to form a Community Picket line (which the ILWU port workers are contractually obligated to honor) to stop the workers who are performing maintenance and loading the ships from being able to perform their scheduled work for these days. Though the workers technically begin work at 8:00 am, they are dispatched from the union hall as early as 6:30 am and we need to make sure that we are in place in time to actually disrupt business as usual. Dedicated to not allowing any work to be completed for the day we will maintain our presence for the entirety of their 9 hour shift, which ends at 6:00 pm. That means that while we need a large mass of people specifically for that morning convergence to set the lines, there is also plenty of time during the day for other people to join us as they are able to.
Recognizing the severity of the situation, we will also be blocking as much of the 2nd afternoon shift as we can, on each of the outlined days. Though the shift begins at 6:00 pm, similar to the morning shift, there is potential that workers could start arriving at Terminal 5 for work as early as 4:30 pm after they are dispatched. As such we will need additional people to arrive later in the day to participate in a 2nd shift of resistance, particularly around this time-frame. Since the picket lines will already be established we will be communicating with folks via Facebook, texts, tweets and updates to the shell.noblogs.org to the exact locations of where people need to be. Recognizing that it is unsustainable to ask people to stay out there for the entire day, we will need a second large group of people to arrive to relieve the morning people as they are able to in the afternoon/evening, as well as people just generally joining whenever they are able to, for as long as they are able to.
These are intended to be non-violent direct actions which will stop commerce with the mere presence of our bodies to deter the workers, who have been instructed not to engage with any sort of disturbances at the gate, and to return to the union hall. The workers are supposed to allow the police to “address” any issues. However, we also recognize that the police are a racist institution, founded on acting as slave catchers, who are designed to be the means by which the inequalities of an unjust social system are maintained, and they will most definitely be present to fulfill their roles as protectors of capital and profit, not people. The single most important thing that will keep all of us the most safe, is other people, and lots of them. Tell your friends, your coworkers, your families, your mail carriers. Tell anyone who has a vested interest on maintaining life on this planet and that this is an issue they cannot turn away from. Share some statistics about the severity of this situation with them, and then bring them at some point this weekend. While it is true that this will be a long weekend, it also means that there will be numerous opportunities to come engage in this righteous battle, whenever your schedule will allow. Figure out when makes the most sense for you, and then come!
Bring your anti-sHell, pro-land signs, banners and art work! We encourage people to bring snacks and water with them to the actions, though there will be some food and drinks available there for free as well. Also, recognizing that this weekend is long and people are bound to need to take time to rest, there will be nearby areas where people can take breaks and relax and share stories with each other.
SEE YOU THERE!