A Script to Demand an End to Logging Haida Gwaii (Please forward)

The courts have ruled against activists and land protectors seeking to stop logging on the culturally, archeologically, and environmentally critical remaining old growth forest on the Haidi Gwaii. I am writing with a plea for urgent actions. All you’ve got to do is forward the text of the letter below to the provided emails and/or call and leave a message (don’t worry, they never answer phones) using the text as a script. Please use your voice to show that these actions are not okay.

Dear __,

I am writing to express my outrage that the province is proceeding with logging the Haida Gwaii Island. This is inconsistent with the stated commitment to:

  1. Take the climate change emergency seriously.
  2. Engage in meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous nations.

The site holds some of the last remaining old growth forests in the region and is vital to carbon management and biodiversity. The site is also of sacred and archaeological significance to Indigenous people of the Haida Gwaii. To state a commitment to avoiding climate chaos and to reconciliation and then to continue to degrade our protections against climate change despite lack of Indigenous consent is both dangerous and hypocritical.

As a concerned constituent, I urge you to halt logging on Haida Gwaii. At the last election the people of BC voted for a system change when we prioritized NDP and Green Party coalitions. How do you expect to retain this support when you are blatantly going against the very commitments that led to your election?

Please overturn the decision to log this area. For the sake of respecting Indigenous nations, for the sake of having a livable future. Thank you for taking the time to reconsider these devastating actions.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Please send to:

• The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource
Minister Donaldson:
FLNR.Minister@gov.bc.ca
phone: 250-387-6240

• BC Premier Horgan :
premier@gov.bc.ca
250-387-1715

• Haida Gwaii Natural Resource District (DQC):
FrontCounterHaidaGwaii@gov.bc.ca
250 559-6200
Fax: 250 559-8342
Toll-free 1 800 663-7867

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Amplify #NoLNG, Call Inslee Today

Indigenous nations have walked 46 miles to protest LNG fracking on their land and to demand climate action. Please take a minute to leave a message with Governor Inslee in to amplify this intensive labour! Please call Governor Inslee today and share this call to action widely! From #NoLNG253: 

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Friends,

Indigenous Protectors of the Salish Sea remain in occupation at the St,Chas Nisqually village site, now known as the Olympia State Capitol building, and they say they will not leave until Governor Inslee is prepared to take action on their demands which include immediately declaring a climate emergency and putting a halt to all fossil fuel expansion projects in Washington state.

We have received word that Governor Inslee has returned to Washington after spending the week at the UN climate Summit in New York. Now is the time for us to amplify support of the Protectors and the demands to the Governor. Please call Governor Inslee today and tell him to meet with the Indigenous Leaders and meet their demands. Example words are below for guidance.

Please call Governor Inslee’s office TODAY at: 360-902-4111 (then press option 2 to get to a receptionist followed by 1 to leave a message).

Hello, My name is_____ and I am calling in support of Protectors of the Salish sea. Right now indigenous protectors and their allies are camped at Sta,chas, Nisqually village site, on the steps of the capitol building, after walking 46 miles from the site of PSE’s fracked gas facility being built on Puyallup land in Tacoma to demand Governor Jay Inslee declare a climate emergency.

I am calling to ask that our governor, a known leader in facing climate change, meet with the indigenous leaders immediately and sincerely listen to their demands.

These demands are that Gov. Inslee declare a climate emergency in Washington state, that he issue an executive order to stop fossil fuel expansion projects in the state ⁠— including the liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility being built at the Port of Tacoma, that he convene a special legislative session on climate change in 2020, and that he honor the treaties by meeting these demands.

Please tell Governor Inslee I support these demands and that I ask him to meet with indigenous leaders and protectors today. Thank you.

#ProtectorsOfTheSalishSea #WalkToProtectAndRestoreTheSalishSea#HonorTheTreaties #NoLNG253 #NoKalamaMethanol #ClimateStrike#ProtectWhatYouLove

30 Days for Climate Justice Day 30: We Will Not Be Silenced (A love letter to earth protectors)

 

 

We will not be silenced

 

We see dwindling orca families

And know

it’s past time to act

While they overturn

Protections.

 

Forests are burning

and we have trouble taking in

the air we need

While they overturn

Protections

 

They Sneak pipelines 

On scared ground

Children go without water for

profit. 

 

The weight of this sits heavy

stone laden arms

we try to raise

our fists

And we will not be silenced. 

 

We flood their phones take

To the streets

Put plants in the ground

and lift up

Earth protectors already

Turning these tides.

 

We act 

And push though

We never know if

It will be enough.

But we know we will not be silenced. 

 

We pour of ourselves

to protect this ground

not because

They are listening

But because

There is power

In not being silenced. 

 

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30 Days for Climate Justice Day 29: My Climate Change Resistance Checklist (Weekly Review 6)

Taking action has a ripple effect. The more I develop a practice of everyday climate justice work, the more I meet other people who are doing everything they can, the more I understand ways of resisting, and these ways of resisting become increasingly possible. This is powerful stuff! 

1. Go to and Facilitate Meetings: I went to the second Climate Strike Planning meeting. At the meeting I was able to advocate for having one of our three action items be that the City of Bellingham hold a commitment to respect the sovereignty, self-determination, and treaty rights of Lummi and Nooksack nations. This would include commitments to be a strong presence against developments that would threaten traditional ways of life and sustenance: e.g. pipelines, coal train expansion.

2. Get into Gardens: I took my kids to harvest squash, tomatoes, basil, green beans, zucchini, and kale from the Birchwood Food Desert Fighters Community Garden. A 69181089_10156745127584205_8065543914364338176_ofriend and co-volunteer has been making Food Share boxes and putting them up around the neighborhood (do you know, that you can just do this, too?) so we stuffed a few with these local goodies. This included talking to neighbors as they passed. An elder with disabilities talked about how she misses gardening but doesn’t have room or enough light in her building. Next season, I’d like to organize a shuttle to get more folks able to be in and grow food with the BFDF Garden. It’s really not fair to have your grocery store closed and also not have a way to get your hands in the dirt and grow your food!

3. Make Donations: I made a donation to Amazon Watch to support Indigenous nations who are working to protect their homes and the lungs of the earth.

4. Agitate Politicians: This week I made calls, wrote letters, and circulated contact information and templates to agitate politicians to step in with the amazon forest fires and to protect the Endangered Species Act. Calling is getting easier the more I do it!

5. Ban Bee Killing Pesticides: I had a great meeting with Jason Davidson and Friends of the Earth and now have a solid action plan for getting the use neonicotinoids and glyphosites banned on Bellingham public land. I highly recommend following the link and using these resources for accomplishing the same within your city.

6. Support Indigenous Events: I will be volunteering at Neste Mot: One Mind for Xw’ullemy (The Salish Sea). I’m not sure what jobs I’ll do yet but will just jump in where needed as the date approaches.

7. The Unist’ot’en Food Drive: Many folks who donated food got sizes that were too small for an industrial sized kitchen. My family wrote down the quantity, kept the smaller sizes for our pantry, and then picked up the equivalents (and then some) in large sizes from Costco. I passed them off to an earth protector who is going to drive up to Unist’ot’en soon. Another summer project that will be wrapped up before my teaching term starts!

8. Create Networks: I’ve been working to bring the Queer Ecojustice Project together with the WWU Queering Research Project, a joint endeavor between the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and LGBTQ+ Western. The goal is to bring the question of  climate change to the forefront in how we think about creating and circulating knowledge. I’ve also been working to combine the expertise of Dean Jackson, the Director of Hilltop Urban Gardens, with WWU coursework, the Office of Sustainability food security organizing, and the Whatcom Health Authority Food Summit. There are powerful movements that we can all learn from and we can learn in ways that leads to building strong communities.

9. Get to Know Plants and Trees: This past week I spent two nights on Lopez Island, one night with each of the kids. The first kid and I were able to go out kayaking and spend time at Shark Reef Sanctuary where over 100 seals were hanging out. One played and fished really close to us for a long time. So amazing! The second kid had horrible nightmares and many triggers being out in the woods so the trip was more about supporting her to get to know the earth as a safe and loving place. Very hard, but also important.

10. Utilize the power of Words: Three more posts and only one more to go in this series. It has been strengthening to make sure that I take action every day (and write about it every few days). I will shortly be turning my writing attention back to lecture slides and lesson plans.

The checklist is based on my skills, passions, and capacities. What are your skills and capacity? What ignites your love, anger, and passion for change? Can you make a commitment to regular action? 

30 Days for Climate Justice Day 28: Solidifying a Bee Protection Action Plan (and How You Can Too)

Motion: to ban neonicitinoids and glyphosites on public land and parks in the City of Bellingham. 

At the beginning of summer I began to look into what it would take to get neocicotinoids and glyphosates banned in Whatcom County and to reach out to likeminded folks who might want to join me in this work. The work has included research into local laws and policies as well as guidelines from groups that have been successful in these endeavors. I am clarifying my project for a doable starting place. Bellingham is having an election this year so I am making this a year long project toward the motion above.

This is the plan:

  • Attend the October 5 candidate debate meeting in Bellingham and find out which candidates will verbally agree to support the motion.
  • After the election submit a proposal written in legalese with the support of Jason Davidson at Friends of the Earth (FOE).
  • Find allies for the project that are part of 350 Bellingham, the Climate Strike.
  • Join the committee to have my workplace, WWU, become a certified bee campus.

After some frustrating attempts to garner support for the project, I had a really wonderful meeting with Jason Davidson at FOE. He is the Food and Agriculture Associate at FOE and supporter of the Bee Action Campaign. He has offered support at every step of the process to set up bee protected areas at made it clear that this support is part of the mandate of his job and purpose of the organization. I appreciate being able to consult with someone who has gone through the process and have official proposal letter drafts to amend rather than having to draw up each piece from scratch!

This project will remain on my schedule over the upcoming teaching year but the plan feels like a manageable one. It is my hope that other folks will also take this up in their cities, counties, and states. Can you find a few like minded people? Can you work with FOE and present a proposal to your city council? We cannot survive without bees and, if you are in the US, it’s up to us to make this happen in localized pockets because it’s not happening on a federal level! 

Please let me know if you have questions about joining a movement in Bellingham or starting one elsewhere. 

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#savethebees #givebeesachance #noclimateapathy #climateactionnow #climatejustice #togetherwearestrong

 

 

 

 

30 Days for Climate Justice Day 27: Practical Ways to Save the Amazon Forests

We’ve seen the pictures: The amazon is on fire. The governmental inaction is genocidal to the Indigenous nations that live there and depend on it and to the many endangered species who have nowhere to go. To make it much worse, the fires are not an accident. The Waorani people of Pastaza recently won a lawsuit giving them control over their traditional and rightful rainforest homelands that kept their lands from being auctioned off to big oil companies without their consent. The fires began shortly after and leaked documents suggest that Bolsonaro’s work is really sinister. As is my consistent refrain, this is not a time for us to just spread fear and panic without concrete action. This is not a time to spread helplessness and the idea that there is nothing we can do. The lungs of our earth our on fire. What will we do about it? Here are some concrete steps I am taking, please join me!

Support Amazon Watch:

Indigenous nations are organized in the work to protect their home and, by extension, life on this planet. The organization Amazon Watch is mobilized for this protection through multiple projects: fighting corporations such as Cheveron, Black Rock, Geopark, and Amazon, advocating for Women Defenders of the Amazon, protesting crude oil, agitating the government, and building solidarity. The links make it easy, please follow them and do what you can.

pledge-solidarity-with-brazils-resistance

Amazon Watch is doing the hard and practical work to preserve life for all of us. I urge everyone who is sharing pictures of the amazon burning (and yes, we need to know it’s happening) to also share the work of Amazon Watch and support their calls to action. If you have any wiggle room in your budget, you can donate to them here: https://amazonwatch.org/donate

Sign and Circulate Petitions: 

  • Gabriel Santos, a lawyer in Rio Branco, is circulating a petition to urge all levels of government to take action and to gain support for the investigation into governmental causes of the fires as way to sabotage Indigenous sovereignty, control, and survival. Sign and circulate here: http://chng.it/w5bdrVq8xy
  • Greenpeace is also generating support: http://act.greenpeace.org/page/39922/-/

 

Agitate Politicians:

I called PM Justin Trudeau and the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs as well as the Governor of Washington and Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell. For each, I recited the following script which you are welcome to use either whole or in part:

“I am calling as a concerned [citizen, constituent, community member] regarding the amazon fires. I urge you as [role] to pressure the government of Brazil to take swift action to fight the fires with much more efficiency and to offer concrete and practical support to make this happen. We all depend on these forests as they provide 20% of the world’s oxygen. We are not in a time when any government can afford to be complacent. Please take fast action to ensure the well-being of future generations.”

Canadian Government Contacts:

State Governors and US Senator Contacts:

Here is my request to everyone: please copy the link to this post or to Amazon Watch and paste it as a comment to every post you see on social media that show the fires without a call to action. We need to develop a habit of action and support each other in taking up our personal power to do this work.

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30 Days for Climate Justice Day 26: Protect the Endangered Species Act in the US

NRDC and the Defenders of Wildlife have petitions with sample letters. We know phone calls are given far more weight than petitions, so after signing I gratefully used the Defenders of Wildlife letter template as a script for phone messages federally and on the state level.

The Script:

I am one of the 4 in 5 Americans [or “concerned individuals” if you are writing outside the US] who support the Endangered Species Act and do not want to see it gutted. I am outraged you are proposing to dramatically weaken the law that has helped bring countless imperiled species back from the brink of extinction.
Without the ESA, we might not have the bald eagle, the manatee, the grizzly bear, the American gray wolf, or the American alligator, among many other species.
I am especially troubled that the proposed changes will:
* Make it more difficult to extend protections to threatened species, delaying lifesaving action until a species’ population is so small it may be challenging or impossible to save
* Exempt climate change from key parts of the law, making it more difficult to protect the polar bear, the bearded seal, and many other imperiled species that are impacted by the effects of climate change
* Allow economic factors to be analyzed when deciding if a species should be saved
* Make it easier for companies to build roads, pipelines, mines, and other industrial projects in critical habitat areas that are essential to imperiled species’ survival
Please reverse course and save the Endangered Species Act. Thank you.
Sincerely,
[Your Name]
Calling Federal Government:
DT [The president]: 202-456-1111
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt: (202) 208-3100
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross [Rebecca Glover Contact]: (202) 482-4883
Calling State Governors:
I also urge everyone to contact their state governor (you can find the contact info at the link) to either urge them to take a strong position against the weakening of the ESA or to congratulate them for doing so and offer your steadfast support.
Washington Contacts: 
  • Tara Lee
    Governor Inslee’s Communications Office
    360.902.4136
  • Dan Jackson, Office of the Attorney General: DanJ1@atg.wa.gov
    360.753.2716
I left messages with the following script: “thank you for your clear statement in support of the EPA. Please know that while you might face federal resistance, you are acting on behalf of the views of your constituents and creating a livable future or the next generation. Thank you.” The relief they had upon hearing something positive was palpable.
If your state senator has not issues a statement of support, an email or phone call, I recommend contacting them with the script above.
Calling makes me jittery, I do not trust this administration to listen, but I will not be silenced by this! We cannot be silenced. This morning I am working with chronic pain and high fatigue and am on my on with my complicated kids at home. The calls were my way of doing what I can for climate justice within this. It is my way of not going “gently into the darkest of days.”
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