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Direct Action Campaigns Worldwide Target Fossil Fuel Industry

EcoWatch

By Lauren Berlekamp

As the summer heats up, awareness is quickly escalating across the world as different direct action campaigns target a common denominator: the fossil fuel industry.

Earlier this year, organizers including 350.org launched the Summer Heat and Fearless Summer campaigns, calling for a global uprising to "peacefully but firmly" stand up to the industry that is wrecking our future.

As people are joining together to embrace non-violent direct action on behalf of the climate, 350.org  published the Creative Action Cookbook to encourage cohesive thoughtful action based on the variety of resources and skill sets of those involved. As humanity faces the uncertainties of the damage already done by pollution, this tenacious movement is focused on building a world that values the principles of "empathy, mutual aid and love."

Over the past several weeks, direct actions challenging fossil fuel infrastructure have brought to light some of the most imminent hazards of this dangerous industry, while at the same time promoting a sustainable and renewable future.

According to Tar Sands Blockade, Swamp Line 9, a group dedicated to keeping Enbridge from modifying their 240,000 barrel/day Line 9 pipeline to carry tar sands bitumen, kicked off the first day of summer with a powerful action at a pump station on Haudenosaunee Six Nations land near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Blockaders occupied the site and held strong for six days as activists with Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance in Oklahoma were disrupting the construction of another pump station for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline the same week. On the dramatic final day of the Swamp Line 9 blockade, four people who were locked to machinery and 16 others were arrested.

The action kicked off Idle No More’s Sovereignty Summer with a righteous display of the movement’s strength and determination, highlighting the involvement and solidarity of First Nations whose lands are being targeted as "energy sacrifice" zones across North America.

On June 29, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth International, Sierra Club and other organizational allies demonstrated during an international day of solidarity with the youth activists attending Global Power Shift. Actions all over the world were calling for an end to the age of coal and promoting a clean energy future just days after four people locked themselves outside the UBS headquarters in Connecticut to protest the bank's continued funding of mountaintop removal coal mining.

On Canada Day, more than 500 gathered in Southampton, Ontario, to oppose a proposed nuclear waste dump less than a mile from the shores of Lake Huron, bringing this grave issue some necessary attention.

Other early Fearless Summer actions across the U.S. include a blockade that stopped trucks attempting to dump tar sands waste alongside the Detroit River; a flash mob that included activists from Occupy Wall St and Occupy the Pipeline protesting the Spectra and Rockaway fracked gas pipelines during lunchtime in one of Manhattan’s busiest neighborhoods; and a confrontation by the Utah Tar Sands Resistance of road construction crews who are in the process of clear cutting, leveling and paving the way for tar sands, oil shale and fracking across the Colorado River Basin.

A week and a half before the tragic train explosion in Quebec last Saturday, 350 Maine and Maine Earth First! teamed up to bring attention to the hazards of transporting fracked oil by blockading a train carrying 70,000 barrels of crude coming from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota.

Earlier this week, hundreds of Earth First! activists and allies brought attention to Momentive (headquarterd in Columbus, OH), one of the largest suppliers of fracking fluids, by blockading the shipping entrance to one of their facilities in North Carolina and successfully shutting down operations for the day.

Yesterday, Greenpeace activists bravely scaled Europe's tallest skyscraper in London to bring attention to the Shell's plans to drill in the Arctic.

As the number of direct actions grow across the Earth, communities are uniting to pressure their elected officials and other entities to acknowledge that we must divest from the fossil fuels and move toward a renewable energy future. This fearless movement to defend our future is just getting started—with much more to come.

Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.

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SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS BELOW: After reading the Creative Action Cookbook, what inspires you to act?

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