From Yes Magazine: http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/fearless-summer-how-battle-to-stop-climate-change-got-ferocious
A series of actions that took place this summer helped to shift the climate movement’s center of gravity.
by Kristin Moe
Sep 10, 2013
In Richmond, Calif., over two hundred people sat down at a Chevron oil refinery and refused to leave. Outside Boston, Mass., they were handcuffed at the state’s largest coal plant. On Seneca Lake in New York, they paddled a flotilla of kayaks across the water to protest a natural gas storage facility. In Utah, and Texas, and West Virginia, and in other places across the country, they simply placed their bodies in front of the land they wanted to protect.
This has been a #FearlessSummer: three hot months of nonviolent resistance to the fossil fuel industry in all its incarnations, from coal plants in Appalachia to oil refineries in California and fracking wells in Pennsylvania. Born of a potent mix of hope and desperation, #FearlessSummer represents a larger shift in the climate movement’s tactics: away from big-name organizations and electoral politics and toward decentralized, high-stakes direct actions led by those most at risk.
Some of those most at risk live on reservations in the Northern Plains, where the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, they fear, will threaten not only their land and water supply, but that of the entire region. For them, #FearlessSummer has been a rigorous preparation for more overt action. In Montana on August 23, activists began the latest in a series of “Moccasins on the Ground” trainings in preparation for the pipeline’s construction. They have vowed, if necessary, to stand in its way. Debra White Plume, an Oglalla Lakota activist from the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, has been leading these trainings across the region.
“They’re going to have to run over us, or destroy us, or put us in jail to have their pipeline,” she says.
Her sentiments are echoed in actions across the country, where organizers are turning to more creative and confrontational means of protest, including civil disobedience. The stakes are rising, it seems, along with temperatures—and years of unprecedented heat, drought, floods, and storms. 2012 was the hottest year on record in the United States; that summer, fires raged and corn withered on the stalks. And then there was Hurricane Sandy, which flooded subways and shredded boardwalks. As more people sweated and evacuated and watched the news in disbelief, they took notice: This is climate change. This demands action.
Continue reading at: http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/fearless-summer-how-battle-to-stop-climate-change-got-ferocious