NONVIOLENT

DIRECT ACTION


Thurs – Convergence space opens  |  Fri – Trainings  |  Sat – Actions  |  Sun – Actions

*tentative, more detail coming soon

Join our text loop.
Text @breakfreepnw to 23559.
Receive important information.

To ensure a livable planet for our children and those in the global south we must transition out of the fossil fuel economy now. Current policies utterly fail to meet this urgency, and governments and industry refuse to engage in a serious conversation about the solutions we need.

We have worked within the system for decades, to almost no effect. But when people take power back into their own hands, we can create change. Indeed, this is the only way real change has ever happened.

 

Over three days, we’ll put our bodies on the line to stop the flow of oil into and out of the March Point refineries.

 

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to so dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored.”

We believe that civil disobedience and direct action have the moral force to break the power of the fossil fuel industry over our government and communities, and to drive real discussion about what’s needed to avoid climate chaos and make a just transition to 100% renewable energy.

To learn more, attend an NVDA training or teach-in, and join the text loop (text @breakfreepnw to 23559). There will also be trainings at our convergence space at Deception Pass. If you can’t or don’t want to risk arrest, you can support the actions, attend the workshops, and join us for Saturday’s march. However you take part, we’d love for you to be there. In these three days, we’ll all embody our determination and our fierce love for this place–because very soon, we all have to find a way to end the use of fossil fuels forever. Help us make history.

  • Come for all three days if you can. We need you. If you can only come for a day, pick the day that works best for you.
  • There will be opportunities for mass direct action throughout the mobilization, both on land and on the water.
  • Direct action isn’t just about getting arrested; it’s about claiming our power to build the world we need. It’s possible the police will choose not to arrest people. If you can, be prepared for a multi-day occupation or blockade.
  • On Saturday, we’ll take part in an indigenous-led ceremony on March Point. (No direct action will be initiated during the event.)
  • Can’t risk arrest? No worries. There will be many ways to support those who are. We’ll also have workshops, a solutions expo, music, and speakers.
  •  It will be a powerful weekend for community and movement-building, with activists from around the region.
Action Agreements

We will use no physical violence towards any person:
We will take action and conduct ourselves in a manner that avoids violence and the threat of violence towards other living things. We will attempt to conduct ourselves in a way that matches our moral force, recognizing that ideas of proper conduct and verbal violence are heavily influenced by culture and racism.

We will carry no weapons:
We will carry no object with the intent to use it to harm another person or living thing.

We will not destroy other’s property:
We take no responsibility for property destruction by law enforcement, Shell or Tesoro.

We will prioritize safety in our actions:
We will take care to avoid placing others in danger, including coordinating our actions to avoid placing each other in unexpected situations. We understand that the refinery is a complex and dangerous facility and we will take care in our actions not to create unsafe conditions for workers or the surrounding community. With this in mind we will not block refinery workers from entering or exiting their job site.

We will plan our actions with an understanding that some communities risk more than others by participating:
People of color, trans people, disabled people, indigenous peoples, poor people and other historically marginalized groups are often treated differently by law enforcement and legal systems than white activists. We will take these disparities into consideration when planning our actions.

We will communicate with law enforcement only through designated police liaisons:
Given the history of law enforcement dividing social movements to stymie their effectiveness, we will not cooperate with surveillance, infiltration, disruption, and violence by law enforcement:

We will act with respect for the indigenous peoples whose land we occupy:
Understanding the complexities and history of settler colonialism, we will do our best to not use language that further invisibilizes native histories and presence. We will also not presume to speak for indigenous people or other communities unless we are explicitly asked by them to do so.

We will respect and uplift the voices and power of those that have been traditionally marginalized, especially indigenous people, women of color and trans people of color:
Through this action, we will continue to build momentum to fight the systems of oppression — capitalism, racism, patriarchy, colonialism — that are the root causes of climate change. We recognize that we cannot overcome the climate crisis without ending these oppressions.

We will avoid unilateral public denunciations of fellow activists participating in Break Free:
Our opposition to climate chaos and our commitment to hastening a just transition is unified. Concerns and criticism will first be addressed internally and directly, and will be mediated within an anti-oppression framework.

Affinity Groups

With three days of workshops, actions and events there’s a lot to do. We ask that affinity groups respect all coalition action agreements and contact the tactical working-group to coordinate their actions.

Legal

It’s hard to know exactly what the consequences will be because that’s up to the county prosecutors, however here’s what we do know:

  • The most likely charges for anyone committing Civil Disobedience are all misdemeanors.
  • There is always the possibility of more significant charges.
  • The most common are criminal trespass, and disorderly conduct.
  • There are a few misdemeanors related directly to trains and ports like obstructing a train.
  • The likely consequences of a misdemeanor conviction are a fine.
  • Everyone arrested MAY have to return to Anacortes for a later court date/s. If you plan to take your charges to trial the process could last as long as a year or more
Break Free PNW Coalition is encouraging those who are arrested – and are able – to stay in custody and then get release don their own recognizance (without posting bail). We are asking those who will need to be get out – and have the financial resources – to provide their own bail. Give it to your legal support person in a clearly labeled envelope.
We are committed to raising funds so that people who are unexpectedly arrested and people who might be targeted while being held in jail (people of color, indigenous people, trans, undocumented people) can be bailed out. Please contribute as you as able for that fund HERE

Our friends at the Civil Liberties Defense Center have created these excellent legal resources to give you more information. We strongly recommend you read them before the action.

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