FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are you doing to protect the heronry and the eelgrass?
Why civil disobedience (CD)?
In his Letter from Birmingham City Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote: “We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface hidden tension that is already alive”. In this case, that hidden tension is the fact that the survival of a stable planet depends on our not going past 1.5°C of warming; despite widespread acknowledgement of this truth, at the moment, we’re on track for over 3°C, and there are no existing political plans that address this disparity. Many of us here in the NW risk far less than MLK did when we risk arrest--and far less than indigenous activists defending their lands elsewhere: it’s important those of us with privilege use that privilege to impact the policies that are taking such a terrible toll on the whole world.
How is Break Free part of the solution?
By both ratcheting up the pressure on the fossil fuel industry and politicians, and beginning a serious discussion about what a just transition and a clean energy economy can look like, we can help to create the conditions for the urgent process of that transformation.
What's the point of targeting an existing (rather than proposed) facility?
Well, for one thing, there’s not much business to target in a location where nothing has been built. But beyond that, we also need to start the discussion about shutting down plants that currently supply us with the fossil fuels that we depend on. We need to stop depending on them, and that will only happen if we as a society make a concerted effort to shift to clean renewables. Individual choices can’t be effective in a vacuum; we need systemic changes.
What are the risks from participating in CD?
This is a very big question, with many answers (all of them varying degrees of likely). The short answer is that all of the most likely charges are misdemeanors, though higher charges are possible. Everyone participating in CD should be prepared to stay overnight. Some of the details of various legal scenarios are here. You may not be arrested, despite some form of law-breaking; the police may decide it’s not worth their while, and wait people out. Please don’t be disappointed if this happens; getting arrested is not the point…the point is being willing to put yourself on the line and risk arrest—and in doing so, to disrupt business as usual.
What are the non-CD options for participation?
Many! We’re still figuring out what each day will look like, but the indigenous-led event will definitely not be lawbreaking (we’ll even have a permit!). There will also be art-making, trainings, workshops, and music and maybe screenings of the movie March Point. There will definitely be good and committed people doing their best to support an action that might help shift the narrative here in the Northwest.
You could also join the bike train from Seattle to Anacortes. (more here)
What's the schedule?
May 13-15. There will be opportunities for civil disobedience all three days; there will also be opportunities to support the potential arrestees all three days. Saturday will be the indigenous-led (non-arrestable) event.
What's the best day to be there for?
That depends on what you want, and how the week shapes up; much will be in flux till the actual days of the mobilization. But we expect the biggest day to be Saturday.
How do I stay in the loop, both before and during?
I'd like to help with recruiting more people, how do I get involved?
Sign up! We have people and materials—a powerpoint, a webinar, and a house party kit—available to help you.
Northern Rockies Rising Tide
Olympic Peninsula Group