In Albany, on May 14, 2016, thousands of people will stand in the way of the fossil fuel industry in North America by blockading a major rail yard that ships dangerous crude oil by so-called Bomb trains. Can you donate $10 to help us shut down fossil fuels, stand with frontline communities and invest in a just transition?
We're teaming up with a global coalition that includes 350.org, Greenpeace and dozens of frontline groups to drive the Break Free 2016 week of actions around the U.S. This week I want to tell you about the event in Albany on May 14 -- The biggest action planned in the Northeast and a major focal point of the fight against extreme oil.
Representing a coalition from across the region, our plan is to gather with frontline communities, including Ezra Prentice Homes, and others living in the oil train blast zone. This act of mass civil disobedience against oil trains will also stand against fracked gas pipelines (including AIM and Constitution), and other fossil fuel projects, like the Pilgrim Pipelines. Many of us will participate in direct action, and many more will come to rally and stand in solidarity.
Our plan is for a big, complicated but coordinated blockade - it involves a huge protest on land including potentially hundreds of people risking arrest. There will be banners stretched across the river and dropped off the railroad bridges, and a colorful kayak flotilla. It will be beautiful, fun, and make clear the stakes we are facing in the looming climate crisis.
But to make all this happen, we urgently need to raise $1000. Your donation will help with training, logistical support, kayak rentals and more. To change everything, it takes everyone - what do you say? Click here to donate $10 or more to support the Albany Break Free Action.
New York, and Albany in particular, has become a major hub for crude oil coming to the east coast from the Bakken shale fields of North Dakota. That oil has been rolling through New York on trains. Now the controversial Pilgrim Pipelines, if approved, would greatly increase the oil-train traffic to Albany, piping crude from this key hub to refineries in New Jersey. This is in addition to the plethora of planned pipelines to carry fracked gas from the Marcellus shale.
One corporation, Global Partners, operates a terminal which offloads crude oil into barges to be shipped to refineries to the south. The terminal is situated in the Port of Albany, immediately behind Ezra Prentice Homes, a low-income housing development. Explosive bomb trains pass just feet from the playground and the back of an apartment building. Oil cars are parked behind the apartments off-gassing toxic fumes which waft through the neighborhood. Global Partners is currently being sued for violating its air pollution permit.
From every end of the state, these trains are rolling through densely populated neighborhoods and cities. Oil trains come south from Canada along the shores of Lake Champlain. Trains come along the Mohawk Valley, through Buffalo and Rochester. Much of the oil train traffic passes through CSX’s Selkirk yard, where there was an oil train derailment in February 2014, and south along the banks of the Hudson River to refineries in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
So this is where we plan to take our stand, to protect those most in harm’s way, and to say we must keep these fossil fuels in the ground for a just and livable future. Our action is just one of a global wave of mass actions that will target the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects in order to keep coal, oil and gas in the ground and accelerate the just transition to 100% renewable energy.
Click here to chip in and support the break free week of action - and our iconic Albany action in particular.
Marla Marcum, Founder at the Climate Disobedience Center, for Environmental Action
PS - if you live nearby or want to come to Albany on May 14 for the action, you can learn more at albany2016.org