Appearance at the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

On September 20, we were part of a special line-up of performers at the Portland Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of its founding in The Hague, Netherlands.  This is such an important group, and we are honored to have been included.  WILPF and the RGs are kindred souls. With combined voices, we can and will make this world a better place for future generations.

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Honoring the work of the Lummi Nation to protect the Earth

On Monday, August 24, from 5:30 to 8 pm, members of the Lummi Nation will be blessing a new totem at St. Philip Neri Parish.  The Portland Raging Grannies are honored to support the efforts of the Lummi Nation to protect their sacred burial grounds (Xwe’chi’eXen), their environment, and their fishing rights from the threat of the Gateway Terminal and resulting desecration of the burial grounds, polluting coal trains, environmental pollution, and loss of fish population.

The Lummi people are the original inhabitants of Washington’s northernmost coast and southern British Columbia. For thousands of years, they have worked, struggled, and celebrated life on the shores and waters of Puget Sound.

The members of the Portland Raging Grannies are  devoted to the various battles to protect the Earth from the ravages of the fossil fuel industry. We hail the Lummi and other indigenous peoples as leaders in this struggle and appreciate the power the Lummi possess in treaty rights and in the Boldt decision regarding fishing rights.

Therefore, the Portland Raging Grannies support the efforts of the Lummi Nation, and to honor and support the work of the Lummi Nation, we are making a monetary gift to the Lummi Nation to help them continue their work.

All are welcome to the spirit filled event at 16th and Division in SE Portland.  There is plenty of parking and you can also take the #4 bus.

Some of our members and Grandchildren in front of the Lummi totem.

Some of our members and Grandchildren in front of the Lummi totem.

Thoughts on Granny Activism and #ShellNo

This posting was written by one of our members, but its contents reflect the shared perspective of the Portland Raging Grannies.

On Saturday, July 25th, Grannies from Seattle and Portland joined together with many other groups and a flotilla of kayaks to focus attention on the Fennica, a ship that Royal Dutch Shell may use in the Arctic in offshore drilling.  The ship is an icebreaker that also carries the equipment for spill response.  The icebreaker struck something (how can it be unidentified?) in the Aleutian Islands which tore a hole in the hull.    Not an inspiring beginning to Shell’s Arctic venture.

Public responses to articles about the action contained both praise and condemnation.   Well, of course . . . there is no public consensus about fossil fuel consumption and production, much less about the climate crisis.    I don’t want to attach a reading list here – just go on-line and look for climate crisis/change.   I do believe that the crisis exists and that through private and public actions everyone can make positive change.  And I do think that change is possible.

There seems to be verbiage about only the impeccable being allowed to speak about change.  As I look through the history of change – public or private – I see a history of fallible individuals striving for a positive possible.  Often those individuals are labeled hypocrites or trouble makers or even terrorists.   Utah Phillips quoted labor organizers “ Armed only with our sense of degradation as human beings we came together and organized and changed the condition of our lives.    It’s good trouble.”   And it is good trouble for us to Rage as Grannies.

And don’t feel guilty for not being able to do it all, just do what you can.   So often when Grannies are asked why they are on the streets and in the actions I hear them say, “I need to be able to answer when my children and grandchildren ask what I did about the problems – I was active, I was visible, I did what I could for you and your children.”

And here are a few pictures of Grannies in action on the water at the St. Johns Bridge where Greenpeace activists are dangling off the bridge and kayaktivists are working to prevent the Fennica icebreaker from leaving port.

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A Response to Commentors in the Oregonian: On Being a Portland Kayaktivist and Living in an Oil Dependent World

This posting was written by one of our members, but its contents reflect the shared perspective of the Portland Raging Grannies.

The post is in response to the comments made on the Oregonian/OregonLive article about the event.

            I am one of the Portland Kayaktivists who took to the river Saturday to bring greater awareness to the community at large of the very grave danger we are all in due to the extractivist economy we are all part of – whether we want to be or not.

Some of you point out that these crazy kayaktivists most probably drove their cars to the starting point and then climbed into their kayaks made of petroleum products.

Yes.  We are painfully aware of this apparent contradiction.  And we do all within our power to participate in the extractivist economy to the least degree possible.

Quite a few kayaktivists and land activists rode their bicycles to the starting point and then used the rental kayaks to join the flotilla.  The rental kayaks arrived about fifteen to a vehicle – so the least possible amount of petroleum product was used to transport them over land.

Others, like me, drove our cars.  I use my car very little.  I ride my bike to do the bulk of my errands.  If I need to go into the city, I take the bus.  I use twelve tanks of gas per year.  I keep records for tax purposes and I know I have accurate figures on this.  I use bus, train or, regrettably, airplane, for longer trips.  This is the economy I live in.  I choose to see my grandchildren several times per year because they bring so much joy into my life.

It is very difficult to look at extinction point blank.  It takes a great deal of courage.  It is really hard to live with the knowledge that we may be one of the last generations to inhabit this earth – that human beings, like the DoDo Bird, are subject to extinction.  Nobody wants to live in the interminable state of depression this knowledge can bring to one’s life.  Most people choose to look in a different direction.

One way to deal with it is to make fun of the people who choose to look into the future, no matter how bleak it may look.

Another way is to say, “They may be right, but if it’s true, I’m just going to live my life as happily as I can.  There’s nothing I can do about it anyway.”

Others say it must be God’s will.

I’ve heard people say, “What’s so wonderful about humans, anyway?”

If it were only humans it might not be so bad.  Unfortunately, we’re probably talking about most, if not all, life forms.  That’s a pretty awful spectacle – and far be it for me to blame folks for not wanting to look.

The way I’ve chosen to deal with the reality I cannot hide from is to do things like the Kayaktivist Flotilla.

We had a lot of fun telling the folks on the Fennica Ice Breaker to go as slowly as possible repairing the leaky vessel that is required by its Obama-gifted licensure to be up in the Arctic next to Shell’s drilling rigs before they can legally (not morally, just legally) drill for oil in the extraordinarily sensitive Arctic waters.

The longer the repair takes, the less time they have to drill.  The drilling season is still pretty short.  Of course, as Climate Disruption continues, we can expect that the time available for drilling will become longer!

I choose to deal with  Climate Disruption by becoming active with people and activities I enjoy while remaining aware of the incredible danger we are all in and remaining open to new knowledge about how to hold it off and eventually to overcome it.

Shell No! Kayaktivism against Shell’s Icebreaker to Protest Arctic Drilling

On Saturday, July 25, a number of our members participated in the on water protest against Arctic drilling.

We’ll be posting more in-depth information about why taking action against Shell and Arctic drilling is so important, but in the meantime, here are some links to what the popular press reported about the action.

We can send them messages of support as they #RiseUpTO // THE STORM IS COMING: Pan Am Economic & Climate Summits

July 8, 6:30am.
Meet at Berczy Park.
Surround the Royal York. March up Bay Street
Free Breakfast!
Join on facebook

On July 8th, the Pan American Economic and Climate Summits will meet at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto. That morning, the elites in this city will welcome with open arms some of the people most responsible for destroying our planet, pushing communities out of their homes, and making us poor. We will be there to give them a different sort of ‘welcome.’

On the morning of July 8th, we will come together rise like the swell of the ocean; and surround the Royal York Hotel. Together, we will assert our dreams of better worlds.

Some of the leaders of destruction that will be in attendance at the summits:

*Shell’s CEO, head of Precision Frac (leading Fracking Company), head of CAPP (Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, head of corporate Cap and Trade groups..

*US, EU, Canada and Ontario Chambers of Commerce, Tony Clement, HSBC CEO, E.L. Rothschild, BNP Paribas, TD Group..

*Head of OECD, David Johnson (Canada’s Governor General), the Inter-American Development Bank, Felipe Calderon, John Negroponte..

* Shimon Perez, Garda..

These villains gather in Toronto in less than five weeks – so we need to move quickly! We must spread the word and get organized. Please do these three things right away:
* Invite people to this facebook event page, click here.
* Share this image on facebook: https://goo.gl/zB1Fsc
* Download posters and put them up in your window or on your street corner from http://toronto.nooneisillegal.org/RiseUpTO

THE PLAN: While we are busy working late, capitalism parties early. So wake up with the sun and join us at 6:30am at Berczy park (Front and Church). Together, we will swarm the Royal York Hotel, and disrupt those entering the Pan Am Climate and Economic Summits. They will know that while they plot the destruction of our planet and our people, we challenge them at every turn, here and across the planet.

As the sun rises further, we will reassemble and surge up Bay Street. Like a swarm of birds, joined in our struggle and united in our rage, we will confront the financial and corporate headquarters of Canada in their shiny glass buildings as they open for business. As the super-rich and their pawns that sit on Bay Street stroll into work, we will rattle their doors, shake their spirit, and overwhelm them with our songs. We will continue to Toronto City Hall for free breakfast and end by 9:30am.

WHY?
Because we are against capitalism, colonialism and the climate crisis
Because we demand freedom to move, return and stay.
Because we want decent housing, an end to poverty and poor bashing, and racist police brutality.
Because we want an end to destructive mining and fossil fuel extraction.
Because we oppose wars and the national security state.
Because we have a responsibility to people around the world struggling for justice against those who are participating in the economic and climate summits in Toronto.

ACCESSIBILITY: This action will be a joyful protest, where will put our bodies in front of cars and people. There will be lots of singing. We ask that you come in groups and talk to your friends about what you’re comfortable with. Our aim is zero arrests and we will try to make the action as accessible as possible but due to its nature cannot guarantee complete accessibility or safety. We know that the racist and anti-poor police in Toronto are unpredictable so that can’t be guaranteed even if you’re walking down the street in the middle of the day on your own. Legal support will be provided. Please email us (nooneisillegal@riseup.net) if you have specific accessibility concerns.

For groups outside of Toronto that can coordinate transportation from their cities, please get in touch with us. Information about billets will soon be updated.

To endorse, please email nooneisillegal@riseup.net

Pembina is still with us?!

PEMBINA STILL PUSHING FOR PLANT IN NORTH PORTLAND

In the past few weeks Pembina has purchased a large amount of press coverage in an attempt to bring the terminal project back to the city council.   Mayor Hales came out in opposition to building a propane terminal in North Portland in May and the hearings on the plant were cancelled.

Pembina purchased a full page ad last week in the Oregonian last week.

On May 29th Commissioners Fish and Novick were given a private tour of the proposed plant site by Pembina.   Two groups were on hand to greet the Commissioners – 5 by land and 3 by sea.

You can read more at     #PembiMaybe?  POSTED BY SHELBY R. KING ON FRI, MAY 29, 2015 AT 5:14 PM  http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/blogs/BlogtownPDX/#a15741922

Pembina Propane Terminal: Another Sample Letter for Voicing Your Concern

This letter was written by Alice Shapiro, one of our members.

I am infuriated that the Planning and Sustainability commission did not block the permit for Pemina’s proposed propane terminal. Now it is up to Portland city commissioners and mayor to stop this project. I strongly urge our elected city officials to honor the repeated requests of Portland residents to protect us from this dangerous project. For example, as stated by Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility,

“the hazard zone of Pembina’s propane export terminal extends downwind from the terminal. An accident at the planned facility could release enough propane for a flammable propane vapor cloud to drift up to 5.3 miles downwind, according to a risk assessment conducted by Pembina. Pembina’s operations risk the safety of St. Johns and Hayden Island residents and businesses, and extends to Sauvie Island, downtown Vancouver, and beyond the Interstate Bridge. What’s more, Pembina has not provided the commission with information about how hazards from propane trains and propane tankers extend into neighborhoods and downriver communities.”

This fact more than frightens me and our city commissioners have the power to prevent this and other potential tragedies.

In addition, I am concerned about the climate effects this project will have. Burning propane would release millions of tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year, and this is counter to Portland’s climate action plans to reduce emissions locally. In a recent newsletter from the Columbia River Keepers (one of the numerous local environmental groups opposed to this project), “….Pembina’s operation at the Port of Portland alone would account for about 0.7% of Portland’s actual emissions…. And would produce about 0.01% of global CO2 emissions….” These data are shocking to me and do not even include the carbon emissions that would result from export, refining, and transport of the propane.

Portland will not be able to meet the carbon reduction goals stated in its climate action plan and would certainly contradict Portland’s recognition by the White House in 2014 as a Climate Action Champion!!

We must not allow this project to proceed.

Take Action Against the Pembina Terminal: Write a Letter to Portland City Council Members

Please join the Grannies in taking action against the Pembina Propane Terminal.  One way you can help is to write a letter to the Portland City Council Members.

Here is a sample letter you are welcome to use. Just fill in your information.

Dear Council Member:

My name is Your Name, I live at Your Address in Portland.  My phone number is Your Phone Number and my e-mail is Your email address.

I am writing about the upcoming vote on the Pembina Propane Terminal.    I believe that your vote on Pembina will shape votes in the future concerning fossil fuel infrastructure expansion.

There is increasing attention to climate change in the national press.  The New York Times with stories about the loss of Canadian glaciers by 2100, increasing drought in the area surrounding the Rio Grande River in Arizona and Texas.    In Feb, NOAA published a paper on  that is alarming in its predictions for eastern Oregon.

There are also numerous safety and climate change concerns about the transport of propane by rail through North and Northeast Portland neighborhoods.   Those concerns must be considered as a part of the proposal by Pembina.

Any action that furthers the increase in CO2 emissions must stop and evidence shows that the Pembina proposal will do just that.  We have reached a point at which climate extremism and climate realism have merged.

I urge you to VOTE NO! on Pembina and on all other fossil fuel expansion in Portland and Multnomah County.

FOR OUR CHILDREN (All of them, everywhere.)

FOR OUR FUTURE

FOR OUR PLANET

Thank you,

No Propane Terminal!

Although this letter was written by one of our members, the sentiment is shared by the group. We have taken part in a number of actions to voice concern about the Pembina Terminal in Portland.

No Propane Terminal
By Natalie Reich, Portland Raging Grannies

I am appalled by the decision of the Planning and Sustainability Commission to allow Pembina to proceed with the approval process for a Propane Terminal in Portland.   Portland won the title of Climate Champion based on a commitment to reduce carbon footprint by 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050.   This terminal would have the opposite effect by increasing emissions dramatically.   It would become the largest energy depleter and single largest carbon emitter in the metropolitan Portland area.

The Audobon Society, 350 PDX, Columbia River Keepers, Neighborhood Associations, Health Professionals, the Climate Action Committee, environmentalists, faith leaders, and others who care about our community and our planet are all opposed to this project.  We  packed the house during both hearings and made strong arguments against this violation of all that Portland stands for.

Why Portland should say yes to a foreign company that wants to ship up to 820 million gallons of propane gas? This gas will be shipped by rail (a train every other day) through the Columbia gorge to our port then down our Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean  so that China can manufacture plastics!  The Pembina Terminal can’t even be justified by the need for energy that is not Coal or Oil (although fracking  emits MORE methane than coal, and methane causes more ozone depletion than carbon!).

There are multiple reasons to say “no” to Propane.   I am focusing on Climate Change, because Mayor Hales made a commitment for Portland to reduce our carbon emissions.    Numerous other communities have said “NO” to propane terminals; Portland needs to stand with them and be part of the solution to the crisis that will be on our planet if we don’t leave 80% of the remaining fossil fuel in the ground, where it belongs.

Please stop Pembina in its tracks.   

Check our calendar for upcoming actions against the Pembina Terminal!