Get Ready: Protesters Vow to 'Flood the System' for Climate and Planetary Justice
Get Ready: Protesters Vow to 'Flood the System' for Climate and Planetary Justice
By Sarah Lazare / commondreams.org
May 22, 2015

From the tar sands of Alberta to the Port of Seattle to the communities in the blast zone of oil trains, organizers across North America are calling for a "wave of resistance" this fall to "shut down the economic and political systems threatening our survival."

Under the banner of "Flood the System," the announcement was unveiled Wednesday by Rising Tide North America, part of an international climate justice network. The mass actions, slated for September and November, are timed to lead up to the United Nations COP21 climate negotiations slated to take place in Paris in November and December.

Organizers say they are targeting the international gathering in order to highlight exactly what is not working. "[T]he UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process has been co-opted by elite interests and... any Paris outcomes will be insufficient to meaningfully address the climate crisis and ensure justice for the majority of the world’s people," declares a press statement.

But the real target goes far beyond any one event or body. "We need to wash away the root causes of climate change—capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy and colonialism," reads the group's call-to-action. "These systems enable the domination of people and Earth. They place gains for the elite before the well being of our communities."

"We need to wash away the root causes of climate change—capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy and colonialism." 

—Rising Tide North America

So as people from around the world mobilize and demand meaningful change at the talks in Paris, and highlight grassroots solutions, Flood the System will stage direct actions across North America.

Sandy Nurse, organizer with the New York City chapter of Rising Tide, told Common Dreams that the network is urging people to plan their own actions locally and coordinate regionally and continentally through spokescouncils—formed when affinity groups come together around a common purpose. Nurse said that, while actions are not yet public, "there are a lot of ideas. Groups might block oil trains, they might block fossil fuel destruction."

Organizers in the U.S. and Canada are having "initial conversations" with groups in Mexico about the coordinated actions.

If past actions are any indication, Flood the System will make a big splash.

Rising Tide Seattle is one of the organizations behind last week's series of direct actions—by land and sea—to protest Shell Oil's arctic drilling fleet in the Port of Seattle.

Furthermore, many of those organizing Flood the System were involved in last year's more than 400,000-strong People's Climate March in New York City, followed by the "Flood Wall Street" demonstration and sit-in attended by thousands in the financial district of lower Manhattan—the hub of global capitalism.

Organizers say Flood the System looks to other movements for inspiration, especially those "led by low-wage workers, immigrants, and communities responding to police brutality," with many Rising Tide organizers directly involved in, or allying with, these various struggles."

"There is a sense that there is so much happening right now that is powerful and empowering from the grassroots," said Nurse. "People are expressing anger, taking to the streets, not fearful, and very activated in a way that has caught the imagination of the entire country and many places around the world."

"Communities on the front lines of fossil fuel extraction are fighting back," said Ahmed Gaya, an organizer with Rising Tide Seattle, in a statement. "From Seattle, to Alberta, to Appalachia, people are organized in opposition to extraction, and taking action to uproot the systems driving the crisis."

0.0 ·
0
Trending Today
Deconstructing Hierarchies: On Contrived Leadership and Arbitrary Positions of Power
Colin Jenkins · 9,996 views today · Bosses don't grow on trees. They don't magically appear at your job. They aren't born into their roles. They are created. They are manufactured to fulfill arbitrary positions...
Baraka (1992)
97 min · 8,389 views today · Featuring no conventional narrative, this film presents footage of people, places and things from around the world. From chaotic cities to barren wilderness, the movie takes...
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 4,554 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
The Myth of Romantic Love May Be Ruining Your Health
Susanne Vosmer · 3,846 views today · Romantic love in Western societies is often portrayed in a stereotypical way: two yearning halves, who search for each other to find their complete, original state. Few find...
Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss: Bracing for Trump's Anti-Worker, Corporate Agenda
Colin Jenkins · 3,760 views today · Rich people don’t have to have a life-and-death relationship with the truth and its questions; they can ignore the truth and still thrive materially. I am not surprised many...
Obama's Hidden Role in Worsening Climate Change
Stansfield Smith · 3,370 views today · It should be a scandal that leftists-liberals paint Trump as a special threat, a war mongerer – not Obama who is the first president to be at war everyday of his eight years...
Why I Think This World Should End
4 min · 3,280 views today · Sorry if this offends you. - Prince Ea
Prophecy Delivered! Martin Luther King Jr. and the Death of Democracy
Reverend Osagyefo Sekou · 3,164 views today · “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” Democracy is dead. It...
Trump Is a Symptom of a Sickness That Is Raging All Across The World
1 min · 3,141 views today · This is why we are here. And this is what we need to remember. 
Trump: The Illusion of Change
Helena Norberg-Hodge · 3,034 views today · “Only by restoring the broken connections can we be healed.” — Wendell Berry
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 2,784 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Make The Serengeti Great Again | Resource Scarcity, Demagogues and How Creativity Can Trump Hate (2017)
5 min · 2,484 views today · A Familiar Tale of Resource Scarcity, Demagogues, and How Creativity Can Trump Hate A quick, original, illustrated allegory that pokes at the demagogues we’ve got with an...
Thoughts on the Eve of the Trump Regime
Mark Corske · 2,201 views today · A blend of dread, disgust, rage, and despair for the future, all in a state of shocked disbelief—if you feel something like this facing the Trump regime’s ascent to power...
What Is My Activism Really About? to Love, Serve and Remember
Tim Hjersted · 1,142 views today · I have made a promise to this world that I will carry with me to my last days. It is my vow to lessen the suffering of the world while I am here - it is to ensure that every...
Why It's Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound
Bethany Webster · 875 views today · The issue at the core of women’s empowerment is the mother wound
Escape! From the Cult of Materialism (2016)
50 min · 844 views today · Does the philosophy of materialism work to destroy our identities, experience, and environment? Join narrator Daphne Ellis on a radical romp through the evidence and decide for...
Union Co-Operatives: What They Are and Why We Need Them
Simon Taylor · 824 views today · Neoliberal policies contribute to alienation, disempowerment and non-unionised jobs, but a new model for unions could break the vicious circle, argues Simon Taylor.
Something Better to Offer Trump Voters Tired of Waiting for Their Turn
David Korten · 698 views today · A world free of extremes of wealth and poverty in which no one needs to stand in line for a chance at a secure and fulfilling life.
Living Through an Age of Unraveling: Reflections as We Enter 2017
Martin Winiecki · 684 views today · “There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly.” ― R. Buckminster Fuller
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 655 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
Get Ready: Protesters Vow to 'Flood the System' for Climate and Planetary Justice