'Not a Symbol, a Signal': Wave of Direct Actions Points to Fossil-Free Future
On final day of two-week Break Free mobilization, demonstrations take place in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Turkey, and beyond
'Not a Symbol, a Signal': Wave of Direct Actions Points to Fossil-Free Future
"While this action was symbolic, it wasn't just a symbol, it was a signal," said Break Free Albany organizer Marla Marcum. "It's a signal that business as usual is over." (Photo: Break Free/Brooke Anderson | Survival Media Agency/flickr/cc)
By Deirdre Fulton / commondreams.org
May 16, 2016

Mass arrests took place during the weekend's Break Free actions around the world, and more demonstrations were happening on Sunday, the final day of a global wave of actions calling for a just transition away from fossil fuels. 

More than 100 people were arrested Sunday at a coal mine in Germany, the site of a three-day mobilization that saw close to 4,000 participants total—"unprecedented in Europe," noted 350 Europe, which released this video summing up the protest:

Meanwhile, in Anacortes, Washington, 52 people were arrested early Sunday morning when police raided the Break Free encampment and blockade of the train tracks leading to nearby oil refineries. 

A press statement from organizers noted that there is "No word yet on charges for those responsible for the climate crisis. Shell and Tesoro officials are still at large."

Oil train blockaders in Albany, New York, called it a day around midnight on Saturday, after having successfully shut down crude oil train traffic in the city for nearly 12 hours. Police officers in Albany had opted not to make arrests, though five people were taken into custody earlier in the day.

"While this action was symbolic, it wasn't just a symbol, it was a signal," said Break Free Albany organizer Marla Marcum. "It's a signal that business as usual is over. The campaign to ban bomb trains will continue, and our pursuit of a swift and just transition away from fossil fuels will equal the urgency of the climate change crisis we face. We'll be back."

Break Free actions continued Sunday in Turkey, where thousands demonstrated against new coal plants; near Chicago, where people from around the Midwest will protest toxic oil and gas infrastructure that puts lives and livelihoods at risk; and Washington, D.C., where the demand is to end offshore drilling and keep fossil fuels in the ground. The 88,200-gallon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico this week gave that call additional urgency, wrote Greenpeace's Ryan Schleeter on Saturday. 

Follow the actions on Twitter:


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

3.8 ·
1
Featured Pay Per View Films
Generation Revolution (2017)
72 min
A Quest for Meaning (2017)(Free till Jan 29th)
88 min
Fall and Winter (2013)
102 min
Trending Today
The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves
Yasha Levine7,449 views today ·
Paramedic's Response to "Burger Flippers" Making an Equal $15/Hour is Beautiful
Craig Carilli3,582 views today ·
A Quest for Meaning (2017)(Free till Jan 29th)
88 min2,247 views today ·
"Desert Goddess" Remembers Arizona's Glen Canyon
7 min2,058 views today ·
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley1,922 views today ·
The Surprising Nobility of Shit: a Serious Response to President Donald Trump’s ‘Shithole’ Remarks About African Immigrants
Adebayo Akomolafe1,489 views today ·
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min1,411 views today ·
A Brief History of The 40 Hour Work Week
8 min584 views today ·
This Facebook Comment About the UK Election Is Going Viral
Chris Renwick534 views today ·
Load More


Love Films For Action? 

It's hard to rely 100% on ads to keep our organization going.
If you get some value from this library, consider making a donation today.

Support us on Patreon

Coming soon! We're days away from launching a Patreon campaign! We hope you'll be among the first to support this new direction for Films For Action. The goal is to go 100% ad-free by next year, and become 100% member supported!

Join us on Facebook
'Not a Symbol, a Signal': Wave of Direct Actions Points to Fossil-Free Future