2015 – The Year in Review

We began 2015 not with an action but a publication that we had worked on for many months of the previous year. Our ‘Security Culture Guidelines’ document outlines our thoughts on developing a healthy ‘security culture’. Rather than become paranoid, we strive to follow a set of guidelines which allow us to organize effectively while maximizing our own, and others’, safety. We acknowledge that these guidelines are a work in progress. We made our 2015 Security Culture document public (http://risingtide604.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Security-Culture-Document-January-20151.pdf) so others could read it, consider its suggestions and make plans to organize safely amid the security state.

1In February over a hundred people attended our Madii Lii Pancakes Not Pipelines brunch fundraiser. The camp is located at the entrance to Madii Lii territory within the Gitxsan Nation, in “northwest BC”. On Aug. 26, 2014, the hereditary chiefs of the territory declared access to the territory closed to all fracked gas (LFG/LNG) pipeline development and other unauthorized industrial activity, and enacted the Luutkudziiwus Territorial Management Plan. They have set up a camp on the direct path of the TransCanada Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Line (PRGT), another LFG (Liquid Fracked Gas) pipeline proposal, and they still need funds and support – http://www.madiilii.com/

Mid-March saw our first direct action of the year.

As Science World had decided to work alongside Christy Clark to greenwash the Liquified Fracked Gas industry, we decided to pay them a visit. On World Water Day we dropped a 30-foot banner from the side of Science World re-branding it “NO CONScience World – fracking with climate science”. Alongside this we also set up an afternoon of popular education demonstrations including stalls and activities, a fracked water demo, pin the poison on the pond, and, the most popular, “fishing for fractoids”.

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Check out more photos of the event (http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/photo/rising-tide-scientists-separate-frack-friction-sci/33290) and the banner drop video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMSCS4yTfy0

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Continuing our successful fundraising with food tactic, later in March we organised an evening of dessert, speakers and entertainment to fundraise and show solidarity with the members of the Dene Nation, who were, and still are, protecting their traditional territory from uranium and tar sands mining near La Loche, Saskatchewan. Dene and Metis trappers had set up a checkpoint on Hwy 955 in Treaty 8 territory, to keep Cenovus, Fission Uranium Corp, and many others out. To find out more about the The Northern Trappers Alliance (NTA) visit their facebook page –https://www.facebook.com/groups/616057965183898/?fref=ts

As the summer progressed pressure mounted on the Unist’ot’en Camp (https://www.facebook.com/unistoten/https://www.facebook.com/unistoten/). Here in Vancouver we helped with fundraising events (you can donate here – http://unistotencamp.com/), and also by taking action in the streets and in the boardrooms (well, as close as we could get!). In May we delivered a message to the offices of Coastal GasLink in solidarity with the Unist’ot’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation. Read the letter here – http://risingtide604.ca/?p=1952

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In July, as pressure on the camp from both Chevron and the RCMP increased, hundreds attended the Rising-Tide-supported downtown ‘Rally to protect Unist’ot’en Land’ – check out some lovely photos here – http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/rabble-staff/2015/08/photo-essay-unistotenheals-rally-to-protect-unistoten-land

Oh, and in-between those actions we pulled together a little demonstration on June 17, outside the ‘Clean Pacific’ Oil Spill Response Conference – sponsored by no less that Exxon, Kinder Morgan (Trans-Mountain Tarsands Pipeline) and the Canadian Association of Petroleum producers. We narrowly avoided drowning in the greenwash!

This past summer, we also launched two NEW STICKERS. The stickers aimed to scatter two simple messages across the Lower Mainland and beyond … 1) Decolonization and Decarbonisation must occur in unison and 2) what has become known as ‘LNG’ is principally created through the industrial process of fracking. We hope you like them – If you’d like some, send us an email, and we’ll put some in the mail to you – risingtide604@riseup.net.

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In September we attended the Refugees Welcome rally and also published a solidarity statement. We’ve said it before and we will say it again – “Environmental Justice means we take down the walls that divide us! We demand: FREEDOM to Move, FREEDOM to Return, and FREEDOM to Stay!” Read the full statement here – http://risingtide604.ca/?p=2021

The rest of September (and most of October) we spent organizing (alongside The Council of Canadians and No One Is Illegal) and mobilizing for the ‘Make Some Fracking Noise – Community Noise Demo’. The Noise Demo, attended by hundreds, took place outside Christy Clark’s International LNG in BC Conference.

Speakers at the Noise Demo included –
-Audrey Siegl, Musqueam First Nation (opening)
-Khelsilem Rivers, Skwomesh Action (MC)
-Richard Wright, spokesperson of Luutkudziiwus of the Gitxsan Nation
-Norman Moore, Noola Hereditary Chief House of Luutkudziiwus of the Gitxsan Nation
-Joey Wesley, Gitwilgyoots Tribe of Lax Kw’alaams
-Christine Martin, Lax Kw’alaams
-Greg Horne, Skeena Watershed Alliance,
-Harold Lavender, Rising Tide Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories

Oh and there was a sound system and a carnival band, AND we took the streets!
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Photo: Murray Bush – flux photo.
To read the event’s media release and see some great photos and videos of the noise demo – http://risingtide604.ca/?p=2080#more-2080 / https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsfLh0LHtAW4vQ-4cz92srg

This action was also part of the #FloodTheSystem grassroots mobilization (FloodTheSystem was both a call for escalation and a call for movement building, to create structures and relationships for growing resistance – www.floodthesystem.net). As part of Flood The System, we supported VANDU’s calls for housing justice, including homes not jails, ending housing racism and discrimination, and addressing hte root causes of poverty. Flood the System also helped amplify Streams of Justice’s ‘funeral for social housing’. You can read our solidarity statement here: http://risingtide604.ca/?p=2058. Climate justice means an end to gentrification and justice for those impacted by poverty!

In mid-December we embraced a bit of disruptive street theater and staged a ‘pipeline build’ outside Trans Canada’s Coastal GasLink and Chevron’s Vancouver offices. We used a theatrical presentation of a satirical company “Frack-It, ‘natural’ gas” building an unwanted pipeline.

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The action was timed to coincide with the Paris Climate Talks and was taken in solidarity with the Unist’oten Clan, Madii Lii, and other First Nations’ land defenders resisting new fracking infrastructure. While we were at the offices we also delivered letters highlighting the fact that Transcanada and Chevron’s presence on the territory is in direct violation of the Free, Prior and Informed Consent protocol that has been in place for thousands of years, and is recognized as a Right by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. To see the short video visit – http://risingtide604.ca/?p=2103

Alongside the actions, publications, fundraising events listed above, we also worked on ourselves and our group. We held multiple open meetings where people were able to easily get involved in organizing with Rising Tide (we have spent considerable time over the years thinking about how to successfully organize this key part of movement building, rather than just throwing people in at the deep end and watching them drift away or burn out). We also attended and/or set up workshops addressing patriarchy and privilege and we established an internal Accountability Process. These things may not be as exciting to read about as dropping a banner off a building or disrupting an event, but we feel they are vitally important to the building of a just and equitable future, and we have therefore allocated them much of our time over the past year.

And that brings us up to 2016. This past month we have held two days of Strategy Planning. Goals, Strategies and Tactics – we are set for the year and we would love you to come along and get involved! We regularly hold open meetings for people to find out more about who we are, how we work and how you can get involved in organizing with us. No previous experience needed, just a passion for environmental and social justice. Email risingtide604@riseup.net to find out date and location.

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