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 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."
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.
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
"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."
"From Seattle, to Alberta, to Appalachia, people are
organized in opposition to extraction, and taking action to uproot the
systems driving the crisis."