I appeared in court in West Roxbury, MA today with my #MassGrave6 codefendants Nora Collins, Karenna Gore, Dave Publow, Sophia Wilansky and Callista Womick.
All six of us continue to refuse a plea bargain and are eager to take our case to a jury trial. Our next court appearance date has been set for September 6th.
Personally, I'm excited for a jury trial in which everyday people can decide if our actions were justified after hearing all the evidence of our government's inability to stop Spectra's assault against both West Roxbury and our global climate. Every elected official representing West Roxbury opposed this project, but they have been unable to stop it, so this is a clear case where civil disobedience is necessary to protect our communities.Read more
In my trainings and workshops with activists, I always tell folks that we are most powerful when we are expressing our deepest personal truths. This week I took action to express the grief that has been weighing on my heart ever since I read about Pakistan digging mass graves in anticipation of their climate change induced heat waves last month. Even as someone who reads a lot of heartbreaking stories about climate change, the fact that we have now entered the age of anticipatory mass graves broke my heart in a whole new way.
When I saw the pictures of the long trench they dug as that mass grave, I realized it looked just like the trench that Spectra is digging through the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston for a new high pressure fracked gas pipeline. I felt powerfully called to connect the dots between those two trenches and climb into the one in Boston to reflect on this new age of anticipatory mass graves.Read more
The following press release is from the June 29th action in West Roxbury, Boston, MA resulting in 23 arrests including Tim DeChristopher and Karenna Gore. Additional photos for media use are available at https://flic.kr/s/aHskDcoQPY.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12 CLERGY ARRESTED AT SYMBOLIC CLIMATE MASS GRAVE FUNERAL TO HALT CONSTRUCTION OF THE WEST ROXBURY LATERAL.
23 total arrested, including Karrena Gore and Tim DeChristopher
West Roxbury, MA – 12 faith leaders and 11 others were arrested this afternoon [June 29, 2016] while peacefully blocking construction of the West Roxbury Lateral pipeline. Buddhist, Jewish, Protestant, and Unitarian clergy led a climate mass graves funeral, featuring eulogies, prayers, and mourning. After the funeral, some clergy and other resisters lay on the side of the trench, halting construction. Others got into the trench and lay down to simulate those who died this month from deadly heat waves in Pakistan and India and were buried in mass graves.
The action called attention to how the West Roxbury Lateral, like other new fossil fuel infrastructure, further locks us into deadly global climate change. As more studies point to the high rates of leaked methane from fracking and gas pipelines, the climate movement has doubled down on resistance to new fracked gas projects.
Among those lying in the trench was Karenna Gore, daughter of Vice President Al Gore and director of the Center for Earth Ethics at the Union Theological Seminary. She is the mother of three and came to join the action from her home in New York City.
Also lying in the trench was Tim DeChristopher, the climate activist who became famous as Bidder 70 when he disrupted a government oil and gas lease auction by posing as a buyer in the sale during 2008. He served 21 months in federal prison and his probation ended this past April.
This was his first act of civil disobedience since 2008.
“This is the age of anticipatory mass graves, and this pipeline trench is our anticipatory mass grave,” said Tim during a speech before being arrested.Read more
The video above features Tim DeChristopher's words from today's #StopSpectra action in West Roxbury, MA. Tim, area clergy and others took action to focus attention on the fact that Spectra's new MASS fracked gas pipelines will lead to MASS graves abroad due to climate change and rising temperatures. This afternoon Tim and others climbed into Spectra's trenches and were later arrested. See Resist the West Roxbury Pipeline for details. We'll be sharing more on this action once Tim is released.
"This is not just a pipeline trench. What they are digging is a mass grave, because in this age of anticipatory mass graves, we know that every new fossil fuel development that commits us to burning fossil fuels for decades, when we put in this infrastructure, we know that every new fossil fuel infrastructure will lead to another mass grave somewhere in the world."
- Tim DeChristopher
This is DeChristopher's first act of civil disobedience resulting in arrest following his notable "Bidder 70" action, arrest, nearly 2 year imprisonment, and 3 years of probation which ended this Spring.
Video above by Kori Feener. Thanks for capturing the action!
Full resolution photos for media use here.
Full resolution photos for media use here. Slideshow below.