Stand with Standing Rock: Out-of-state Legal Support for Water Protectors

The Water Protectors who will shortly go on trial for their work at Standing Rock are seeking out-of-state legal representation, so that all of them can have informed, well-prepared, unbiased counsel.

The North Dakota Supreme Court is taking comments through 4pm today. Here’s the comment I wrote and sent to Clerk of Court Penny Miller at pmiller AT ndcourts DOT gov and info AT ndcourts DOT gov

“Dear Ms. Miller:

I write to urge the North Dakota Supreme Court to allow out-of-state legal representation for the Standing Rock Water Protectors at their trials. The state does not at present have enough public defenders to adequately represent all of these defendants, many of whom cannot afford to pay for counsel. Permitting this will increase the chances of adequate counsel and representation for the people on trial.”

Feel free to copy and paste that, or add your own reasons, but do it by 4pm TODAY.

Remembering the Arctic Ice Cap: A Celebration of Life

Ever since I started offering Climate Anxiety Counseling, I’ve gone back and forth about mourning the places and people–human, nonhuman–that we know climate change will not just hurt, but kill, before they’re gone. It seems like ill-wishing them–pre-grieving, shooing them out of the world, walking over their graves. And it also seems like something that you’d do instead of trying to keep them alive.

This summer, in Newport, RI–which is admittedly a very odd place–they held a funeral for a beech tree that’s reaching the end of their life (fernleaf beeches usually live for 150-200 years–I’m not sure how old this one is or was, and I also don’t know if they’re still standing). I changed my tune a little bit. The tree was dying; this gave people a chance to appreciate it and acknowledge them while they were still alive.

And now, my friend Maya Weeks is holding a memorial and celebration for the Arctic Ice Cap: She writes, “As we anticipate losing year-round sea ice as soon as 2018, we are taking this occasion to gather and process our feelings about this changing ecosystem together. We will gather to say goodbye to the sea ice algae and the Arctic cod and the polar bear. Please feel free to bring candles and loved ones to the Mosswood Amphitheater [in Oakland, CA] at 2pm on Sunday, December 18.  Please feel free to say a few words if you would like. This is an outdoor venue with a ramp for accessibility.”

This comes just after another group of literal and figurative deaths in Oakland: people living and celebrating at the Ghost Ship, which burned, and the way of living and being that was possible there. You can donate to the relief fund here, and to funeral services and end-of-life costs for the trans women who died at the Ghost Ship here. When I donated to the latter, I also donated to the Trans Assistance Project’s main fund, which “exists to finance legal/ID changes and healthcare for trans folks in need,” because the living and the dead both need care, but in different ways.

Other living beings don’t necessarily do peopledom the way human people do. A forest might be a person; a jellyfish might be a community. And equating human and nonhuman death is full of bad logic and bad history, especially when the human who died died at the remote hands of structures of power and capital and cruelty. Who gets to die like a person, and who like a plant; who is a martyr, a casualty, a throwaway–these are all mediated by the structures I just mentioned, and I’m not looking to draw a comparison that isn’t there or isn’t right.

But one thing that the dead share is their absence–even if we, the living, are in communication with them or take their advice, we mostly recognize that the way they are is different from the way we are. And one thing the nearly dead share with the living is their presence, their ability to be touched and known. I’m still on the fence about mourning the still-alive. But I don’t think that sorrow and anger for one kind of loss needs to displace sorrow and anger for another kind, and I think that mourning the dead can help the living to fight like hell for each other.


Public Hearing: Oppose Fracked Gas in South Providence

The Providence City Council has proposed a resolution opposing the proposed liquid natural gas liquefaction facility in Fields Point/South Providence. You can show your support for this resolution tonight:

Public Hearing: Resolution in Opposition to the Proposed Fields Point Liquefaction Facility

Tuesday (TONIGHT), 5:15pm, 3rd Floor of City Hall (25 Dorrance St.), Providence

Come and let the City Council know that you, too, oppose the construction of this environmentally unsafe, environmentally unjust facility and don’t want National Grid to be allowed to build it in Providence.

Facebook event is here, with more details and talking points.

Tell Woonsocket City Council: No Pipeline! Call Today!

From FANG:

Invenergy, the company trying to build a massive fossil fuel power plant in Burrillville, is desperate to find a source of water for the proposed plant. Their newest water scheme is to build a 15-20 mile long pipeline to bring wastewater from Woonsocket, across the Northern part of Rhode Island, to Burrillville.

If we can stop this wastewater piepline, it is most likely that Invenergy will have to cancel their power plant proposal.

The Mayor of Woonsocket is meeting with the City Council THIS WEEK to discuss this dangerous proposal. Please call TODAY and email the Woonsocket City Council members and urge them to reject the waste water pipeline and help stop Invenergy’s toxic power plant!

Denise Sierra: 401-769-6474
Richard Fagnant: 401-309-9288
Jim Cournoyer: 401-864-9995
Melissa Murray: 401-327-0615
Christopher Beauchamp: 401-356-4940
Jon Brien: 401-559-3999
Daniel Gendron: 401-769-4458


“Hello – my name is ______ and I’m calling to urge you to reject Invenergy’s wastewater pipeline proposal. The wastewater pipeline would be used to help run Invenergy’s proposed toxic power plant. The emissions from the plant would impact a huge radius, including Woonsocket.

So far twelve cities and towns across the State have passed resolutions against the plant, including Burrillville who have formally requested your help in stopping the power plant.

The power plant would be bad for Rhode Island, and a 15-20 mile long wastewater pipeline poses a huge risk if there were to be a leak.

Do the right thing and reject the wastewater pipeline and help stop Invenergy’s toxic power plant.”

You can also mention Rhode Island’s need and capacity to transition to renewable energy, and  the fact that any jobs that come out of this will likely go away when the pipeline is built.

Here’s an easily shareable version of this information.

More information about this unfolding situation here:

No LNG in PVD: Public Hearing 12/13, 5:15pm, Providence City Hall

Let the Providence City Council hear your opposition to the proposed liquid natural gas (LNG) facility in Fields Point (South Providence):

Tuesday, December 13th, 5:15pm

Providence City Hall (25 Dorrance St.), 3rd floor

Read here for details, reasons why the city should not permit National Grid to build this facility, and talking points. Here’s the text of the resolution itself.