Rising Tide North America turns 1 – and now we need you!

biking critters

Hi everyone!

Hard to believe, but Rising Tide North America turns 1 year old this month.

In the past year the movement against climate chaos in North America has grown massively. In response, oil and coal companies are making desperate attempts to clean up their image and frame the debate to ensure that corporate privilege is protected and the status-quo maintained.

In the US, the Democrats and mainstream environmental groups are cashing in on their new found political power. But rather than working to keep carbon-based fuels the ground, calling for a moratorium on the construction of new energy facilities in poor communities, promoting educational efforts to reduce consumption, or working to overhaul transportation or agriculture, leading Democrats are instead rushing to finance bogus, corporate-friendly “solutions” like clean coal, ethanol, and cap-and-trade schemes. Meanwhile, in Canada, the Prime Minister isn’t even sure Canada will meet Kyoto’s meager commitments.

Over the past year Rising Tide has been working hard to provide a much needed radical voice in the climate debate, and to show that direct action is an effective and necessary response to the destruction of the climate, people’s lives, and the Earth by the fossil fuel industry. If we are truly interested in stopping climate chaos and making our world a just, sustainable one, this moment is critical to support – and join! – the efforts of groups like Rising Tide North America.

It hasn’t always been super clear how to get involved with RT.so here’s the lowdown:

If you want to get involved, one option is to simply reply to this email and tell us. But to make things simplest, we invite you to fill out our “get involved” survey at http://risingtidenorthamerica.org/get_involved/ so we can try to ensure that the right person within our super decentralized network gets back to you!

The heart of Rising Tide North America is autonomous, local organizing.whether it’s actions against the fossil fuel industry or organizing for positive change by supporting local farms or hosting a bike repair skill share.

If you want to start a local Rising Tide group, we’d love to help you get started. Read more about what we’re all about online and contact [email protected] for more information. There are also pre-existing local groups that share our principles who work closely with our network: you don’t need to be called “Rising Tide” to be engaged in our network!

We’ve achieved a lot within this loose, continent-wide, grassroots network in the past year (more about that in a minute). And damn, we’ve seriously got our work cut out for us in the next few months! For starters, there’s the International Day of Action against Climate Change and the Group of 8 on Friday June 8th.and the massive, bicoastal “Convergences for Climate Action” scheduled for August 8th-14th!

For Rising Tide to continue our educational efforts, pull off more actions, and bring together the first ever radical convergence on climate issues in North America, we need to have more support from people who know that re-localizing and living less energy intensive, more community focused lives are the real solutions to climate change. If everyone reading this message donated $1 a month to Rising Tide, we’d more than have enough money for the year!

Consider it an investment in your own carbon neutrality: forgo some fancy treat shipped half-way around the world and instead donate $10, $20, or $200 to Rising Tide. Please don’t assume that everyone else is donating so you don’t have too!

Visit http://risingtidenorthamerica.org/donate/ to donate online and/or to find information about mailing us checks. If you donate $20 or more by within the next month, be sure to send us your address: we’ll send you a copy of our new benefit CD, made in collaboration with Riot Folk!

We wanted to briefly give a just a few examples of what we’ve accomplished this last year with an almost non-existent budget, no foundation funding, and not a single paid staff person (we can do a lot more with your financial help!):

  • Asheville Rising Tide showed that direct action is an effective tool against the fossil fuel industry as their victorious campaign to stop a proposed oil-fired power plant. (If you haven’t seen the attack-ad the company launched against the campaign, we highly recommend it, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dO5ex4NWnls)
  • Two Rising Tide North America activists, Cristian Guerrero and the late Brad Will (Brad was murdered in Oaxaca, Mexico in October 2006) visited the Sierra de Perij� mountain range of Venezuela, to document the resistance of indigenous and environmental activists to coal mining in rural Venezuela. Since then, Rising Tide has been at the forefront of educational efforts in support of this struggle within the english-speaking world. In March, in response to domestic and international pressure, President Chavez cancelled a coal mining expansion project in the area!
  • Years of campaigning against Mountain Top Removal coal mining by Mountain Justice Summer, Rising Tide and dozens of other groups has yielded what may be a precedent setting legal victory against this destructive practice.
  • We’re in the midst of a 100+ stop speaking tour, organizing “shindigs” around the US and Canada to inspire grassroots resistance against the fossil fuel industry!
  • We organized a first-ever, cross-border educational forum and protest for climate justice during the Group of 8 meeting in Mexico City.
  • We organized a day of action for climate justice on the 1-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina strike. Events were held in 32 cities.
  • We an initiated a climate change resistance “Graphics Campaign” with the help of the Beehive Collective.
  • We exposed carbon offset schemes that are set to cause deforestation, damage to indigenous cultures, and biotech genetic pollution in Chile and Brazil with a high profile action during the International Union of Forest Research Organizations.
  • We organized an infrastructure support effort at Black Mesa, providing support for indigenous activists resisting coal developments in the US southwest.
  • And we organized a daring, daylong blockade of a pollution spewing coal-fired plant in Virginia.

We hope you’ll get involved in making Year 2 of Rising Tide ten times more exciting and far reaching!

Drop us a line anytime to get involved. And please consider making a small (or large) donation to Rising Tide. Every little bit helps.

See you at the convergence!

~ Rising Tide North America