Connecting the dots: Coal exports and Climate Change
Bill McKibben & 350.org have announced Saturday May 5th, 2012 as an International Day of Action to “connect the dots” on climate change. We're ready.
On May 5th, for 24 hours, we intend to stop all coal coming from the US on the BNSF railway, through White Rock, for export out of BC's ports. We've sent a letter to Warren Buffett, owner of BNSF, explaining our intentions.
We invite you to join us any time after dawn on May 5th. Details below.
We're doing this because we have to. The science is solid: if we don't get to work, within the decade we are going to run out of time to avoid runaway global warming. It's not enough any more just to go to rallies, write letters, and have dinner in the dark once a year. We're aware of what is at stake, and we have a moral obligation to do our best to stop the things that are destroying the planet.
We really don't want to spend the day on the tracks and risk arrest by stopping coal trains, but we're running out of options. We're forced to take this dramatic step to get government's attention, because in addition to ignoring the scientific warnings, they've refused to respond to our repeated requests for a public discussion on this issue.
We need a province-wide discussion about what is at risk for our families and communities, and how British Columbia can start working towards a healthy and secure future that is fair for all. We hope that discussion starts on May 5th.
This action will be peaceful and non-violent. There will be no property destruction. We are striving to be the best citizens we can, and we will stand up for what we believe is right and conduct ourselves with dignity. We invite you to take part in this work with these intentions in mind.
This event will be public, open and transparent. Our actions will be announced well in advance. We've done our research over the past year and we're confident that we can do this safely.
We invite you to join us any time after dawn on May 5th at the White Rock Pier. We will be there all day unless we are stopped. Bring a book, bring a board game, bring food and water. Prepare for the weather. Meet fellow citizens who share your concerns. Tell stories and make music. Enjoy the view of the ocean. Help us send a strong message about the need for action on climate change and our collective ability to make a difference. It is going to be quite a day.
You are welcome to participate directly in the action of stopping coal trains. You can help with one of many important supporting tasks. Or you can simply bear witness to our actions. All these roles are important. Simply showing up will make a statement and will not put you at any risk of arrest.
We will provide an overview of the legal risks involved in taking action and civil disobedience training at the site on May 5th for those of you who wish to consider participating directly in this action. If you are thinking of taking part directly in the action, please print and fill out the personal information form found here and bring it along with a piece of photo ID on Saturday.
For further information and to prepare yourself in advance:
Protester's Guide to Civil Disobedience
BC Civil Liberties Association Arrest Handbook
We encourage you to talk to others about this event, and to organize together to get to White Rock and take part. You can also organize on our facebook site.
Information on public transit to White Rock can be found here.
If you have questions or comments please contact us at
We acknowledge that this event is taking place in unceded Coast Salish territory. Your fellow concerned citizens.