Looking Back, Growing Forward: Please Donate!

As we come to the close of the year, we ask for your help in growing our movement and supporting our work. Here’s a recap of our year.

2021, pandemic year 2, has been a rich and fulfilling year for Extinction Rebellion Portland. At a time when many XR US chapters have fallen by the wayside, we have gotten stronger and deepened many relationships with other climate justice organizations. Activists from XRPDX worked on a year-long restructure process at XR US; we are proud to be part of this national network.

We ended 2020 and started 2021 defending democracy. The coalition we helped build led successful actions on election day and on inauguration day. We had the opportunity to work with many partners, including work with Black Lives Matter organizers and union partners.

Over the course of the year, we worked in coalition with 350PDX, Sunrise, Breach Collective, Cedar Action, Columbia Riverkeeper, Braided River Campaign, the Portland Youth Climate Council and others to #StopZenithOil!

Zenith Energy, based in Texas, continued to expand its Pacific Northwest operations while the City of Portland and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) spent months considering their pieces of the permitting process. We organized and/or participated in 6 in-person actions pressuring the City Council to deny the Land Use Compatibility Study (LUCS), along with generating many calls, letters, Valentines, Mother’s Day cards, leafleting all over the City of Portland and other pressure.

On August 27, we were delighted when the city denied the LUCS, which paved the way for DEQ to deny the air quality permit. Zenith continues to operate without an air quality permit as they appeal the denial to the state land use board. We expect to be working with our allies to shut down Zenith in the coming year.

Our other main area of action was the campaign to #StopLine3 in Minnesota. We took actions in Portland, at banks and an insurance company, in direct support for the Indigenous-led water protectors. Our solidarity included raising money to send Oregon activists to the encampments in March. Being part of that on-the-ground struggle was a life-changing experience for the folks who went (read about it here). Thanks to all who donated and otherwise provided support to this crucial campaign to stop Enbridge’s tar sands pipeline, for Canadian profits.

Most of the Stop Line 3 solidarity actions XR worked on in Portland were at Chase Bank and other big bank funders. We took the Defund Line 3 message from Stop The Money Pipeline Coalition to banks at least 10 times over the course of 2021. Every time we showed up at a bank, the branch closed and locked its doors.

A third priority was support for youth leadership, including turnout and logistical support for the Youth Climate Strike march on September 24, which mobilized thousands of Portland high school students. We have been an ongoing presence in support of the youth pressuring the Oregon Department of Transportation not to widen I-5, in their biweekly vigils. We have mobilized against freeway projects in rallies at Harriet Tubman Middle School and at ODOT HQ at 123 NW Flanders Street.

PYCS organizer Catie Macauley emceeing the June 5th rally. (Photo credit: Austen Lethbridge-Scarl)

In October, XRPDX turned out in solidarity with the Indigenous-led #PeopleVsFossilFuels week of civil disobedience protests in DC. We organized several actions in solidarity with the frontline community-led protests at COP 26 in Glasgow, holding up Burma Shave signs at rush hour, working with other climate justice groups to amplify messaging throughout the week, and holding a rally on the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice, November 6.

Besides our creative public actions, we educated the public through bannering and introductory educational presentations. Over the course of the year, we have presented over 40 introductions to Extinction Rebellion. We also helped build for broader public education efforts, including support for showings of the documentary series “Necessity: Part I”, early in the year and “Necessity: Part II”, in November. An XRPDX action at Zenith in April 2019 and the use of the Necessity defense at the criminal trial for trespass are highlighted in Part II – see more below.

Following the Extinction Rebellion Principle #5 of action followed by rest and reflection, we are in a process of reviewing 2021 and planning for 2022, when we hope to build bigger, more impactful actions. We need your help to do that. We have a small budget and are an all-volunteer group. Every dollar contributed goes to creating and supporting our actions, our amazing artistic props, our newsletter and website and social media accounts. The Tank of Doom and the World on Fire Truck have showed up at many of the coalition events, as well as all the amazing flames made to go with these big props and featured in this Portland Mercury article on the Stop Zenith Oil struggle.

Contributing financially sustains our community of XR rebels. Whether you have taken to the streets for a rally, shared our newsletter with a friend, attended meetings, or written to the City Council, YOU are part of this community — thank you so much for your support. Now we ask for your donation; it will be much appreciated and carefully used. We accept no government, foundation or corporate funds. We send out no plushy toys or glossy calendars as thank you gifts. Your donation is NOT tax-deductible, because we will be as political as we need to be. We stand for and act on our 4 Demands.

With rage for all we have lost, with love for all we still can save.
We are Extinction Rebellion. Join us. Support us.

About Margaret Butler

Margaret Butler was born and raised in Portland and spent 40 years in the labor movement. Upon retirement, she embraced climate justice activism with Climate Jobs PDX and XRPDX.


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