By Janet Weil
In solidarity with the Indigenous-led week of action in Washington, DC, #PeopleVsFossilFuels, XRPDX rebels and allies from 350PDX assembled at the Federal Building in downtown Portland on Tuesday, October 12. The theme of Day 2: Fossil fuels are driving the climate crisis. In keeping with this theme, some of us wore Hazmat suits – because fossil fuels, and especially the tar sands and shale oil coming through our neighborhoods on trains, and being exported next to the Willamette River, by Zenith Energy, are hazardous!
Lynn Spitaleri Handlin, dressed in her XR finery, and myself delivered a letter to President Biden at the IRS office (the only open office in the entire building), because we object to our tax dollars going to subsidize fossil fuel corporations.
In front of the Federal Building, 15 rebels drew stares and honks from passing motorists in the late afternoon as we held signs and passed out flyers. Diana Meisenhelter read the text of the letter to Biden, detailing the problems with the current version of the Build Back Better bill, and our demands, which are also national demands:
- stopping all fossil fuel infrastructure project approvals;
- following through on Biden’s promise to ban federal fossil fuel leasing and drilling;
- and stopping fossil fuel exports.
Lynn described our somewhat comical letter delivery, and the urgency of this moment.
I talked about the huge military spending bill of over $768 billion for 2022, which has gotten almost no protest, was passed by the House of Representatives, and is now getting additional budget items in the Senate.
We sang new lyrics to the tune of “Bella Ciao” and chanted before the rain started in.
Our action was in solidarity with the #PeopleVsFossilFuels week of action. Hundreds have gotten arrested in dramatic direct actions at the White House, the (grotesquely named) Bureau of Indian Affairs, the US Chamber of Commerce headquarters, and elsewhere in our nation’s capitol. Catch up on that news here.