2022 was a year of “firsts” and “agains” for Extinction Rebellion in Portland.
First time to use a structured analysis process to choose our 2 main campaigns – ANCE and Scrub the Hub/Shut Down Zenith. First time to organize two peace rallies, in February and March. First time to support scientists William Livernois and Bernadette Rodgers in their direct action at Portland Business Alliance offices as part of international Scientist Rebellion. First time to have a student intern, Syl Knauss of Lewis and Clark, join our team. First time to challenge Oregon’s 2 senators to walk their climate talk and oppose Manchin’s dirty side deal. And first time to join our allies in a flotilla on the McKenzie River to advocate for sparing what’s left of our mature/old growth forests from destructive “timber harvests.”
Again, we took the City Council to task for not creating or implementing policies to live up to their promises in the 2020 Climate Emergency Declaration. Again we assembled on a rainy June day, with art, music, speeches and determination, at the gates of Zenith. Again and again, we watched Zenith’s attorneys at Stoel Rives fail to overturn the City’s decision to deny the Texas-based corporation its Land Use Compatibility Statement — only to see the City reverse itself in a backroom deal 2 days before the Oregon Supreme Court would have refused the oil logistics corporation’s final appeal! Again, we rallied and did outreach: at City Hall, at the Federal Buildings in downtown and Northeast Portland; in neighborhoods. Again, we stood together with our allies in the environmental justice, youth, faith and climate organizations, including at a Passover-themed protest at Chase Bank and a youth climate activist training in the fall. Finally, again, we were able to gather in person for social events, marches, hearings and our “Rumble on the River” forums, although our meetings mostly stayed on zoom.
From a media/social media standpoint, 2022 was a very mixed year. Climate issues got all too little attention in Portland’s mainstream media, as homelessness/housing, crime and cost of living crises dominated the news and the midterm elections. Isabella Garcia of the Portland Mercury kept a keen eye on the Zenith struggle; here’s her most recent article. Twitter was bought, and befouled, by billionaire Elon Musk; our account is now deactivated. In happier news, our Instagram and Facebook accounts are going strong, and our blog bloomed, with more genres of writing, from poetry to government testimony, and more authors than before. Blog author and poster-to-Facebook Damon DiCicco recently welcomed his son Vincent James. Big thanks to regular Media working group contributors Margaret, Diane, Lynn, Mark, annie, Damon, Michaela, Tri, Syl, and Victoria, with tech support from Wendy.
With love and rage, we build from here.