If We Are Willing: How We Can Stop Disaster offers a local opportunity to hear personal testimony from the Valve Turners, the five courageous climate activists who shut down five separate pipelines in Washington, Minnesota, Montana and North Dakota as an act of solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux. All of them are facing decades in prison. Ken Ward, who was the first to be tried, saw his first trial end in a hung jury last week. At a scheduling set for February 9, the prosecution will decide whether or not to retry the case.
In the first trial, Ward’s defense team was able to bring exhibits on climate science, including the impacts of sea level rise in Skagit County. “This trial was about climate change,” said Emily Johnston in a press release. “The prosecution presented only information about what Ken did on October 11, and Ken and the defense presented only information about climate change, so the only decision that the jury was making was which story mattered more. And climate won.”
While the group of five prepares for further legal action, they’re here in the Bay Area to talk strategy and share about what led them to sacrifice their own individual comfort and security for planetary preservation.
Manually shutting those valves on the morning of October 11, 2016, meant that the five pipelines weren’t able to deliver the 2.8 million barrels of tar sands crude they carry daily from Canada to the U.S. That’s about 15 percent of U.S. daily oil consumption, which is exactly the kind of reduction we need to make right now—and increase each year—in order to keep the U.S. in line with the Paris climate agreement.
Bring your doubts, hopes, fears and questions. Let’s face for ourselves what will be required of us if we are to maintain a livable planet for all.
This is a fundraiser to help defray their very high legal costs. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Hosted by Diablo Rising Tide.
You can donate to the defense fund here.
Friday, February 10, 7 PM