Occupy into Action

Portland Rising Tide’s response to the Occupy movement, Occupy into Action, was a three-part mini action camp held today at Occupy Portland. Rising Tide facilitated Power and Privilege, Strategic Campaign Planning and Nonviolent Direct Action trainings, each attended by about 30 people.

The first workshop, facilitated by Rising Tide’s Isobel and Trip used multiple activities to depict how privilege, a merit given, not earned, impacts access to power. The group also addressed the individual privileges they did or did not have and then went into small breakouts for discussion.

Strategic Campaign Planning is a must-see for all organizers. Kim Marx of Rising Tide North America (and Portland when we are lucky enough to have her!) facilitated this workshop designed to help groups find their goals, use appropriate tactics to achieve them and most importantly, avoid activist burnout. Doing actions that do not support your end goal is the number one reason for burnout, according to Kim, she encourages groups to educate themselves thoroughly about their issue and choose appropriate goals and reevaluate often.

Jasmine and recent Portland Rising Tide convert, Abigail, co-facilitated a 3-hour Nonviolent Direct Action Training for interested Occupy Portland participants. The workshop gave people an opportunity to explore the roles of direct action in popular social and environment movements, learn about the affinity group model, roles often needed during direct actions, how to de-escalate situations through verbal and nonverbal communication, a bit about legal and lastly, summed it all up with a rad mock direct action!

In the spirit of action camps, there is an action planned for Monday, October 17th in downtown Portland. Stay tuned!

Did you miss the fun? Rising Tide is hosting another Occupy into Action mini action camp on October, 29th at Occupy Portland. Check the website and Facebook (friend page) for details!

Last Thursday Tripod

At the Last Thursday Art Walk, on August 25th, Rising Tide tabled and erected a tripod adorned with lovely anti-coal banners, effectively gathering the interest of the hundreds of art walk attendees.  The tripod in this instance was used as an urban spectacle to draw attention to Rising Tide campaigns, specifically fighting coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest.

The style of tripod put up was taught at the Sunday workshop and art make on August 14th.  There folks learned how to weave together the poles of the tripod and properly raise it, all practically applied at the Last Thursday event.

There was tons of foot traffic through the RT table during the evening, thanks mostly to the fifteen foot tall tripod with boisterous climbers dangling from the crux.  Lots of folks from the community signed up to learn more about what’s going on with Rising Tide and the opposition of climate justice threats in our region.

Please check out our future workshops.


Tripod Workshop and Art Make

On a sunny Sunday August 14, 2011 at the park next to the Mississippi Coop we held a tripod workshop and art make.  A tripod is a well-worn direct action tactic for blockading roads and creating urban spectacles. The idea is to securely knot together three poles (trees or metal), ideally 20+ feet long and place them in the middle of a road or intersection such that no cars can pass without dangerously disrupting the structure and the person who has situated themselves at the top of the poles in what is referred to as the “crow’s nest.”

The hands on workshop taught folks how to tie tripod knots and raise the poles into place. In the end, it looks like the skeleton of a teepee structure. No one climbed up this time, due to time constraints, but the tripod was tested for swing-ability!

It ended up that lots of folks who attended the workshop had experience with tripods and their stories and advice made for extra learning experience plus a cool connection to former campaigns.

If you missed the tripod workshop and want to see it again (all lit up this time!) check us out at Last Thursday where we’ll be using the tripod spectacle to spread the word about proposed coal export terminals…not blocking roads. The beautiful banners made during the second half of the workshop will be on display too!

Please check out our future events and workshops!

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Bee Workshop

On July 23rd Portland Rising Tide kicked off our series of skill shares and social events.  This event focused on the current state of honeybees as well as basic info on beekeeping.  We discussed the use of honeybees in industrial agriculture, alternative approaches to bees and pollination and the connection of these issues to a variety of environmental and social issues.

The goal of these events is to provide an opportunity for community building, for connections to be made between interested individuals and Rising Tide members, for people to learn about getting involved with Rising Tide and to empower individuals with knowledge and skills.  This grassroots empowerment is a critical and important part of addressing the root causes of climate change and altering the way we relate to one and other as well as to the environment.

Please check out our future workshops.

April 20th Day of Action

April 20th International Day of Action Against Extraction

Area residents opposed to the shipment of oil extraction and refining equipment up the Columbia River marked the one year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill with a rally in Hood River on Wednesday. The event brang together indigenous speakers from Alberta and British Columbia, as well as representatives from affected communities along the Columbia. It is affiliated with an international “Day of Action against Extraction” marking the Gulf oil spill anniversary.

“We are drawing the line,” Hood River resident Anthony Villagomez explained. “For the health of the salmon, the river and all the communities of the Gorge, we need to say no to this energy of mass destruction.”

There was a festive atmosphere with colorful kayaks, flags, and kites. The rally marched from Marina Park to Hood River City Hall with a resolution to oppose tar sands oil extraction and the use of the Columbia as a shipping corridor.

Mining and refining equipment bound for the Alberta tar sands – widely regarded as the largest and dirtiest oil extraction project on the planet – began moving up the Columbia River late last year. Area residents are also concerned about the impact an accident on the Columbia shipping route would have on salmon runs and those who depend on the fish for their livelihood.

Bank Coal Action

In April and May a variety of banks in downtown Portland were visited by activists concerned about the banks’ investments in dirty energy projects.  If you didn’t already know, these banks are major lenders to Arch Coal, the second biggest coal company in the United States.  Along with Austrialia-based Ambre Energy, Arch is responsible for  a proposed coal export terminal on the Columbia River which would send tens of millions of tons of coal abroad each year through a port in Longview, Washington.  Arch also owns the Otter Creek coal mine in Montana, which the company hopes to use as a source of coal to be exported.

Read more about the action in April and May.

Please also check out our other future events and workshops!


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