2nd Spokes-council!

This Sunday, March 1st, we have our second spokes-council meeting. We’ll again be at Encuentro 5, starting at 3PM. The format of the meeting will be broadly similar to last time, again focusing on facilitating connections between many affinity groups working on actions of resistance and support. We hope to grow the network to allow for meaningful and effective cooperation between AG’s (affinity groups).

We again emphasize that AG’s which focus on any issue relating to the environment, human justice, or any other left/progressive cause are welcome! FloodBoston believes that we are fighting one fight, and so we aim to coordinate diverse groups and emphasize points of intersection and commonality.

The meeting will be held at Encuentro 5

9 Hamilton Pl, Suite 2a, Boston, MA 02108

Map: http://goo.gl/maps/zEeft

We will start promptly @ 3:00-5:00 on Sunday, March 1st

 

Hope to see you there!

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Save Cape Wind There will be performances this Wed. and Thurs. at 6PM at South Station, and Friday at 5PM. On Saturday there will be a larger rally on the Common at 1PM. The skit to be performed may be found here, and a video of a previous performance of the song Through Fire and Storm is available, along with sheet music. Should be a good time!

Divest Fund Donations to participating schools may be made here, the money will be held from the school until they divest from fossil fuel investments. Many Boston area schools are participating.

MBTA action Not many details yet, but there is an upcoming action on March 15th to protest the recent inability of the MBTA to keep trains and buses running on time/at all.

United Story: Boston Beyond Today Two evenings of art, performance, and discussion are planned to bring together perspectives and voices of individuals in response to the recent uprising and actions around police brutality in Ferguson, Boston, and beyond. Feb 28th and April 29th, all proceeds to Better Opportunities Inc.

If you have an announcement you would like included in the next FloodBoston email please send it to floodboston@gmail.com

Love and Solidarity,

FloodBoston convening committee

https://floodboston.wordpress.com/

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Flood Boston’s first Spokes Council

Flood-Boston-first-spokes2015-02-01

FloodBoston’s first spokes council was hugely successful. We had 14 affinity groups in attendance, from the Spectra Pipeline resistance group to the Eastern Service Workers (and they even brought tamales to share). During the two hours we spent together, we collaborated on upcoming direct actions which were brought to us by the Affinity Groups in attendance. Many ties were formed while actions doubled and tripled in expected people power and impact. We couldn’t be happier with the result of the meeting and hope that all who attended got the most out of the opportunity.

See you March 1st (and the first Sunday of every month) at 3PM at Encuentro 5, 9A Hamilton Pl, Suite 2a, Boston.

Till then, we hope your actions and action planning are going well!

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First spokes council meeting! 3PM Feb. 1 at E5

The first Flood Boston spokes council meeting will be February 1 at 3PM at Encuentro 5 (9 Hamilton Pl, Suite 2a, Boston). You can see our calendar here. Please come to share what your group has planned and gain support as well as to learn what other groups have planned and how your group can help them.

If you are coming to be a spoke for your AG, please fill out this form. If you have an action planned or brainstormed and want to be included in the agenda it is especially important to fill out the form by Friday at midnight. This meeting is a space to hear about upcoming actions and to facilitate collaboration.

What’s a spokes council? In short, the spokes council is a group of “spokes” meeting to collaborate.  Spokes are individuals speaking with consent of their own group. Ideally, a spoke has members of their group directly behind them as seen in the image below. Also, spokes should be rotated so that one person doesn’t gain disproportionate power.

Why a spokes council? Mainly because it fits what we (the convening committee) of Flood Boston have been trying to facilitate–a way for autonomous affinity groups and organizations to coordinate. Spokes Councils have a long history on which to learn and build, the structure is rooted in anarchist practice in the Spanish Revolution and draws on much indigenous organizing, especially the Zapatistas in Mexico. The model has been used by anti-nuclear activists in the 80s and global justice organizers after that. The wonderful thing about a spokes council is that many people can participate in a democratic, transparent, and accountable way.

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Sun 1/25: Rally on Centre St in West Rox!

Stop the West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline (SWRL)

Rally to Show Your Opposition
Sponsored by
The Committee to Stop the West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline

WHEN:
Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015
11:30 a.m.

WHERE:
The rotary near Holy Name Church & BPD Precinct E-5
1689 Centre Street, West Roxbury

They may approve this project any day now if they don’t hear from us! Federal comment period ends this Friday.

Did You Know?

  • Joyce Kilmer Elementary, Roxbury Latin, and Beethoven School are all in the “impact zone” of the pipeline if an explosion were to happen.
  • There are approximately 200 residents at the German Center – also in the Impact Zone

Why Do We Need Your Help?

If we are not successful, we risk:

  • A potentially deadly explosion caused by the blasting at the quarry, third-party damage, or acts of terrorism.
  • Potential environmental impact and noise pollution.
  • Loss of property values and/or loss of property due to eminent domain.

If you…

View original post 52 more words

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FloodBoston January Meeting

The next Flood Boston open organizing meeting will be held at MIT Building 4, First Floor, Room 149 (See map below for detailed directions) from 1:30-4pm on January 11

Agenda: From 1:30 to 2 there will be refreshments and networking. Members of the affinity group that organized the recent Stop Spectra Action at State Street Headquarters will also share some of their experiences and lessons. At 2, we will jump into an affinity group training before we get into action planning in break out groups for the remainder.

Next Steps: Be advised that the convening committee is hoping to transition to a spokes-council model at the next meeting in early February. For this to work, it is important that people organize themselves into affinity groups. Please don’t be intimidated if this sounds unfamiliar or exclusive. We are committed to continuing to provide support for folks looking to join or form an AG of their own, as well as ways for individuals to participate in the spokes-council.

Get Involved: If you are interested in helping to plan and facilitate FloodBoston meetings and/or helping to develop our spokes-council model, you are welcome to join the convening committee at our meeting immediately following the organizing meeting on January 11th.

Here’s to a year of unprecedented resistance and solidarity! 

4-149
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Flood Boston and FANG street theater

Photos here and here and here.

For immediate release
Contact: James Billman, FloodBoston. floodboston@gmail.com 617-669-8045

Anti-fracking protesters take State Street Corp. HQ Lobby, performing climate theater piece calling on State Street to end its support of Spectra Energy pipeline through West Roxbury.

On December 18th, citizens from across Massachusetts entered the State Street building to demonstrate against natural gas and the Spectra Energy pipeline. Inside the lobby, they deployed banners, costumes, and elaborate props and performed a theatrical piece highlighting State Street Corporation’s involvement in Spectra Energy, a natural gas company that aims to expand fracked gas pipelines through New England communities.

This action is part of the “Week of Respect and Resistance,” a nationwide campaign against Spectra Energy’s proposed expansion of the “Algonquin” gas pipeline (“Algonquin” Incremental Market Expansion, or AIM).

The AIM pipeline, which contributes to climate change, would run through Massachusetts cities and towns.

David Ludlow of West Roxbury says his neighborhood in Boston is directly threatened by this pipeline that will run near an quarry with an active blasting site.
“We’ve been working with gas experts who have investigated numerous gas explosions throughout the country. West Roxbury is densely populated and the AIM pipeline puts our community at grave risk,” says Ludlow.

Protesters rallied inside State Street Corporation because it is the second largest institutional investor in Spectra Energy.
One of the organizers of the protest, Shannon Leary, said, “We’re here to expose State Street’s investment in Spectra Energy as a driver of runaway climate change. Fracked gas is a false solution and we’re here to send a message: If your project or company threatens our community, we won’t let it happen.”

The AIM Expansion locks New England into a future of fossil fuel dependence, and directly impacts the safety of Boston communities. Organizers called on State Street Corporation to divest their holdings in Spectra Energy, and all other extreme energy projects. Boston-based Spectra Energy is one of the largest natural gas processing, storage, and distribution companies in the United States. State Street Corporation, is one of the largest investors in Spectra Energy, as well as the proposed Kinder Morgan gas pipeline in Massachusetts.
After leaving State Street, protesters performed music and theater inside South Station.

What: Climate theater piece with banners and musical accompaniment.

When: Thursday 18 Dec 4pm

Where:  State Street Lobby, One Lincoln Street

Who: Students, citizens and community members from across the state of Massachusetts, Fighting Against Natural Gas (FANG), and FloodBoston.

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Flood Boston Debuts “RESPECT AND RESISTANCE,” Climate Theater connecting State Street and Spectra

MEDIA ADVISORY                                          December 16, 2014

Contact info: Mark Files Schwaller, Flood Boston, 857-222-9630, mark@melodeego.com

FLOOD BOSTON DEBUTS “RESPECT AND RESISTANCE,” A CLIMATE THEATER PIECE TO CONNECT STATE STREET CORPORATION AND SPECTRA ENERGY

On December 18th, citizens from across Massachusetts will be performing a piece of climate theater to debunk the myths of natural gas as perpetuated by the fossil fuel industry. We will expose State Street Corporation’s investments in Spectra Energy as a driver of runaway climate change. This action is part of the “Week of Respect and Resistance,” a New England-wide campaign against Spectra Energy’s proposed expansion of the “Algonquin” gas pipeline (“AIgonquin” Incremental Market Expansion, or AIM).

The AIM Expansion locks New England into a future of fossil fuel dependence, and directly impacts the safety of Boston communities (running right through West Roxbury). We call on State Street Corporation to divest their holdings of Spectra Energy, and all other extreme energy projects. Spectra Energy is one of the largest natural gas processing, storage, and distribution companies in the United States. State Street Corporation, based right here in Boston, is the second largest shareholder in Spectra Energy, as well as the proposed Kinder Morgan gas pipeline in Massachusetts.

WHAT:

A creative performance at the international State Street Corporation headquarters

WHEN AND WHERE:

Thursday, December 18th at 4:00pm at State Street Corporation (1 Lincoln Street, Boston)

We will be meeting at Chinatown Park at 3:00pm before heading to the plaza at the intersection of Essex and Lincoln.

VISUALS: Activists will bring colorful puppets and banners to perform a cantahistoria-inspired climate theater piece.

LINKS TO MORE INFORMATION:

Flood Boston website: https://floodboston.wordpress.com/

FANG website: http://www.FANGtogether.org

LIVE COVERAGE OF ACTIONS IN THE WEEK OF RESPECT AND RESISTANCE

@FANG_Together

@jwolcottbillman

@FloodBoston

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Flood Boston joins others in action against the AIM pipeline expansion

http://patch.com/new-york/peekskill/groups-cortlandt-rhode-island-plan-protests-against-pipeline-expansion

Groups from Cortlandt to Massachusetts Plan Protests Against Pipeline Expansion

New York opponents of the Algonquin project will protest Dec. 13 in Danbury CT.

Groups from Cortlandt to Massachusetts Plan Protests Against Pipeline Expansion

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is due to release its Final Impact Statement on the Algonquin Incremental Market pipeline expansion.

The pipeline carries natural gas under pressure from the fracking fields of Pennsylvania to the markets and ports of New England. AIM would expand segments of Spectra Energy’s current pipeline through Rockland, Westchester and Putnam counties and add and enlarge monitoring and compressing stations,

Opponents of the project are staging a week’s worth of protests from New York to Rhode Island.

AIM is just the first project proposed by Spectra—the company has already unveiled a second project that would cover the same territory, inserting larger-diameter pipe in other locations. Spectra says that as the projects are separate, the environmental impacts do not have to be considered together.

Here’s the full text from the organizers of the protests:

Grassroots groups from four states along the proposed route for Spectra’s Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline expansion, which cuts through New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, have joined together to host a coordinated “Week of Respect and Resistance”, with actions from December 13 – December 19 in opposition to the project.

The actions are planned in anticipation of the release of the final Environmental Impact Statement by the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee due on or about December 19, 2014. The week of action will target local, state and federal legislators and government agencies – all of whom have direct roles or influence in the approval of the project. These actions will build on the numerous rallies, vigils, meetings and call-in campaigns that have been happening across the states for the past several months.

“We are calling this a Week of Respect and Resistance: respect, because it’s important to honor the other struggles for justice that have come before us and those that are taking place right now around the world. It’s also time for Spectra and our elected officials to respect our power and respect our desire to see a world powered by community owned renewable energy. Resistance means that if this project is approved by FERC, our resistance will only escalate,” FANG organizer Nick Katkevich explains.

Susan Van Dolsen of SAPE in NY said, “Individual groups have been organizing tirelessly in our respective areas by talking to legislators and state agencies, and we are now coming together to emphasize that this is one pipeline project, four states, one loud collective voice saying ‘Stop the Spectra Algonquin pipeline expansion!’”

The New York and Connecticut action will be outside of Danbury Green Shopping Center, 113 Mill Plain Road, Danbury, CT 06811 (near Trader Joe’s) on Saturday, Dec. 13 at 11:30 a.m.

Suzannah Glidden of SAPE said, “Children, the elderly and those with pulmonary and cardiovascular conditions living near compressor stations are at very high risk. Blowdowns when maintenance takes place create dangerous health exacerbations. Metering and regulating stations also release toxic emissions.”

Many elected officials in New York, including Congresswoman Nita Lowey, wrote to FERC requesting an independent risk assessment of the massive 42” new segment of pipeline that would run 105 feet from critical structures at the Indian Point nuclear facility.

A nationally renowned pipeline expert, Rick Kuprewicz of AccuFacts, in a report commissioned by the Town of Cortlandt stated, “Accufacts cannot overstress the importance of performing a full and complete process hazard safety analysis, independently demonstrating, especially to the public, that there will be no interplay between a possible gas transmission pipeline rupture and the IPEC facilities to failsafe shutdown or cause a loss of radiation containment in such a sensitive and highly populated area of the country.”

As a result of citizen advocacy, Congressman Stephen Lynch and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh wrote a letter to FERC Chairperson Cheryl LaFleur expressing concern about the new pipeline lateral that passes through West Roxbury near an active quarry.

Recently, Fossil Free RI launched a campaign urging the Rhode Island Department of Health to block the expansion of the compressor station in Burrillville, citing elevated asthma rates in the surrounding area. The Green Party of Rhode Island, Rhode Island Clean Water Action, Occupy Providence, the the Voluntown Peace Trust have already signed on, and other organizations are in the process of doing so.

“We are at a critical juncture. Expanding the Spectra Algonquin pipeline will lock us into a reliance on fossil fuel infrastructure for decades to come. Communities across the region are coming together to oppose this pipeline and call for clean energy alternatives, energy conservation and efficiencies,” says Michelle Weiser, Community Organizer with Toxics Action Center.

If approved, Spectra would begin construction as early as March 2015 and the project would be completed in November 2016. Another Spectra expansion, the Atlantic Bridge, is planned to follow right after the AIM project with additional expanded segments of massive 42” diameter high-pressure pipeline segments and compressor station expansions, and a third project is also in the works.

These expansions would be devastating to the entire northeast region and much of the gas would be shipped overseas to foreign markets. “Even if the governmental agencies fail us and approve this project, our nonviolent resistance will only escalate. This week will be a demonstration of our commitment to stop this pipeline at all costs,” says Katkevich.

Groups involved with the action include: Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion (NY); Sierra Club (CT); Greater Danbury MoveOn.org Council (CT); Capitalism v. The Climate (CT); Occupy Danbury (CT); Fighting Against Natural Gas (RI); Burrillville Against Spectra Expansion (RI); Fossil Free Rhode Island (RI); Green Party of Rhode Island (RI); Occupy Providence (RI); Toxics Action Center (MA & RI); Mothers Out Front; No New Fracked Gas Infrastructure in West Roxbury, Dedham, or the Northeast (MA); Flood Boston (MA) and Better Future Project (MA).

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Affinity Group Training followed by #FloodBoston Discussion Meeting

Hello co-conspirators,

This Sunday at 4:45 pm at the Boston Anarchist Bookfair being held at the George Sherman Union of Boston University (775 Commonwealth Ave Boston, MA) will be an introduction to affinity groups and the decentralized model of direct action. In this brief one-hour workshop, we will discuss the theory and recent applications of this model. The majority of the time, however, will be spent in practical exercises in affinity group formation. You can check out the Bookfair workshop schedule here.

Afterwards, at 6:30 pm, also at BU, we will hold a general meeting of the #floodboston network (exact location TBD). Rather than jumping back into our discussions of targets and tactics, the convening committee would like to take this time to ground ourselves and think about the meaning of climate justice. We will share stories of indigenous resistance to colonialism and destruction of nature and think critically about where we stand in relation to these struggles. Our hope is initiate a process of questioning as we approach the annual ritual affirmation of false national mythology known as Thanksgiving (more accurately thanksTAKING) and hopefully to strengthen our resolve to face the immense challenges ahead.

Whether you are already part of an affinity group or looking to form one, we hope you will stick around to build the personal relationships that will be crucial in the success of this network.

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Moving Forward on Actions and Spokescouncil

All these meetings over the past few weeks have put me in the mood for some action!
Please join us for a preliminary planning meeting for climate-related direct actions in Boston in the upcoming months. Bring your ideas, your friends (AG?), your energy and your truth. We will pick up where we left off at the end of the first meetings and get quickly into action planning as we work towards creating a decentralized but coordinated network using a spokes council.
Sunday November 9th, 2014
4-7 pm
Encuentro 5,  9A Hamilton Place, Boston MA 02108
(near Park St. station next to the Orpheum)
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