Responding to the Call: Build a Human Orca Mural

An Urgent Action to Support Tahlequah (J35)

Orca Mother Tahlequah has spent days carrying her dead calf through the Salish Sea, near the San Juan Islands. 

We respect Tahlequah's intelligence, and we believe that she is trying to communicate with us. We must heed the warning from her and her pod; no activist organization has ever spoken with such clarity and urgency as these beings have these past ten days. She is successfully making the invisible visible more effectively than any activist organization ever could. Let's make sure she is heard.

Governor Inslee is responding to pressure for Lower for Snake River dam removal. We need to increase that pressure and expand it to the task force, the AG's office and elsewhere.

Organize Your Own Human Orca Mural

One organizing strategy Backbone is deploying, to build on the incredible courage and spirit of Tahlequah, is the use of human murals. Human Orca Murals are simple to do and they bring people together, earn media attention to keep the movement growing, help people feel their connection to each other, the orca, salmon and this beautiful, precious and fragile place.

An action like this can be significantly aided by the help of a contractor/builder used to staking out a building site and a friend with a drone. (Use the orca grid below to lay out the site.) The image to the left is from 2009 on Maury Island. Invite people to come with black clothes and/or black umbrellas. Cut some white plastic or cloth for the spots. When we did this action we had a small plane fly overhead. These days lots of people have drones that make taking the photo so much easier.

We hope this helps you self organize a solidarity vigil/human mural in your community. It is a powerful way to bring people together to organize for yet further action. Let us know you're organizing an action, and we will provide advice and help promote your gathering and your impact. Connect with others doing actions here.

IMPORTANT: PLAN around the tides if you are on the shore of the Salish Sea.
Here's the image we used in 2009 used on Maury Island as a guide. Print this or another Orca image on graph paper. Then use stakes and line to recreate the grid on a larger scale. Use yarn to trace the outlines. 
Cut some white plastic or cloth for the spots.
Gather folks to fill in the outlines. Have them come with black clothes and/or black umbrellas.
Use a drone to take the photos. You may also use the drone to adjust the look, in order to get a picture you'll all be proud of.
(When we did this action we had a small plane fly overhead. These days lots of people have drones that make taking the photo so much easier. )

We hope this helps you self organize a solidarity vigil/human mural in your community. It's a powerful way to bring people together to organize for yet further action.

Your support of Backbone Campaign keeps actions like these happening, so that together we can protect our beloved Salish Sea. Make your donation here.