Spinal Column August 2021

"Action is the antidote to despair."  
~ Joan Baez

We continue to live in challenging times, on so many fronts. One way to rise up out of feelings of hopelessness is to take action on a cause you care about. We invite you to collaborate with Backbone on using props that get attention and results. Reach out and let us know your ideas! For inspiration, check out Recent Actions.

Read on for some ways folks are taking action, using creative props and principled action:

  • Biden + Chase: No Money for Fossil Fuels

What kind of ancestors will we be, 7 generations from now?  That is the question organizers of the Pennsylvania-Delaware 180-mile Walk for Our Grandchildren & Mother Earth, asked. They used one of Backbone's inflatable pipelines for actions along the route, to call for an end to funding fossil fuel projects.

Props like these can deliver visual interest to your action. Contact Backbone today to reserve Imagery.

  • Build Back Better - Tax the Ultra Rich: projection with The 99% in Pennsylvania

Bill and Phil projected this week at the US Mint in Philly, urging our policymakers to invest in communities and fund an ambitious infrastructure package. Enjoy these short videos!

Video 1

Video 2

  • Extinction is Forever - Remove the 4 Lower Snake River Dams to Give Salmon and Orca a Fighting Chance

Backbone has been spending a lot of energy lately showing up in support of tribes' call to breach the 4 dams on the Lower Snake River, to restore the ecosystem and save salmon and resident orca from extinction.

In July we brought creative visuals to the NW Tribes’ Salmon Orca Summit.  A moving 6-minute video with highlights of the Summit is HERE. Watch all the proceedings (Day 1 and Day 2) HERE.

Congressman Mike Simpson (R-ID) addressed the tribal members gathered, talking about his Columbia Basin Initiative which, if developed into legislation, could restore the ecosystem and salmon, a keystone species. "It's almost a misnomer to call the Lower Snake River a river.  If you're waiting for consensus on removing the dams, salmon are gone. The reality is, it has to get done."

Check out this recent essay about Simpson's Plan to restore the Snake , to prevent extinction: The content of Simpson’s salmon plan has been at forefront. But its character may matter even more.

Live in Washington or Oregon?  Here are two ways to take quick action:

1. Call Senators and urge them to take urgent action that breaches the dams on the Lower Snake River:

Senator Wyden (OR):  202-224-5244
Senator Merkley (OR):  202-224-3753
Senator Cantwell (WA):  202-224-3441
Senator Murray (WA):  202-224-2621

2. Post on social media how much you want to restore salmon, orca and the Snake, and tag them to get their attention.

Earlier this summer we collaborated with the Nimiipuu Protecting the Environment on a projection on Lower Granite Dam. This was one of the most challenging projections we've ever done, but the message came out very clear that we must stand with tribes, honor treaties, and restore the Snake River by removing the earthen berms on these dams.

Recently, we were part of a multi-state Rally for the River, to showcase Northwesterners' support for a free flowing Snake, wild salmon and orca. Check out this video by Jeff Dunnicliff, amplifying the calls to action from the Duwamish Tribe, kayaktivists, and salmon and orca allies!

Bannering actions are ongoing in many towns and cities in the PNW.  We are looking to organize a multi-city/town overpass banner action for World Rivers Day in late September.  More info to come; contact us to deploy a banner in your community, or to join an action already happening.

Staying Home but Want to Support Salmon?  Add your name to the Youth Petition HERE.  (Let's help the Umatilla Youth get up to 25k signatures!)

  • M4A - Medicare For All - "Count Bleed Ya Dry" has been making the rounds

We recently resurrected our Count Bleed Ya Dry prop, representing the predatory insurance industry, and brought it to a couple actions in the Seattle area.

Also, our Tuesday Morning Banner Crew at the Yesler Overpass has been working to get the message out!

To learn more about Medicare 4 All, check out Physicians for a National Health Program. 

  • Home Care is Essential

Justin, a new member of Team Backbone, traveled to Las Vegas in July to help SEIU deploy our old-style Light Panel Letters to spell out "Home Care is Essential" as part of a 24-city action.  Thanks, Justin, for getting out with this important message and supporting essential workers.

  • ICYMI - Diane Wilson Is In the House!

Check out the deeply moving call we had at the beginning of this summer with Diane Wilson, "an unreasonable woman" on direct action and hunger strikes. Learn more and listen/watch HERE.

  • Upcoming Events

Backbone is planning on ramping up our web-cast events in September. Mark your calendar:

  • Dandelion Insurrection Book Group, Mondays in October.  Sign up HERE.

  • Back to Activism School Camp - Creative Activism September Call, Sept 28th

  • Solutionary Rail Webcast Conversation on Precision Scheduled Railroading, with Matt Parker, Sept 21. RSVP HERE.

  • Virtual film screenings, including Youth v Gov and Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power

Stay tuned for more info soon!

Thank you for being part of this creative activism.  We cannot do this work without you.

To make a tax-deductible contribution, donate HERE. Or sign up to join our "Lumbar Club" by making a small monthly donation HERE.  It all helps us keep organizing, shipping props out, educating and connecting folks, and making an impact on the issues that matter to you. We are grateful for your help.

Shining a message in smoky Wenatchee, WA. Photo by Jim Allyn.

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