Victory Paddle

Join us this Sunday October 18th from 12-3pm for a friendly paddle!
Meet at Alki Kayaks in West Seattle. 
RSVP HERE & Pitch-in HERE to reserve a spot in a kayak or contribute to the cause.

Dear {{ recipient.first_name_or_friend }},

On April 2, the Backbone Campaign initiated the call for people to "Join the Flotilla!" Over the following months, we worked with our friends (many of you) to train nearly 400 people in the Seattle and Portland areas in what has become known as “Kayaktivism." UnisonFistsAndBlimp2-600.jpgThose Kayaktivists participated in at least 14 separate on-water actions. To say that it was an intense spring and summer is an understatement. We repeatedly rode the pendulum from exhilarating to heartbreaking. But the result was an unprecedented increase in public awareness of Arctic drilling and its negative impacts on culture, ecosystems and climate.  Climate change and Arctic drilling are now inextricably linked and more tangible to the public than ever.

GeorgeEdwardsonBoat.jpgOn September 28, Shell announced that it has abandoned its Arctic drilling plans. When that news came in, I reached out to Inupiat elder George Edwardson.  George came to in May to share the stories of his people and decades of work to protect the Chukchi Sea.  When he was here I could feel his relief that this cause that has been such a huge part of his life was now a burden shared by many others. He replied to my call with a simple and heartfelt message to the Kayaktivists of the Salish Sea, "All I can say is, Thanks."
We all built upon George's and many others' life work. Many people working in many sectors played their parts, big and small, visible and invisible. Thanks to all, Alaskan Arctic oil won't poison the Inupiat way of life.  It won't pollute nurseries at the bottom of a food chain we all depend upon.  And it won't further cook the climate.  At least for now, oil under the Alaskan Arctic water will stay where it belongs.  

So, Congratulations ALL!! This is the largest victory many of us have ever experienced, thus far. I believe that yet bigger victories are possible.  The Rise of Kayaktivism has just begun. It is a growing practice for nonviolent direct action that is spreading across the planet.  We are at its leading edge. We learned important strategic and tactical lessons (upcoming article). We applied and will continue to apply those lessons to nurture this emergent form. 

KayakMosaicVerticle400px.jpgKayaktivism bears witness for the world we want, while presenting a stark and compelling David VS Goliath contrast to the destructive forces of extreme extraction. Besides being inherently colorful and photogenic, Kayaktivism feeds our physical and spiritual well being.  It places us in the profoundly focusing experience of relating with nature's power, each other, and ourselves. Engaging in Kayaktivism builds community bonds that bolster bold, courageous action, the kinds of action many of you took. For all those reasons, Kayaktivism grows our movement, sows cohesion and deepens the resolve of our people, creating a culture of both resistance AND resilience.

So, pat yourself and a friend on the back, grab a paddle and join us to celebrate this historic victory in a very simple and beautiful way. We are going for a paddle this Sunday from Noon-3pm. We will meet in the very place Kayaktivsm took off, Seacrest Park at Alki on the shore of Elliott Bay. It is a FREE, informal event. Please bring your own watercraft if you have one. 
BUT - IF you need to reserve a spot in a single or double rental kayak, PLEASE make a sliding scale pitch-in HERE. We will do our very best to be sure everyone RSVP's with a request to get on the water, will have the opportunity to do so.  The ACTUAL per person cost (even with a discount) is $25 per person. So, if you can, please consider contributing extra to anonymously help others get onto the water as well.

We will enjoy a paddle together. We will discuss and prepare for some upcoming Kayaktivist opportunities including the Gates Foundation Divestment action on Oct. 24. And we will strategize for ways to expand the use of Kayaktivism through organizing Community Kayaktivist Teams and trainings for neighborhoods, workplace and campus groups.

Signup at our NEW INTERACTIVE WEBSITE to bring a Kayaktivism Training to Your Community HERE.  

As always, a BIG THANK YOU to Alki Kayak Tours a linchpin for the success of this whole endeavor. And deppest respect and gratitude to the Duwamish Tribe who continually welcome us to their land and waters. 

Paddles Ready?!  Hell Yes!  

Bill Moyer & Team Backbone

PS - Check out a great concert at the Duwamish Longhouse on Saturday at 2pm.  More information HERE.  (The above photo is of Ken Workman and Cecile Hansen, Chair of the Duwamish Tribe.  An image of their ancestor Chief Seattle flies above, watching over.)

Also - this is our first public use of our new Nation Builder Tool.  PLEASE be patient with us.  We are in on a learning curve with this powerful organizing platform. The transition is going to have a few bumps.  Thanks in advance.