An opportunity to give thanks by taking action!

Please Do the Right Thing, Obama
The most recent bill to force approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline was defeated in the US Senate by one vote. Calls from opponents of the bill (you!) clearly had an impact on Senator King and certainly let Senator Collins know where a large proportion of her constituents stand—even if she does not stand with them. Thank you!

We anticipate a replay of this congressional pressure in early 2015 as the Republican-controlled Congress will no doubt try again, with the risk of pushing such a bill through much more likely. Normally, Keystone XL would require approval from the President to be built. Congress was trying to take that authority away — and force it to be built. They failed, but clearly will try again. Now the ball is back in President Obama's — and our — court. He has said that he will reject the pipeline if he finds it contributes to climate change (which it obviously does), and so we need to put people power to work again to tell him to reject the pipeline now. 350.org is asking us to please tell President Obama that it's time to reject Keystone XL! Click here to send a message to the President. Your calls have made the difference in the past; let’s keep working together to make history.

University of Maine System Students Press Trustees to Divest
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The Divest UMaine Campaign will hold a demonstration outside the University of Maine System office at 16 Central St. in Bangor on Wednesday, December 3, beginning at 11:00 am. The UMS Board of Trustees Investment Committee is meeting there from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. One of the agenda items is a follow-up report from its financial manager, New England Pension Consultants, on fossil fuel divestment. Please join students, alumni, and taxpayers for the rally. FMI contact Catherine FletcherConnor Scott, or Karen Marysdaughter. Orono campus students held a divestment and climate change rally on Friday, Nov. 21, to build momentum for the December 3 rally.

Climate Action Conference to Build Grassroots Action
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Our colleagues at Sierra Club Maine Chapter are opening up to the power of people at the grassroots. That’s why Sierra and 350 Greater Portland are sponsoring a climate activist conference Saturday, December 6 at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. The Maine Grassroots Climate Action Conference will include sessions on creating community solar projects; developing town energy efficiency plans; advocating for public transportation projects; opposing dirty energy projects; developing or expanding local recycling/compost programs; ways to support food sovereignty, and more. Shenna Bellows will be the keynote speaker.

The concept? Bring together climate activists from around the state and provide them with ideas, policy guidance, and inspiration to implement a specific local climate/clean energy goal that fits a particular community. The full-day conference will include presentations on specific Maine success stories and models, as well as training on effective community organizing strategies.This conference is the launch of Sierra’s own climate action team program, but attending could help energize local 350 Maine nodes or build a node with Sierra Club Maine where one does not yet exist! RSVP HERE[Image: http://grassrootsresearchrocks.wordpress.com/]

Anti-Fracking Activist Requests Support
112514c.jpgIn October 2013, a group of Trans and/or Womyn Activists (TWAC) conducted a nonviolent civil disobedience action at the Irving headquarters in Portsmouth, NH. They were in solidarity with the Mi’kmaq, protesting the SWN Resources Canada testing for fracking wells on the Elsipogtog Reservation in New Brunswick (near Reston). Five of them were arrested. The four other activists have pled guilty and are paying fines, but Christine—an Occupy Wall Street and TWAC activist and 350 Maine supporter from Greene, ME—is pursuing a jury trial. She was charged and convicted with resisting arrest; this event is a Superior Court appeal from a bench conviction. Her trial date in Rockingham Superior Court is Dec. 1 at 9:00 a.m. and she would appreciate a show of support from the activist community. Supporters should plan to arrive 15 minutes early so they may be seated without disrupting proceedings.Since jury selection could take most of the day, the actual trial may be held that day or a day or two later. Heidi Brugger will be in touch with Christine and will be able to share any re-scheduled trial date and time once these are known. Feel free to contact her (207-382-6477 or heidi@350maine.org).

Thanksgiving for Oneness with Nature
Before every gathering the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois or Six Nations) speak a Thanksgiving greeting on behalf of the people. This has roots going back more than 1,000 years to the formation of the Great Law of Peace and the man called the Peacemaker (we may know him as Hiawatha). The greeting addresses the people, Mother Earth Mother, waters, fish, plants, food plants, medicinal herbs, animals, trees, birds, the four winds, thunderers, sun, moon, stars, enlightened teachers, and creator. The words are a way to share in and rediscover balance, respect, and oneness with Nature. Because water is finite and we are aware of the role it plays in natural gas, tar sands, Bakken crude and coal extraction, here are the words for the “Waters”:

112514d.jpgReader/speaker: We give thanks to all the waters of the world for quenching our thirst and providing us with strength. Water is life. We know its power in many forms-‐waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the spirit of Water. All respond: Now our minds are one.

It is a powerful address and one you may want to use for this holiday feast, when we celebrate working together for survival. And in the spirit of one mind, may you have a good Thanksgiving. [Image: Penobscot River; MaineFishingAdventures.com]

Suggested Media
Save the Date
  • Nov. 30, Greater Portland (location TBD): Tar Sands Team meeting, 4-7 p.m. FMI: Sarah Lachance.
  • Dec. 3, Falmouth: 350 Greater Portland meeting, 6:00–8:00 p.m., Friends School. Carpool Message Board
  • Dec. 6, Augusta: 350 Maine Spokescouncil meeting, Mediation Center, King Street; 3:00–6:00 pm. Spokescouncil representatives and their alternates may attend.
  • Dec. 11, Portland: 350 Maine Arts for Climate Change, 6:00–9:00 p.m., Becky’s Diner, Portland
  • Dec. 13, Augusta: 350 Maine Convergence 3 meeting. This group consists of representatives from each node and campaign team, and addresses issues related to organizational structure in preparation for our statewide general meeting. We are limiting our numbers to three reps per group in order to facilitate dialog and decision-making.