The moral case for destroying fossil fuel infrastructure

(The Guardian, 18 Nov 2021) If someone has planted a time bomb in your home, you are entitled to dismantle it. The same applies to our planet.

The climate struggle has entered a new phase. It is marked by a search for different tactics: something that cannot be so easily ignored, a mode of action that disrupts business-as-usual for real, some way to pull the emergency brake. This search has only just begun, but the signs are there.

In Berlin, half a dozen young climate activists calling themselves ‘The Last Generation’ recently went on a hunger strike, eventually refusing liquids and becoming quite frail before calling the action off. But there are other things than our own bodies that can be shut down. In conjunction with this summer’s Ende Gelände camp against fossil gas, a group calling itself ‘Fridays for sabotage’ claimed responsibility for rupturing a piece of gas infrastructure and urged the movement to embrace this tactic: ‘There are many places of destruction, but just as many places of possible resistance.’ This followed the development of a veritable archipelago of forest occupations in Germany, some of which have damaged equipment for coal extraction.

To stay in the global north, the long and bitter struggles of Indigenous peoples against never-ending new pipeline projects in Canada and the US have spawned some desperate militancy: trains carrying crude oil have been derailed by activists mimicking the signal of emergency brakes.

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The Guardian, 18 Nov 2021: The moral case for destroying fossil fuel infrastructure