Climate rally shuts down SW 4th Avenue, includes call to end I-5 freeway expansion project




(Photos provided by Sunrise PDX)

Hundreds of concerned Portlanders shut down SW 4th Avenue outside City Hall today to raise awareness of climate change.

Led by Extinction Rebellion and Sunrise PDX (the Portland chapter of the national Sunrise Movement), activists called on Mayor Ted Wheeler to declare a citywide climate emergency.

In addition to a creative and colorful rally that took over the street, activists staged a sit-in in Wheeler’s office.

As we reported when Sunrise volunteers showed up at a Metro transportation funding hearing last month, the inclusion of the I-5 expansion project at today’s rally is just the latest evolution in the ever-closer integration between transportation reform activism and the rising climate change movement.

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Here’s the statement released by Sunrise PDX a few minutes ago:

It is far past time for words without meaningful action. We are tired of hearing about “environmental protection” in the abstract, while new projects are being built to facilitate the continued expansion of fossil fuel usage. The time is now to act boldly; to break cleanly from the status quo; to take the political risks necessary to secure the future of our planet and its inhabitants. To Mayor Wheeler and the City of Portland, we ask:

What is your plan?

We stand in opposition to the local expansion of fossil-fuel infrastructure and call on our city officials to do the same.
Today, we sat in Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office in Portland, Oregon to demand that his administration:

1. Declare a climate emergency in the City of Portland.

2. Stop the current expansion of the Zenith Energy crude oil export terminal and develop a plan to shut it down entirely.

3. Prevent the proposed expansion of the I-5 freeway and any future freeway expansion projects within the City of Portland.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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