Three Rivers Rising Tide was formed as the Shadbush Environmental Justice Collective in spring of 2010 out of a desire to develop a more radical response to the climate crisis and environmental injustice as they manifest in Pittsburgh and throughout our region. The Shadbush Collective organized actions, educational events, trainings, and published literature for more than four years. In 2014, after becoming more politically and strategically aligned with the Rising Tide North America network we adopted the name Three Rivers Rising Tide. Three Rivers Rising Tide continues to work to confront the root causes of climate change, fight against fracking and other forms of destructive resource extraction, and promote radically sustainable alternatives to the current capitalist political and economic system.
our points of unity
We work to confront the root causes of ecological destruction, climate change and oppression. We are committed to building community-based, radically sustainable solutions that foster local autonomy and self-sufficiency in Pittsburgh and its bioregion.
We utilize practices and forms of organization that are anti-authoritarian, horizontal, self-organizing, decentralized, and directly participatory.
Toward Environmental Justice
We acknowledge and seek to expose the intersection between oppressions of humans and the destruction of the earth. Environmental hazards and disasters and the ways in which people respond to them often reveal and reinforce the injustices inherent in an oppressive society. We must respond to these disasters in ways that do not reinforce and further oppression including respecting peoples’ livelihoods and ensuring a just transition for workers.
Toward Radical Sustainability
We believe that as a matter of survival we must build and evolve physical and social infrastructure that meets our needs in ways that are deeply ecological, community-controlled, locally integrated, and autonomous from oppressive, centralized institutions. We support and actively participate in this work of radical sustainability.
Against False Solutions, Against Green Capitalism
We believe that the ecological crisis cannot be addressed without fundamental changes to present-day economic and technological infrastructure. We resist and reject band-aid solutions that serve only to put a green face on the destructive systems driving these crises in the first place.
In Defense of Ecological Integrity
We acknowledge that all living things and their environments have inherent value in and of themselves, regardless of their instrumental value to humans, and that human and ecological health are inextricably bound together. We oppose the disturbance of further wilderness and work to stabilize damaged ecosystems. We consider political boundaries and borders irrelevant when defining healthy ecosystems and bioregions. We work to build solutions that are ecologically regenerative and that extend ecological health into the indefinite future.
Strategy and Tactics
We seek to act for environmental justice and radical sustainability in ways that maximize respect for life and oppressed peoples’ rights. We believe that the struggle must occur on multiple fronts and employ a diversity of tactics consistent with these values and our points of unity. We recognize that grassroots organizing, direct action, education, logistical and emotional support are all essential and complimentary pieces of social movement towards change, we support individuals’ choices in determining their own best path of involvement, and we value all work towards our shared goals.
We acknowledge the devastating social and economic impacts of ecological disasters and resource extraction on our local communities, and are deeply concerned with environmental racism and classism. We seek to work in solidarity with and follow the leadership of impacted communities to confront not only ecological destruction, but also all forms of social and economic oppression. We recognize the important role both rural and urban communities play in our bioregion, and the tensions that can arise between those communities based on resource use, resource extraction, and cultural differences. Instead of letting these tensions divide us, we seek to bring people together around the power of our collective need for healthy, sustainable ecosystems.
Respect and Mutual Aid
We seek to build relationships of respect and mutual aid and freely share knowledge, tools and resources. We are committed to building our own skills and abilities and actively encourage other organizers, resisters, activists and community members to join us in these educational efforts.
We situate our work within the larger context of local and bio-regional struggles for health, justice and the environment, and support other organizations’ work in ways that affirm our principles.
We acknowledge the potential within our movements to manifest forms of oppression and domination. We strive to create an anti-racist, anti-sexist, class conscious, and queer and trans-positive organizing space. We attempt to challenge oppressive behaviors whenever they arise, and to hold people accountable for their behavior.
Support and Accountability
We seek to build mutually supportive relationships with one another, and to share work and knowledge in a way that feels good for everyone so that we can realistically sustain this work. We create space for talking openly about process, power, and group dynamics when necessary so that problems can be addressed as they arise.