Breach Collective is the new Environmental Org in town making noise across the environmental and climate justice spectrum. Only officially a non-profit for less than a year, the collective appears to draw from several environmental disciplines and various activist orgs. Notably the founders are former members of Our Children’s Trust staff, which organized around the landmark Juliana case, and membership with experience from the Civil Liberties Defense Center and Cascadia Wildlands.
The focus of their advocacy narrative is directed at the frontline communities disproportionately suffering from the climate crisis. And their strategy seems to be a mix of legal litigation and direct action organizing.
What appears to be new about Breach Collective is the structure of the organization. It was formed as a non-hierarchical unionized worker collective without bosses or underlings, inspired by the staff’s experience fighting for better labor standards at their former jobs. It will be interesting to see how this idea functions as a non-profit but it could be part of a larger trend of unionization and collective control in the non-profit community. Collective member Dylan Plummer describes it as inspired by the Mondragon model, which is the largest cooperative in the world and offers an anarcho-syndicalist vision of a post-capitalist model. He also describes the collective as, “Stepping into a breach that wasn’t being filled by the non-profit environmental complex.”
It is clear that a consistent multi-pronged effort to address all aspects of the climate crisis is emerging in the activist community. This style of younger activist collective appears to be pulling even older social and environmental justice institutions in a more aggressive direction. The question is will this cause a shift in the stagnant status-quo of an environmental scene mired in forest partnership projects and green washing? We can only wait and see if Breach Collective has the energy, cohesion, and resources to bring together a new movement.