May 3–15, 2016: On six continents, thousands of people took bold action to Break Free from Fossil Fuels.

Break Free shows what the climate movement can do in 2016: Unwavering resistance. Fierce solidarity. Courage by the gigaton.

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20  Escalated Actions

30,000+  Participants

6  Continents

Major Fossil Fuel Projects Disrupted:


Newcastle Coal Port
The world's largest coal port.

Vattenfall Welzow-Sued coal mine + Schwarze Pumpe coal power station
One of the largest sources of CO2 emissions in Europe.

Pecém coal power plant
One of the largest coal power plants in Brazil.

Ffos-y-Fran coal mine
Wales, UK
The largest open-cast coal mine in the United Kingdom.

Aliağa coal ash disposal site
Izmir, Turkey
Waste site for four power plants in one of the most polluted areas in the region.

March Point oil refinery
Washington, USA
The largest unmitigated source of CO2 in the northwest United States.

What we did together:

3 May 2016

The UK’s largest open-cast coal mine in Ffos-y-Fran, Wales was shut down for over 12 hours, with no injuries and no arrests. Mobilisation organized by Reclaim the Power.

4 May 2016

A 10,000+ person climate march and rally in Batangas City, demanding the cancellation of the proposed 600-Megawatt coal power plant in Barangay Pinamucan Ibaba.

7 May 2016

Peaceful protesters successfully blockaded and shut down the Riccarton, Christchurch branch of ANZ bank, which has $13.5 billion invested in fossil fuels.

8 May 2016

2,000 people shut down the world's largest coal port for a day. Kayakers blocked the harbour entrance while others blocked a critical rail crossing.

9 May 2016

Thousands of people cheered on a protest against fracking during a concert at Expo Ingá, the main annual rural fair in the state of Paraná.

10 May 2016

At the historic site of Nigeria’s first oil well, demonstrating the environmental and social damage that happens when the oil goes dry and the community is left with the pollution and none of the wealth to clear it up.

Oloibiri, Nigeria
Oloibiri, Nigeria
Oloibiri, Nigeria

11 May 2016

Around 3,000 people rallied in Jakarta to say that coal is not a solution to pollution, and that it's time to move to renewable energy.

12 May 2016

All three ANZ branches in Dunedin were blockaded by people demanding that the bank divests from fossil fuels.

12 May 2016

Community members gathered in Emalahleni to speak out on the effects of climate change in their daily lives, from corruption to food sovereignty, water, energy, and health.

12 May 2016

On Ogoni land, a demonstration of resistance to the power of the oil industry, demanding they keep their oil in the ground where it belongs.

12 May 2016

Hundreds of people disrupted an auction selling off thousands of acres of public land for oil and gas drilling, Seven people held a sit-in blockading the room where the auction was being held, joined by many more in the lobby and outside the building. No protestors were arrested. The auction was delayed and then completed — minus some prospective bidders who were unable to make it inside the building.

13 May 2016

By blockading ANZ's Auckland branch, hundreds of people made it clear that for the sake of the climate, business as usual can not continue. ANZ needs to divest from fossil fuels.

13 May 2016

A Speak out brought together drought-affected communities and farmers from around South Africa. Then people took the streets in a bread march.

14 May 2016

Protest outside the Gupta residence — the Guptas’ “Oakbay Resources Ltd” company symbolises everything that is wrong with the coal industry in South Africa today.

14 May 2016

Acitivists demanded a cleanup of the Niger Delta on the shores of the Atlantic ocean.

14 May 2016

A big rally in the city center, followed by the signature of a bill banning fracking in the city.

14 May 2016

Mobilisation to protect a community defending itself from fracking. We can rise up to defend our health and homes, our atmosphere held in public trust, our children's futures.

14 May 2016

Activists planted trees at the future site of an oil refinery to protest oil drilling in the Yasuni National Park.

14 May 2016

Mass convergence and march through downtown Los Angeles, home to the United States’ largest urban oil field.

14 May 2016

Actions on the ground and on the water in Metro-Vancouver and Coast Salish Territories to blockade the Kinder Morgan oil terminal demonstrate that people power and 100% renewable energy are the future.

14 May 2016

Action against the Pecém power plant — as the largest thermal power plant in the Brazil it is a symbol of the federal government’s contradiction of the agreement signed at COP21.

14 May 2016

Activists in Cirebon, West Java dropped banners from machinery unloading coal, bringing the coal terminal to a standstill for hours.

14–15 May 2016

Hundreds gathered for a rally, march, and sit-in on the tracks to stop crude oil “bomb” trains rolling through Albany, endangering nearby communities & adding to the climate crisis.

15 May 2016

Community leaders led a mass action in Aliağa (near Izmir) at a coal waste site calling for a stop to four fossil fuel plant projects in the surrounding area.

13–15 May 2016

Thousands converged by land and water on March Point in Anacortes, WA — the site of two oil refineries. Over three days, the action included multiple kayak flotillas, a march led by Indigenous leaders, and an overnight sit-in on the train tracks that led to over 50 arrests.

13–15 May 2016

Thousands of people from across Europe shut down Vattenfall’s coal mine in Lusatia, in 3 days of successive acts of civil disobedience to demand an end to coal.

15 May 2016

Action calling on President Obama to stop all new offshore drilling in the Arctic, Atlantic, and the Gulf of Mexico.

What is Break Free?

Break Free is a movement, an idea, and a call for action. To help build this movement, this online platform has been created so people and organizations who share our Common Values can organize or participate in large-scale actions around the world. These actions will support ongoing campaigns and reinforce shared goals: the rapid, just transition from the fossil fuel economy of the past to the 100% renewable and clean energy future that climate justice demands. Click here to see the values that supported by all Break Free actions.

Break Free from Fossil Fuels is not a legal entity and is not intended to create any formal established legal personality, network or coalition. It is a platform through which people can take and create actions anywhere across the globe, whilst adhering to the agreed Values.

Participating groups

A wide range of international, national and local organisations are stepping up to support or participate in the Break Free movement, including those listed below. Go to country pages for groups involved in specific actions.