In a climate emergency, is civil disobedience a necessity?
Grounded in people and places at the heart of the climate crisis, Necessity Pt I: Oil, Water and Climate Resistance traces the fight in Minnesota against the expansion of pipelines carrying toxic tar sands oil through North America. The story unfolds in a setting where activists make a moral case for acts of civil disobedience using the necessity defense. Movement lawyers defending activists in court must prove that the threat of the climate emergency justified acts of civil disobedience and that there were no legal alternatives. Indigenous leaders and white allies carry into this site of struggle their knowledge of resistance strategies, as well as their experiences of loss and trauma, as they work to defend the sacred and demand justice. The film calls into question whether legal strategies are sufficient in responding to the scale of the global climate crisis.