If a crime is committed in order to prevent a greater crime, is it forgivable? Is it, in fact, necessary?


Backbone Meaningful Movies presents a one night screening of THE RELUCTANT RADICAL, Tuesday, February 12 at 6pm at Vashon Theatre.

The documentary features climate activist Ken Ward as he confronts his fears and puts himself in the direct path of the fossil fuel industry to combat climate change. Ken breaks the law as a last resort and with great trepidation, to fulfill what he sees as his personal obligation to future generations. After twenty years leading environmental organizations, Ken becomes increasingly alarmed by both the scientific evidence of climate change and the repercussions for civilization as we know it. Ken pushes for a crisis level response and when his efforts fail, he embraces direct action civil disobedience as the most effective political tool to deal with catastrophic circumstances.

Following the film, Valve Turner Michael Foster will speak about his direct action experience and his ongoing work to combat climate change.

Foster was convicted of felony conspiracy to commit criminal mischief and misdemeanor conspiracy trespass in October of 2016 when he entered a valve site of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota and shut the valve off after notifying Keystone that he was doing so and giving them an option to shut it off remotely. This act of climate disobedience, coordinated with other activists who faced lesser charges, shut down 15% of US crude oil imports for nearly a day – a display of the sorts of shifts that are necessary to avoid complete cataclysm. In February 2018, he was sentenced to 3 years (2 deferred) and his projected released date was December 5, 2018. He was released on August 1, 2018.
The film reveals both the personal costs and also the fulfillment that comes from following one’s moral calling- even if that means breaking the law.

Admission is by donation, with no one turned away for lack of funds.  The evening is made possible thanks to generous support from Vashon Theatre and Island Green Tech.