Tar Sands Blockade Escalates! You can participate locally
Because a sustainable future depends on the people willing to see the truth for what it is, and for those to stand up in unison in order to make a difference.
— Jake Edward Keli'i Eakin
Tarak, Margaret and Kevin recently returned from the Tar Sands Blockade (TSB) direct action training camp and launch of their new campaign to increase pressure on TransCanada to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline from being built. We were pleased to see so many familiar faces from Freedom Plaza! And we are excited to announce the newest phase in the escalation of the TSB campaign. We recommend joining and supporting their actions. This is a struggle for the environment and against corporate power that can succeed! On the day of our arrival, TSB started a new treesit in an area between a highway and railroad where TransCanada cannot reroute the pipeline. Police removed the treesitters within 24 hours, but their arrest led to the discovery that TransCanada was building on public land without permission. This may have important implications for the supporters who were told they were on private property and who were arrested that day. The next day, we joined a local tribe in a Round Dance on the front lawn of a member of the tribe who lives adjacent to the pipeline. This was an expression of solidarity with Idle No More. The training camp lasted 3 days and was both well-organized and informative. We were impressed by the seriousness and dedication of the community members to both stopping the pipeline and creating an environment of respect and safety. Participants of all ages ranged from those who have never participated in direct action to experienced activists. The schedule was full of workshops on anti-oppression, strategy, nonviolence, media work, affinity groups, legal rights, street theater and tactics. On Monday morning, TSB launched the newest phase of their campaign which targets TransCanada directly and their US subsidiaries, financiers, investors and construction companies. This is a campaign that people can participate in from all over the country. TSB has a list of offices here. And you can look at photos of actions to get ideas for yours. We traveled to Houston on Monday for direct action at the office of the TransCanada subsidiary, Keystone. TS Blockaders took over the office building, dropping black balloons to symbolize toxic tar spills and dying in the lobby. The toxic Pipeline Dragon was defeated by the brave TS Blockaders. When the protest moved outside, passing cars honked their horns in solidarity. Even the police responded with smiles to some of the actions of the TS Blockaders who made it clear that this action was on behalf of all people. The Idle No More movement has reached a level of success! Tomorrow is a global day of action in solidarity with First Nation chiefs, including Chief Theresa Spence who is on hunger strike, who will meet with Prime Minister Harper. Events are planned in Washington, DC and elsewhere. You will find an interactive map of over 130 events here.January is a busy month!
Today farmers from across the nation gathered in Washington as oral arguments were heard in Federal Court in the case of farmers against Monsanto.January 12, protesters will gather at CIA headquarters in Langley, VA to protest drones and torture. This is especially important because Obama recently appointed John Brennan, architect of the drone program and participant in the Bush-era torture and extraordinary rendition programs, to head the CIA.January 21, Arc of Justice rally and march in Washington, DC.January 25, Veterans for Peace joins other groups to protest at the headquarters of the Peabody Coal Company.January 26, Occupy New England regional gathering in Portland, ME.We are inspired by all that is happening. The world is changing as people express their desires for truth, sustainability, solidarity, mutual aid and respect. You are part of this change. Everyone can participate in some way In peace and solidarity, Margaret, Kevin and October2011/Occupy Washington, DC