Media Release: Tar Sands Blockade Calls For Non-Violent Direct Action In Texas To Stop The Keystone XL Pipeline

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 25, 2012

Contact: Ron Seifert: 843-814-2796 and at ronseif@gmail.com

A Call for Nonviolent Direct Action to Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline from the Tar Sands Blockade

Texas—This summer, environmental activists from across the country will be converging in Texas to blockade the Gulf Coast portion of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Tar Sands Blockade will be coordinating nonviolent direct actions along the pipeline route to stop the zombie pipeline once and for all. We are working with national allies as well as local communities to coordinate a road show that will travel throughout Texas and Oklahoma as well as a regional training effort for activists interested in getting involved in the blockade movement against the Keystone XL.

“Our action is giving a new meaning to ‘Don’t Mess with Texas,’ says Tar Sands Blockade Collective Member Benjamin Kessler. Kessler is also a member of Rising Tide North Texas and Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Tar sands giant TransCanada will be granted permits for construction of the Gulf Coast portion of the pipeline from the Texas Army Corp of Engineers as early as today. President Obama announced he wanted to expedite the ‘Gulf Coast Project’ earlier this year when he gave his ‘all of the above’ energy address in Cushing, Oklahoma.

The Keystone XL remains key to the expansion of the Alberta tar sands, and leading NASA Climate Scientist James Hansen has called the pipeline “a fuse to the largest carbon bomb on the planet.” According to Hansen, if the carbon stored in the tar sands is released into the atmosphere, it would mean “game over for the climate.”

350.org Founder Bill McKibben has worked hard to get Hansen’s message out to the public and to lawmakers in Washington. After more than 1,200 were arrested during the onset of the Tar Sands Action last fall, and another

12,000 turned out to surround the White House to tell President Obama that the Keystone XL is not in the nation’s best interest. McKibben was elated to hear that the Tar Sands Blockade is continuing to foster the spirit of resistance against the pipeline in the south with the use of nonviolent direct action.

“Let’s be clear what the drama is here: human bodies and spirits up against the unlimited cash and political influence of the fossil fuel industry. We all should be grateful for this peaceful witness,” McKibben said.

Because this is an export pipeline, working Americans will pay the cost of environmental destruction, and never see any of the profits.

“The pipeline will make TransCanada rich while encroaching on ranch land, poisoning Texas’ working class communities, and destroying the environment that makes the Lone Star state so beautiful,” says Tar Sands Blockade Spokesperson Ron Seifurt.

This is not a political issue as much as President Obama and Governor Romney would like it to be in this divisive election year. This is a community issue. Ranchers, landowners, green activists, occupiers and self-identified tea party members are currently working together in common interest to stop the Keystone XL pipeline in Texas.

Tar sands oil threatens streams, water tables, grasslands, forests—all of which families along the pipeline route need to survive. Texas landowners are organizing on their own to stop the pipeline, and we are doing everything we can to help them.

For more information visit http://tarsandsblockade.org/

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Rising Tide North America is an all-volunteer climate justice network with over 50 chapter, allies and local contacts throughout Canada, Mexico and the United States that works to confront the root causes of climate change.

Rising Tide North Texas, based in Denton, TX, is the North Texas chapter of Rising Tide North America.

Tar Sands Megaload Fight Moves West To Spokane

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 21, 2012

Contact:
Justin Ellenbecker, Occupy Spokane: ellenbecker22@yahoo.com, 509-599-4549
Helen Yost, Wild Idaho Rising Tide wild.idaho.rising.tide@gmail.com, 208-301-8039

Photo:See available Facebook photos here

*Washington/Idaho Megaload Resistance*

At about 11:30 pm on Sunday night, May 20, a dozen activists from Occupy
Spokane and Wild Idaho Rising Tide converged in Spokane, Washington, to
protest megaloads of oversized equipment bound for Alberta tar sands
operations from the Port of Pasco.  ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil has been using
Highway 395, Interstate 90, and city streets in Spokane and Spokane Valley
since mid-October to transport road damaging shipments weighing up to
400,000 pounds and stretching over 200 feet long.  Diverted in Idaho from
their originally intended Highway 12 route by court challenges and from
their alternative Highway 95 path by Moscow area protests, these pieces of
a tar sands/bitumen processing plant will expand Canadian carbon fuel
extraction, American dependence on oil, and continental greenhouse gas
emissions, while reaping hefty profits for one of the wealthiest
corporations on Earth.

From the pedestrian walkway over East Third Avenue near South Regal Street,
Spokane climate justice activists draped banners asserting “No Dirty
Energy,” “Occupy 99%,” “Climate Killers,” “Highway to Hell,” and other
statements (see photos).  While waiting for the megaload convoys’ arrival,
they observed flaggers and warning signs posted along Third Avenue, support
vehicles cruising the area, and up to six Spokane city police cars parked
near the demonstrators.  Between midnight and 1:00 am on Monday, four
megaloads traversed Third Avenue, narrowly fitting under the pedestrian
overpass and between parked cars and activists with protest signs lining
both sides of the street.  Convoys consisting of Washington state trooper
escorts, flagger vehicles, and pilot trucks displaying illuminated
“oversized load” signs accompanied a silver, cylindrical module, two large,
blue, trailer-like boxes, and a frame structure full of pipes and parts.  A
protester later saw another megaload among a cluster of vehicles similarly
leaving the interstate at the Altamont Street exit in Spokane and the
Barker Road off-ramp in Spokane Valley.

Recognizing the international impacts of these transports, citizens
throughout the Northwest will continue to coordinate and organize
demonstrations to oppose and impede tar sands megaload traffic, to prevent
increasing carbon emissions causing global climate change and to dissuade
investors in such dirty energy schemes.  The mostly foreign-owned
corporations who have mined only two or three percent of the Alberta tar
sands are advancing the second fastest rate of deforestation in the world,
as they consume more energy, mostly derived from natural gas, than tar
sands fuels ultimately yield.  Their largest industrial project on Earth
pollutes exorbitant volumes of fresh water and deposits heavy metals,
carcinogens, and oil across vast swaths of Canadian boreal forests and
wetlands.  Resident First Nations villages practicing subsistence
lifestyles suffer rare cancers and disproportionate deaths, as the single
greatest contributor of atmospheric carbon in North America bodes “game
over” for the Earth’s climate.

People interested in upcoming expressions of First Amendment rights through
anti-megaload assemblies in the Spokane area can contact Occupy Spokane
and/or Wild Idaho Rising Tide for more information about the time and
location of protests.

Donate to Save the Int’l Tar Sands Resistance Summit

TarSandsResistance_Poster1-300x403

WE DID IT!

We Saved the Anti-Tar Sands Summit! And we did it with a network of small donors who mostly gave $50 or less.

Much gratitude to everyone who pitched in and helped us raise $6000 in less than 36 hours!

Northern Rockies Rising TidePeaceful Uprising and others within the Rising Tide network have been involved in organizing an anti-Tar Sands Action Camp in Montana.

A new wave of grassroots resistance and direct action campaigning is emerging in Idaho, Montana and Utah to extractive industry like tar sands and coal.   This camp is part that emerging wave.

The space is reserved. Activists are registered.

But an unforeseen funding complication could stop the whole thing as money for the camp has become no longer available!

To make the camp happen, we need to raise $6000 by Monday evening.

Can you donate $5,$10 or $50 and support grassroots resistance to tar sands infrastructure in the west?

DONATE HERE

Here’s an open letter for support from the organizers at Northern Rockies Rising Tide:

Dear community,

We at Northern Rockies Rising Tide have been involved in organizing an International Tar Sands Resistance Summit to take place just outside of Missoula, Montana from November 19 – 22. To promote this event we were working in collaboration with the Indigenous Environmental Network, local community groups, and national environmental organizations. The notion of the camp is to bring together communities directly impacted by Tar Sands development and related infrastructure projects to learn from each other, strategize, and take action against what some have characterized as the most devastating industrial project on the planet. To this end, we have invited organizers and engaged citizens from communities impacted by the XL Energy Pipeline, the Alberta Tar Sands, the Utah Tar Sands (which would be the first Tar Sands surface mining operation in the United States), and the mega-load shipments to attend the Summit. The response we have received in support of this summit has been amazing. Continue reading