Anti-Keystone XL Protests Erupt Across Country

WI-light-brigadeAnti-Keystone XL Protests Erupt Across Country With More Planned Soon – Thirty-Seven Arrested Already

—For Immediate Release—

MEDIA RELEASE: March 20, 2013

Press Inquiries: Ron Seifert, Tar Sands Blockade, 940-268-5375, kxlblockade@gmail.com

Over 30 protests as part of Week of Action to Stop Tar Sands Profiteers held by over 50 grassroots organizations take on corporate investors bankrolling the toxic Keystone XL tar sands pipeline

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013- One month after the largest climate rally in U.S. history urged President Obama to deny the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline’s northern segment, protesters in dozens of cities throughout the U.S. are confronting KXL’s corporate backers directly.

Thirty-seven have been arrested over the last ten days for disrupting business as usual at TransCanada and their investors’ offices, with more are planned before the week is over.

The March 16-23 Week of Action to Stop Tar Sands Profiteers, in solidarity with Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance’s Direct Action Camp in Ponca City, Oklahoma, is endorsed by over 50 grassroots environmental organizations around the country. Organizers seek to expose green-washed corporations like TD Bank, a top shareholder in TransCanada, and force them to divest from the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

“Its encouraging to see people around the country taking action to stop tar sands profiteers,” said Ron Seifert, spokesperson for Tar Sands Blockade. “No longer will we allow them to build KXL and invest in toxic projects that endanger the health of low-income and communities of color. We will not allow “business as usual” to continue.”

Here are a few highlights from the Week of Action so far:

Check www.tarsandsblockade.org for live updates from actions around the country. At least 18 more actions are planned between now and Saturday, March 23rd, including six more actions against TD Bank in New York City, Washington D.C., Montpellier, VT, Newark, DE, New Haven, CT, and Asheville, NC.

One of the largest events of the week will be tomorrow, Thursday, March 21 in Oklahoma. Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance is taking action to physically stop KXL construction. Read more here: http://gptarsandsresistance.org/

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Lifelong Oklahoman Youth Pastor suspended from KXL Construction Equipment, locked to machinery.

TSB OKBREAKING: Lifelong Oklahoman Youth Pastor suspended from KXL Construction Equipment, locked to machinery.

Earlier this morning, Stefan Warner, a youth pastor who was born and
raised in Harrah, OK, locked himself to machinery being used to build the
toxic Keystone XL tar sands pipeline through Creek land by treaty near
Schoolton, OK. Warner is taking action to protect the North Canadian River
and
the health of the towns and land it runs through from being irreversibly
damaged by diluted bitumen (tar sands) leaks and spills, as well as to
send a clear message that the current day colonialism and disregard for
the health and sovereignty of indigenous peoples in Alberta and along
the pipeline is unacceptable—from a Christian perspective, as well as a
human perspective.

Tar sands pipelines have a horrendous track record: the existing
Keystone 1 pipeline leaked twelve times in its first year, and at least
thirty times to date. In 2010, the added dangers of tar sands pipelines
were demonstrated by Enbridge’s Line 6B pipeline spill of over a million
gallons of diluted bitumen into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. The
Kalamazoo Tar Sands spill is the costliest inland spill in United States
history, draining the oil spill coffers and placing the $800 million and
rising price tag onto the backs of local and federal taxpayers. But it
is not the monetary burden that weighs heaviest; the toll on human life,
health and local ecosystems is immeasurable, and in the immediate, the
toxicity of the diluted bitumen and undisclosed proprietary chemicals
has proven devastating.

In addition to the immense dangers posed by the Keystone XL, TransCanada
has been misrepresenting the economic effects of the pipeline. The
majority of construction jobs are temporary and have been filled by
Wisconsin-based contractor Michel’s, not Oklahomans and Texans. Despite
TransCanada and the State Department’s rhetoric of energy independence,
the diluted bitumen transported by the Keystone XL is destined for
export to foreign markets after being refined in Gulf Coast refineries,
and the National Resources Defense Council asserts that the KXL will
increase domestic gas prices.

“I grew up in a town where the North Canadian River runs right through,
and we can’t let the North Canadian become another Kalamazoo ,” said
Oklahoman youth pastor Stefan Warner. “I figure folks have to take action to
stop our beautiful Oklahoma from being marred by a foreign corporation,
and stand up to fight big corporations who think that poisoning people
and stealing land is acceptable so long as they make a profit.”

Warner is acting with Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, a coalition of
Oklahomans and allies fighting to prevent construction of the Keystone
XL which will bring dangerous and toxic diluted bitumen from the
biome-consuming Tar Sands gigaproject to refinery communities in the
Gulf. This action comes in the wake of dozens of similar actions which
have actively fought construction of the Keystone XL in Oklahoma and
Texas. In light of reports of shoddy welding by TransCanada
whistleblower Evan Vokes and the recent release of photographs depicting
holes in the weld of a pipe buried in Texas, the struggle to keep the
Keystone XL from being completed is even more urgent.

Help Make Climate Justice A Reality In 2013!

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2012 has been a watershed year for the climate movements. Community led campaigns against fracking have sprouted up in OH, PA and NY. Appalachians occupied and shut down the largest strip mining site in West Virginia. Climate activists joined up with Texas landowners to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline.

At the center of each of these environmental mobilizations and campaigns have been Rising Tide chapters and activists. This year, we’ve:

 

  • Started new chapters from Alaska to Santa Cruz, CA to Toronto to Vermont to the Florida Keys.
  • Worked with the Tar Sands Blockade in a direct action campaign to stop the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline.
  • Trained and organized activists for civil disobediences at the Mountain Mobilization in West Virginia, the Coal Exports Action in Helena, Montana and many other events.
  • Coordinated with the “Summer of Solidarity” which included actions against fracking, mountaintop removal and tar sands.


As we begin 2013, we’re asking you to make a donation to Rising Tide North America to keep our momentum building.

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December Update: Climate Action Rocks 2012, Get Ready For 2013!

December Update: Climate Action Rocks 2012, Get Ready For 2013

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Climate Justice Activists Launch Hunger Strike With Blockade At Houston Refinery
Bob Lindsey Jr. and Diane Wilson began a sustained hunger strike to demand that Valero divest entirely from the Keystone XL pipeline and invest that money into the health and well-being of the people of the neighborhood of Manchester (next to the refinery.) Hunger strikers began their protest in the Harris County Jail after blockading the refinery for several hours.
Read More Here: http://tarsandsblockade.org/13th-action/

Raising Resistance: Action Across North America in Solidarity with Unist’ot’en
Allies of the Unist’ot’en Camp held solidarity actions across North America, and around the world, warning industry and government to end their trespass against sovereign Wet’suwet’en territory. The camp is working to stop several proposed pipelines and shale gas projects in the Peace River Region.
Read More Here: http://unistotencamp.wordpress.com/

Rising Tide Vermont Disrupts Shell Oil Exec
In solidarity with the Tar Sands Blockade, Rising Tide Vermont interrupted a presentation by a Shell Oil executive.  After nine consecutive interruptions, during which members of RTVT read statements from the Ogoni and other people on the frontlines of Shell’s operations, the event was cancelled and police were called.
Read more here: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012311150032

Days of Action Against the Keystone XL Pipeline
Over 100 people in Nacogdoches, Texas rallied to defend their homes and protect their water from toxic tar sands. In solidarity, over 40 communities rallied across the country and the world against tar sands and deadly resource extraction everywhere.
Read More Here: http://tarsandsblockade.org/12th-action/

Keep Rising Tide North America Going in 2013
Climate action has rocked 2012. Rising Tide has been a central part of organizing it. Now we need you to join us and keep it going on 2013. Whether its $5, $50 or $500, please donate and help us build this movement.
Donate Here:https://www.wepay.com/xmmxkxl/donations/rising-tide-north-america

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