Independent media crew Fueling Dissent have put together several great videos of communities that are actively resisting the Keystone XL pipeline. Beginning on Lakota Homelands, Lesley and Mathew travel to East Texas then further south to the Houston Shipping Channel, documenting the reflections of people defending sacredwater from TransCanada’s toxic pipeline.
At the end of April, Fueling Dissent arrived at the Moccasins on the Ground direct action training on Lakota homelands. Organized by Owe Aku (Bring Back the Way), the training brought Native and settler communities together to learn more about resistance to pipelines like the Keystone XL and other extreme extraction projects.
“Just because you’re Lakota, or White, or Black, or Asian, that doesn’t create a boundary around you to protect you from any of this contamination.” says Debra White Plume of Owe Aku. “So all the human beings, all the two-leggeds, in a humble way, a good way, a spiritual way, a powerful way, we have to learn to stand together.”
After Moccasins on the Ground, Fueling Dissent continued to follow the path of the Keystone XL until they reached East Texas. There they met with three women who fought construction of the KXL South tooth and nail for several years. Now that the KXL South is in full operation, pumping 700,000 barrels per day of tar sands to the Gulf Coast, landowners Eleanor Fairchild and Susan Scott reflect on the fight in Texas with blockader Kathy DaSilva.
“I wonder, is our government really working for the people?” says Eleanor. “Or is it just big business? And it scares me. The power that big business has over our country. Everything. Not just pipelines. Everything.”
Following the pipeline to its end, Fueling Dissent arrived in Houston to see the largest petro-chemical complex in the western hemisphere. This is where tar sands from Keystone XL will be refined and exported (tax-free!), directly adjacent to homes and schools. While filming the expansive complex for miles, Houston resident and blockader Eric Moll gives a tour of the toxic refineries as well as telling stories from his time documenting the Mayflower, Arkansas tar sands spill in March 2013.
“There was a thick layer of oil where they power-washed it into the drains, and through the drains it went into a wetland. Then they blocked off that whole area,” says Eric. “We never would have even gotten to it [to film] except after days of poking around we met a lot residents that wanted to help us. They showed us ways through the woods so that we could get past the cops.”
Lesley and Mathew from Fueling Dissent are creating more short video updates, news articles, blogs and other material from their travels meeting with communities at the frontline in the fight against tar sands and Keystone XL. If you want to see more great videos like these, you can donate to support their work. If you want to read some of their blogs, be sure to head over to FuelingDissent.org .