Friends, we are thrilled to be able to share this outpouring of support from our allies across the country, not only because of the encouragement to continue our work and the knowledge that our movement is growing, but also because the repression we are facing is very real and very serious. It is when people stop paying attention that harassment and brutality increase and our lives are further endangered by those relentlessly seeking profit. If you can’t join us in East Texas sometime soon, you can help us just as much by educating people in your community about the work we are doing and why it is important. Start by sharing this letter. Would your organization like to sign up? Click here. Love and solidarity,
– Tar Sands Blockaders
October 5, 2012
An Open Letter In Support Of the Tar Sands Blockade
As we write, our friends with the Tar Sands Blockade are blocking construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline in the woods of Texas. For the past six months they have built a movement of climate activists, rural landowners, Texans, Oklahomans and people from all over the country to fiercely resist it. For two weeks, they have captured the imagination of the world with a daring tree- sit and bold ground actions near Winnsboro, TX that have delayed TransCanada’s operations.
TransCanada has responded by allowing its employees to operate their heavy machines with reckless disregard for the safety of protestors and tree-sitters. Police have responded with brutal means such as pepper-spray and Tasers against peaceful protestors. Prosecutors have responded with elevated charges.
It is clear what is at stake. NASA’s leading climate scientist Dr. James Hansen has called the Keystone XL pipeline, “a fuse to the largest carbon bomb on the planet.” If all the carbon stored in the Canadian tar sands is released into the earth’s atmosphere it will mean “game over” for the planet.
In 2011, we saw the Tar Sands Action galvanize environmental and social justice communities in an unprecedented show of unity during the sit-ins in front of the White House. Every day members of Indigenous communities, faith communities, labor communities, anti-mountaintop removal movements, anti-fracking movements and many more stepped forward and put their bodies on the line in solidarity. In the year since, we have witnessed people from the Lakota nation in South Dakota and from Moscow, Idaho putting their bodies in roads and highways blocking large transport trucks carrying oil refining equipment to develop further tar sands extraction. Now, the Tar Sands Blockade has taken the next logical step confronting climate change.
If we are determined to prevent the pursuit of extreme energy from destroying our communities, natural systems and climate, then peaceful, yet confrontational, protests like the Tar Sands Blockade are necessary actions for change.
Let us be clear: there is not an inch of daylight in between us and those blocking construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in Texas. We stand with them as we’ve stood with those fighting mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia, those defending old growth forests in Cascadia and those challenging nuclear power across this country.
We stand in solidarity with those who stand up for us all.
Alliance for Appalachia
Alliance of Community Trainers (ACT)
Bexar County (TX) Green Party
Center for Biological Diversity
Chicago Area Peace Action
Communities for a Better Environment
Community to Community
Council of Canadians
Democracy for America
Energy Action Coalition
Energy Mia / Our Energy
Fast for the Earth
Friends of the Earth U.S.
Gardendale Accountability Project
Green Umbrella (NY)
Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives
Global Justice Ecology Project
Grassroots Global Justice
Indigenous Environmental Network
Missourians for Empowerment and Reform (MORE)
Occupy the Pipeline
Oil Change International
Radical Action for Mountain Peoples’ Survival (RAMPS)
Rainforest Action Network
Rising Tide North America
Occupy Santa Fe
smartMeme Strategy & Training Project
Southwest Workers Union
Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards
Students for a Just and Stable Future
Students for Democratic Socialism
Tar Sands Action Seattle
Tarrant County (TX) Green Party
Turkey Creek Community Initiatives
UK Tar Sands Network
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
Occupy Wall Street Sustainability
Webb County (TX) Green Party
Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus