Over 50 grassroots organizations across the US and Canada held 50 actions from March 16th to March 23rd to demonstrate that TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is a toxic investment.
Here’s an overview of what happened every day along with details at the bottom of this post:
March 16, 17: Week of Action Kicks Off With Creativity Across The Country
March 18: Blockades and Bikes From Coast to Coast
March 19: TD Bank Slammed as Tar Sands Profiteer
March 20: TransCanada Office Shut Down – Big Banks Called Out For Bankrolling Coal & KXL
March 21: Twenty Arrested at Two Separate KXL Protests in DC – Hundreds March with Idle No More in Seattle
March 22: Asheville Protesters Shut Down TD Bank, Four Arrested. Two arrested at TC office in Westborough
March 23: Over 60 People Blockade Chevron Tar Sands Refinery in Utah — NYC and DC Call Out TD Bank
Over 55 actions and events happened this week to directly confront the corporate profiteers bankrolling the Keystone XL pipeline and the broader tar sands industry. These actions come at a critical time as investor confidence in Alberta’s tar sands is waning due to major delays and resistance to Keystone XL’s construction timeline.
The Keystone XL project has become a flagship issue for the U.S. climate movement and has spurred dozens of acts of civil disobedience and the largest climate rally in U.S. history. But while 45,000 marched on the White House President Obama was golfing with oil executives and the southern segment of KXL in Texas and Oklahoma was still being built.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that we cannot rely on corporation-funded politicians to oppose corporate excess; we must engage this destructive industry directly. That’s what we’ve done in Texas, and it’s working: in February, TransCanada reported lower fourth-quarter earnings and admitted that the southern portion of Keystone XL (the Gulf Coast Project) was way behind schedule and only 45 percent completed. By showing up at their offices and putting a stop to “business as usual,” we can show tar sands investors that their lives would be easier and their businesses more secure if they invested in projects that don’t endanger our communities’ health and the chance for a livable climate.
We’ll be posting links and updates here throughout the Stop Tar Sands Profiteers Week of Action as actions happen!
Grassroots activists from over 50 organizations are uniting to send a strong message to the industry that TransCanada and its financial backers must rethink their investments in tar sands, the dirtiest fuel on the planet. We will demonstrate to companies bankrolling KXL that their investments are as toxic as the tar sands they want to pump through the pipeline. Activists are marching, holding rallies, giving trainings, and physically disrupting “business-as-usual” for those who seek to profit from the exploitation of marginalized people and the destruction of our collective future.
Some of the top tar sands profiteers facing protest this week: TransCanada, TD Bank, Valero Corp., and John Hancock Life Insurance Co., to name a few.
Click here to find a planned action in your area!
Week of Action Updates:
Saturday and Sunday, March 16 & 17 – Week of Action Kicks Off With Creativity Across the Country
- Activists in New Orleans blockade two bus-loads of oil executives including BP, Shell, Valero, and other investors in tar sands and extraction industries.
- Stunning tar sands banner drop in Grand County, Utah
- Over 100 people hold “Funeral for Our Future” in TransCanada’s Westborough office – 25 arrested
- #NoKXL revelers demonstrate in the New Orleans St. Patty’s Day Parade
- Seaside rally in Galveston, Texas
- Overpass light brigade in Wisconsin sends a bright message with lights: “Block Keystone XL!”
- Organizers hold “Stop the Pipeline” banners and march in the traditional St. Patty’s Day Parade in Boston
- Trainings and presentations on tar sands in Salt Lake City, Utah
- Musicians sang #NoKXL themed songs in the Boston subway and passed out literature
Monday, March 18th – Day 3: Blockades and Bikes From Coast to Coast
- Direct action training camp in Oklahoma to stop KXL hosted by Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance
- Twelve people arrested for blockading a fracking pipeline in upstate New York
- Portland, Oregon takes bike tour of the city’s worst polluters
- Dozens rally outside National Geographic building where Secretary Kerry was speaking in Washington, DC
- Over 40 rallied outside Michels Corporate office in death costumes in Kirkland, WA
Tuesday, March 19th – Day 4: TD Bank Slammed As Tar Sands Profiteer
- Three people lock themselves inside a TD Bank in Washington, DC
- Over three dozen rally at TD Bank in Upstate New York this last weekend
- 150 people showed up in a Minnesota snow storm to serenade Senator Klobuchar and ask her to vote “No KXL”
- Banner drop promoting the Week of Action appears in Oklahoma City
- Dallas-Fort Worth community teach-in hosted by local Unitarian Universalists
- Concerned citizens in Houston pressure the City Council to sue Valero for pollution violations
- Organizers rally next to rail line transporting tar sands in Newark, Delaware for refining
- Community teach-in and film screening in Houston’s toxic East End
Wednesday, March 20th – Day 5: TransCanada Office Shutdown. Big Banks Called Out For Bankrolling Coal and KXL
- Activists shut down work at TransCanada office in Omaha, Nebraska
- Dozens of climate justice activists in Montpelier, Vermont rally at TD Bank and close their accounts
- Rainforest Action Network Boston Fights BAC (Bank of America Corporation)!
- Hudson Valley Earth First and the Green Team TD Bank Action in White Plains, New York
- About 15 interfaith leaders arrested for civil disobedience at the White House
- Five arrested for occupying the lobby of Valero in Washington, DC
- Creative solidarity banner drop in Vancouver
- Overpass light brigades in Gainesville and Tampa Bay, Florida display messages “No Keystone XL”
- Hundreds march with Idle No More Seattle against coal export terminals
- Banner drop in Cushing, Oklahoma at the iconic “Pipeline Crossroads of the World” sign
- Houston rallies at the courthouse to put Valero and TransCanada on trail alongside polluters like BP
- North Texas Light Brigade lights up an overpass with a message against tar sands
- Idle No More Portland drops banner at ESCO headquarters
- Over 60 people shut down a TD Bank branch in Asheville, NC
- Veterans For Peace and others enter TransCanada’s Westborough Office – Two arrested
- Dozens rally at John Hancock Life Insurance in Los Angeles
- Protestors outside Dallas, Texas call out John Hancock Life Insurance for funding a deadly pipeline
- Newark, Delaware rallies to “Move Your Money” from TD Bank
- Activists in Boulder, Colorado did a banner hang over an overpass
- Bike brigade in Portland, Oregon tours the city’s worst polluters
- Activists in Denver rallied outside the Governor’s mansion and held a nonviolent direct action training
- Gathering for World Water Day in Portland, Oregon to protect it the Sacred Water from tar sands
- Valero Corporate HQ in San Antonio taken over by the community
- Over 60 Salt Lake City residents blockaded the entrance to a Chevron tar sands refinery and turned away six trucks
- Dozens in New York City hold a “Divest from TD Bank Day of Action!”
- Activists in Washington, DC close off another TD Bank branch
- Organizers with Red Lake Blockade of Enbridge in Northern Minnesota observe solidarity
- Memphis, Tennessee residents rally outside a Valero refinery that exploded several months ago
- New Haven, Connecticut Takes Action at Their Local TD Bank
- Banner drops in New Orleans
- Idle No More and other organizations hold a big nonviolent direct action training in San Francisco