In the past few weeks in my role as coordinator of online communications for the tar sands action, I’ve watched commitments to participate in the action roll in from across the country, and already I can tell that we’re in for something remarkable later this summer.
In fact, I can now say that well over 1,000 people have already signed up to join us in DC – likely making this the largest collective act of civil disobedience in the history of the American climate movement.
As the co-signers of the original call to action hoped, this demonstration will show the broad diversity of the climate movement – and the wide range of people impacted by the proposed pipeline. The call to action in DC is bringing together people from all corners of the country, of all ages, and at all different levels of experience with civil disobedience. (BTW, you’re coming, right? If you haven’t signed up yet, click here: http://www.tarsandsaction.org/sign-up/)
Emails with questions, offers to help, and declarations of solidarity are coming in from people touched by every part of the tar sands disaster.
One of my favorite emails is from David in Texas – he’s a landowner whose property will be cut in half by Keystone XL who has already begun resistance locally with his group STOP He passed along an amazing trove of videos on the group’s YouTube page. He’s traveling to DC with a caravan of folks who will be on the front line of the pipeline’s inevitable, disastrous leaks and spills.
Here’s one of David’s videos:
I also heard from Harriett, a native of Alberta who just visited her home state, where she got a tour of the tar sands stripmine. She’s now writing a series of posts on her blog about the tar sands – a project she describes as “shortsighted Russian roulette” – and making plans to be in DC in August. She will be joined by many more Canadians headed to DC to support the action, or planning their own bold demonstrations to keep the pressure on their government.
There are many, many more stories like this – some even more remarkable, I’m sure – waiting to be told as we approach the beginning of the demonstration on August 20th.
The demonstration planned for later this summer is shaping up strong, but this week also showed that we will be joining a movement very much on the move. Last Wednesday, a group of activists with Rising Tide North America and EarthFirst led a takeover of the Montana statehouse to demand a stop to the Keystone XL pipeline and all other forms of dirty extractive industry in the state. Just before that, Peaceful Uprising in Utah called for a national day of outraged action on the day of Tim DeChristopher’s sentencing for disrupting an illegal oil rights auction in 2008 – a call that is being answered, joyfully, in states across the country.
We all have much more work to do. But we’re off to a strong start, and if we want to finish strong, we need to keep up the pace. Here are a few ways to get involved:
– Join us in DC. I can’t understate the importance of being there to participate. Sign up here to participate.
– If you can’t make it to DC, make a donation to support those who can by making a donation (select “Tar Sands Action”)
Hope to see you in DC.