Dozens Arrested as Keystone XL Protests Erupt Across the U.S.
One month after the largest climate rally in U.S. history urging 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 Keystone XL’s corporate backers directly.
Thirty-seven have been arrested over the last 10 days for disrupting business as usual at TransCanada and their investors’ offices, with more actions planned over the next couple of days.
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 more than 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 Keystone XL 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 this week:
- 100 people occupied a TransCanada’s office in Westborough, MA, holding a “Funeral for Our Future” and disrupting work for several hours. Twenty-five were arrested for locking themselves inside the office: http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/funeralforourfuture/
- TD Bank branches have seen protests at multiple locations including three people who were arrested for locking themselves inside a branch office in Washington, DC. http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/weekofaction-day4/
- Twelve people arrested for blockading a fracking pipeline in upstate New York: http://ourfutureisunfractured.wordpress.com/
- Portland, Oregon held a bike tour of the city’s worst polluters including a rally at a TransCanada office: http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/weekofaction-day3/
- Dozens of activists in grim-reaper garb surround Michels Corporate office in Kirkland, WA, demanding that Michels stop building KXL: http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/weekofaction-day3/
Religiously and spiritually rooted Americans of all traditions gathered yesterday at the White House to make clear to President Obama that addressing climate change is a moral imperative and that delivering on his inspired State of the Union pledge will require bold actions, including rejecting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Further, Interfaith Moral Action on Climate Change urges President Obama to lead Americans away from reliance on the dirty fossils fuels that drive climate change and transition us to a renewable energy economy. The risk of inaction is so great that some Interfaith Moral Action on Climate Change members felt morally compelled to engage in peaceful civil disobedience, leading to their arrest.
Check www.tarsandsblockade.org for live updates from actions across the country.