Large-scale, Ongoing Mobilization Against the Tar Sands Oil Pipeline
Hundreds of people in Washington to protect communities and water have been arrested for civil disobedience aimed at highlighting the detrimental impacts of the Keystone XL Tar Sands Oil Pipeline. The demonstration won't end for another week and neither will the repression. This mass-mobilization against the Tar Sands Oil projects comes from intense, international organizing work led by Indigenous groups in North America and supported by the larger environmental movement in the western hemisphere. Here is a quick video from Democracy Now! on the demonstration activities of last week:
Although it originates at the Tar Sands in Canada, the pipeline will adversely affect fresh water resources in many US states as well, including the precious Ogallala Aquifer that provides water to Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Despite economic hardship in the US, the Kansas Legislature gave $50 million in tax abatement to the Canadian company.
The basics from Wikipedia: "The Keystone Pipeline System is a pipeline system to transport crude oil from the Athabasca Oil Sands in northeastern Alberta, Canada to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma, and further to the U.S. Gulf Coast. It consists of the operational "Keystone Pipeline" and proposed Keystone XL (Keystone Expansion) pipeline. Keystone XL has faced lawsuits from oil refineries, criticism from environmentalists and some Members of the United States Congress."
On the popular resistance from Indigenous Environmental Network: "Indigenous peoples (known as First Nations) in Canada are taking the lead to stop the largest industrial project on Mother Earth: the Tar Sands Gigaproject. Northern Alberta is ground zero with over 20 corporations operating in the tar sands sacrifice zone, with expanded developments being planned. The cultural heritage, land, ecosystems and human health of First Nation communities including the Mikisew Cree First Nation, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Fort McMurray First Nation, Fort McKay Cree Nation, Beaver Lake Cree First Nation Chipewyan Prairie First Nation, and the Metis, are being sacrificed for oil money in what has been termed a “slow industrial genocide”. Infrastructure projects linked to the tar sands expansion such as the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and the Keystone XL pipeline, threaten First Nation communities in British Columbia, Canada and American Indian communities throughout the United States. Community resistance is growing and Indigenous peoples throughout North America have mounted substantive challenges to tar sands expansion."
Also, some photographs and links to articles for further reading:
- Resource: What are the Tar Sands?
- Photos from the Demonstrations from tarsandsaction
- Article from the Kansas Free Press on the Kansas Tax Abatement
- Action!: Click-tivism to Stop the Tar Sands projects from 350.org
- Press Release from IEN