The Beehive Design Collective shares their latest work, Mesoamerica Resiste, around Texas this week

Beehive MR image

Tar Sands Blockade will be giving our good friends at the Beehive Design Collective a hearty Texas welcome this week and next!

The Beehive Collective is a multi-faceted organism with many people and varied projects. The works that most recognize as theirs are intricate black and white large-scale political cartoon posters, which serve as an alternative, graphic approach to educating and organizing. A committed group of mostly women, the Beehive collaborates to create visual narratives that break down and deconstruct complex and overwhelming socio-political issues, presenting a more digestible format that appeals to folks who might be alienated by hi-brow lectures or books.

The Beehive will be presenting their latest mass graphic ¡Mesoamérica Resiste! around Texas in addition to facilitating select presentations by Polinizaciones, a Colombian-based extraction resistance solidarity group!

Members of Tar Sands Blockade will be traveling with them to both learn about how our struggles intersect across our hemisphere as well as share where we are headed in our resistance to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline with the Beehive’s audiences.

MR banner image¡Mesoamérica Resiste! depicts many stories of resistance to Project Mesoamerica, formerly known as the PPP (Plan Puebla Panama), a massive infrastructure project that aims to pave the way for so-called Free Trade in Mexico, Central America and Colombia. This latest, intricate graphic reflects the Beehive’s efforts to go beyond illustrating corporate globalization plans to illustrate, document and share diverse stories of survival, community development, collective action and inspiration.

These graphics were designed using an intensive process of first hand investigation and collective storytelling. The Beehive documented many examples of alternatives to industrial development plans. Like the stunning diversity of the ecosystems of Mesoamerica, the Beehive witnessed equally diverse strategies for building economic, social and political autonomy. Consultations took a variety of forms, from community-wide round table discussions, to interviews and informal conversations, to discussions over e-mail and reading peoples reports on the effects of Plan Puebla Panama and Project Mesoamerica. This intensive and collaborative design process is essential to the Beehive’s goal of coordinating their graphics campaigns in the most accurate and respectful way.

Polinizaciones will be in the United States for a limited time to offer informational workshops about the struggles of different communities against resource extraction projects in Colombia and Venezuela. Polinizaciones started as an initiative of members of the Beehive Design Collective with the objective of sharing the Hive´s graphics with communities which are defending their territories from the threats of extractive industries. Currently, Polinizaciones is a process that is in metamorphosis, redefining itself as a group that continues to push for the understanding of “ourstories” and lives within the context of colonization and globalization using a diverse array of educational and communication methods. Over the past five years, Polinizaciones has been building solidarity with communities that are currently resisting the destruction of their territories, through working with youth, elders, and educators on arts, media, and communication projects that strengthen struggles for the defense of Mother Earth

The Beehive is undertaking this tour in preparation for a full-on multi-faceted and dynamic tour a little later this year. What our Texas communities are getting is simply a taste of what is to come.

  • Tuesday, February 19 @ 7:30pm: ¡Mesoamérica Resiste! presentation @ Morning Glory Yoga Studios, 207 East Main Street, Nacogdoches, Texas, Facebook Event Here
  • Wednesday, February 20 @ 6:00pm: Polinizaciones presentation @ University of North Texas Environmental Education, Science & Technology Bldg, Room 120, 1704 W. Mulberry St., Denton, Texas, Facebook Event Here
  • Wednesday, February 20 @ 6:00pm: ¡Mesoamérica Resiste! presentation @ University of Texas Austin Student Activity Center, Multicultural Information Center lobby, SAC 1.102, 2201 Speedway, Austin, TX
  • Thursday, February 21 @ 7:00pm: ¡Mesoamérica Resiste! & Polinizaciones presentations @ Almaquí 2320 Edwin St., Fort Worth, Texas, Facebook Event Here
  • Friday, February 22 @ 7:00pm: ¡Mesoamérica Resiste! presentation @ Unitarian Universalist Church of Oak Cliff, 3839 W. Kiest Blvd., Dallas, Texas, Facebook Event Here
  • Saturday, February 23 @ 6:00pm: ¡Mesoamérica Resiste! presentation @ University of North Texas Environmental Education, Science & Technology Bldg, Room 120, 1704 W. Mulberry St., Denton, Texas, Facebook Event Here
  • Sunday, February 24 @ 6:00pm: ¡Mesoamérica Resiste! presentation @ Monkeywrench Books, 110 E. North Loop
    Austin, Texas
  • Wednesday, February 27 @ 6:00pm: ¡Mesoamérica Resiste! presentation @ The Movement Gallery/Southwest Workers Union Office, 1412 E. Commerce, San Antonio, TX, Facebook Event Here

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Tell your friends about this terrific opportunity to expand our understanding of what is happening in places much closer to Texas than most realize!

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/tx-beehive-collective-tour/

Climate Justice Activists in Portland, OR Occupy Exhibit for Tar Sands Profiteer ESCO Corp.

Today our friends at Portland Rising Tide exposed ESCO Corp as a major tar sands profiteer. They occupied an exhibit celebrating the corporation’s 100 year history of building heavy equipment used in fossil fuel extraction. Below is their full press release about the action.

Visit a tar sands profiteer’s office near you and sign up for our Week of Action to Stop Tar Sands Profiteers, March 16-23.

Portland_ESCO History Action

This afternoon, February 17, dozens of concerned citizens expressed solidarity with climate protests around the country by occupying the Oregon History Society Museum’s ESCO exhibit: “ESCO Corporation.” Protesters used the space to share the real legacy that ESCO corp. is leaving on this planet and additionally took time to share individual hopes of the legacy they want to leave on this planet for future generations.

There couldn’t be more irony in OHS’s “celebrating 100 years of breaking new ground”. It must strongly be acknowledged that this point in history is marked by a radical degradation of the planet by human activity. Of the fundamental life sustaining boundaries on this planet we should not have crossed, we have already deeply disrupted climate change, biodiversity, and the nitrogen cycle in such profound ways that continued course in how we relate to the environment as a species threatens the world with the prospect of ecological collapse and mass extinction.

ESCO corp manufactures equipment and parts designed explicitly for resource extraction operations all over the world. Notably they supply extraction in the Alberta Tar sands and are in the process of strengthening their market share of coal mining equipment in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming. Both of these projects are subject to much protest and resistance due to the very imminent danger they pose to this planet’s climate if fully exploited as intended by the fossil fuel industry. These projects singularly on their own have the capacity to push us into irreversible climate catastrophe. Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/portland-esco-action/

Voices of Resistance: Four Women Tell Why They’re Rallying in D.C.

Right now, the largest climate rally ever is taking place in Washington, D.C. Indigenous leaders, climate activists and members of affected communities are telling their stories to a crowd of 50,000 people and demanding that President Obama halt the northern segment of the Keystone XL pipeline. As they make their voices heard, it is important to reflect that the fight against Keystone XL is about much more than asking a few privileged leaders to do the right thing. It’s about community resistance and resilience. It’s about traditionally marginalized people standing up to build a better future.

It’s not just about stopping the northern segment of KXL, but all of KXL. If the southern segment is completed, the fossil fuel industry will pump Athabascan tar sands to refineries along the Gulf. It’s about stopping the entire Keystone XL project, and doing it together in a way that works toward a more just, liberated world for all people, that strengthens our communities and prepares us for the coming storms and struggles of the twenty-first century.

Here are voices from some powerful women who have spent years fighting KXL in the north and the south:

Debra White Plume is a Lakota grandmother, director of the Owe Aku International Justice Project, and experienced blockader who was stopping Keystone XL machinery months before we at Tar Sands Blockade held our first action.

Debra White Plume being arrested at the White House in 2011

Debra White Plume being arrested at the White House in 2011

SHUT DOWN TAR SANDS by Debra White Plume

While citizens in Nebraska and all over the USA watched and waited for the decision of Nebraskan Governor Heinman to allow or prevent the construction of Transcanada’s Keystone XL pipeline in ‘his’ state, I cringed, because that mentality is damaging and part of the colonial construct. The Ogallala Aquifer does not acknowledge Governor Heinman. Nor does it acknowledge Secretary of State John Kerry, nor President Obama. I also cringed because another chamber of the heart of the matter is where the tar sands are being mined and what that mining is doing to the Boreal Forest, the Athabascan River watershed, and the Red Nations People and all of life in that area.

The dirty tar sands mines in northern Canada have wreaked havoc on the lands and waters and all of life there, only to feed the insatiable greed-monster of the fossil fuel industry. The discussion must include the need to get off the fossil fuel train wreck that is ruining the Earth to line the pockets of a few. It must include the realization that the time is now for all mankind to re-evaluate their true wants and needs and decide if they want this pipeline so badly that they are willing to wreck the delicate balance we have already hurt so much.

It boils down to personal responsibility. We must see the truth or else continue to live in the many levels of denial that we all construct and make excuses for what the industry is doing with our support as inactive human beings. People need to have courage and take the stand that this fossil fuel industry and the tar sands mine is wrong and work to shut it down before it is too late. Allowing the pipeline is not only contributing to the continuation of tar sands extraction in Canada; it also risks our sacred water here. It WILL leak and spill and when it does, it cannot be cleaned up. The technology does not exist.

We have to be brave and strong and take action to stop that pipeline and shut down the tar sands oil mine. Look at the bigger picture: what kind of system tells people to value “economic growth” over stopping the biggest threat to the Ogallala Aquifer as well as countless other watersheds and the global climate as well? Who will take a stand to defend sacred water? The sacred water must be preserved for our coming generations. It is their water.

I hope everyone in Washington DC tomorrow yells out 4 times “SHUT DOWN TAR SANDS” in a combined voice of 30,000. That would make this Grandmother very, very happy. And the Universe may be listening.

Hecetuwe,
-Debra White Plume

 

Vicki Baggett, Kerry Lemon, and Kathy DaSilva are members of NacSTOP (Nacogdoches County Stop Tarsands Oil Permanently) and have been spent years organizing in East Texas against the southern portion of KXL.
Earth is the Lords

Why I am going to Washington D.C. by Kerry Bryant Lemon

 

I am a lucky woman. I wake up in a quiet house where the songs of birds merge with the warmth of a fire in the wood heater and the smell of coffee. I live in the beautiful piney woods of East Texas and also in one of the largest natural gas fields in the country. Over the past 10 years my home has become a small wooded island in the midst of clear cuts and gas well pads. I have a natural gas transfer station on my land. New technologies have brought an inundation of drilling rigs, large trucks tearing up the roads, wasteful cutting of trees, intolerable noise, contamination of water and air, erosion problems in our waterways, and increased incidents of cancer in our communities. I have lived through fracking, and pipelines, strange sounds and odors, and a husband surviving leukemia. My closest neighbor is Exxon. In spite of public relation proclamations of being “good neighbors”, their presence in our lives has been disruptive and heartbreaking.

The southern leg of the TransCanada XL Pipeline is being constructed right now less than ten miles from my home. This is no ordinary pipeline. Probably what saved me from having this pipeline across my land is the already existing natural gas line that runs down my driveway and under my garden. My family has experienced firsthand the sickening realization that your land is not really your land in the face of big oil companies. What so many Americans don’t fully understand is that rural communities and people who are economically disenfranchised are being dumped on by the oil and gas industry. Those of us who have long family histories on these lands, those of us who have chosen to live outside the hectic life of big cities, and those of us who are just scrapping by day to day are all being forced to bear the burden of an industry that is more concerned with profit than safety, health, and quality of life.

Still…I am a lucky woman. I love my home, my gardens, my animals, and the trees that surround me. I love the earth – every part of her – the dark musky soil, the ancient rocks, the infinitely diverse green plants that cover her, the ever-changing sky that looks over her, the myriad of animals that wander across her – all of it.

I am going to Washington D.C. because I know about change. The accelerated climate change we are experiencing is happening because of the actions of humans. Humans have the unique gift of being dreamers and creators. We are not passive victims of change. We are participating partners in God’s world. We can make choices about what kind of change we want to support.

I am going to Washington D.C. because I want to make a statement that I AM HERE, that LOVING the earth is GOOD, that there is HOPE, that MIRACLES are possible. I believe that by coming together we can use our generous spirits, minds, and hands to create a larger vision that contains a future where the earth and her creatures live in balance together, where people live and work without fear, where all life is respected and considered. Every step toward a better world is an important one. I want to be part of any positive change that is coming.

-Kerry Bryant Lemon

 

How I Ended up at the Forward on Climate Rally in Washington, D.C. by Vicki Baggett

A dozen years ago I joined our local Sierra Group when it was reborn over a paper mill which was wreaking havoc on our local reservoir. Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/f17-voices-resistance/

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