I Went to Washington D.C.

Forward on Climate Rally

By Kerry Lemon, NacSTOP (Nacogdoches County Stop Tarsands Oil Permanently)

I went to Washington D.C. for the Forward on Climate rally with seven other women from Texas. Most of us were from the small college town of Nacogdoches in East Texas. Many of us have been working to stop TransCanada from constructing the Keystone XL Pipeline through our communities for several years. Two of the women are fighting against having this pipeline on their land. One of my friends commented that the rally was a “life affirming” experience. Indeed, it was exciting and empowering to be in the presence of so many people who all were claiming for our world a vision of energy production that is renewable, sustainable, and non-destructive.

The powerful presence of indigenous people from Canada and the United States was the most moving part of the day for me. They spoke with a dignified and clear voice about the importance of putting the life of our planet above the pursuit of money. These neighbors are watching their beloved land be destroyed and their families be sickened by the greedy, thoughtless acquisition of tar sands oil from under the boreal forests. These communities along with rural, working class, and economically disenfranchised communities in America (and around the world) have in common that they are bearing the burden of much of this corporate greed. It felt like remembering a dream. I had an awakened awareness of the “rightness” of coming together with others to move forward on these issues.

In my community, it isn’t always easy and comfortable to speak out against big oil. There are many who believe that economics and personal needs are priorities above all else. I understand the desperation that is bred from scraping by day after day while trying to provide for a family. Certainly, the indigenous people of Canada understand this also. They are an economically disadvantaged people. Still, they know that the land is the source of their true wealth. Hearing them speak, listening to their drums, seeing their strong faces, and experiencing the generosity of their spirits strengthened my resolve that working to stop this pipeline is of greater significance than any other possible considerations.

These people have seen the destruction of their communities. No amount of money is worth watching your homelands be destroyed, your family and neighbors health be threatened, and your community be sold out from under you for a small penance of the astronomical profits of large corporations. I am unwilling to sit by and watch this kind of injustice happen in my community or any other community.

An estimated 40,000 diverse people from all parts of the United States and Canada came together yesterday. It was a jubilant experience, a great example of living in a free, democratic country. In spite of the bitter cold wind, there was chanting, music, dancing, laughter, and celebration. We unique individuals with all our varied opinions and perspectives spoke as one voice.

At the end of the day, the indigenous leaders gathered us together and reminded us to look into our hearts. There was a moment of silence. This was a brave, bold act in such a large crowd. Yet, it worked. We all stopped and listened to the quiet of our own hearts beating. It was then that I understood and knew beyond any doubt; this was the right place to be, the right time to be here. Our voices will be heard because no one can argue with the vision of a better world. Change is coming. But, have faith, we have been awakened. Running alongside the sad and scary pipeline beast is a big, ancient friendly dragon bringing changes from the heart of the People.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/wenttodc/

BREAKING: Appalachia Resist!, Ohio Residents Shut Down a Frack Waste Storage Facility in Ohio with Monopod and Banner Drops

MORE PHOTOS

Appalachia Resist!, an organization recently formed to address exploitative gas and oil extraction in Appalachia, along with Ohio residents and other environmental organizations have blockaded and disrupted operations at Greenhunter Water’s hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” waste storage site along the Ohio River in Washington County. Nate Ebert, a 33-year-old Athens County, OH resident and member of Appalachia Resist!, ascended a 30 foot monopod (pole), anchored to a truck that was dropping off toxic frack waste at the facility, preventing all trucks carrying frack waste from entering the site! Two banners have also been hung from two different tanks holding fracking waste. The main gate to the facility has been locked shut by activist. All gates have been blocked and all action at the site has been halted. Full press release here!

The mining of carcinogenic bitumen is powered by gas obtained from hydraulic fracturing which can NOT be done safely and should not be done at all. This is NOT a debate. We stand in opposition not only to TransCanada and their Keystone XL Pipeline but to all corporations and entities who function only by the direct suffering of others. Members of the blockade have traveled to Southern Ohio to participate in an action with an unprecedented show of unity joining members of the following groups: Appalachia Resist!Radical Action for Mountain Peoples’ Survival (RAMPS), a coalition of indigenous leaders including representatives from No Line 9 and the Unis’tot’en Camp, Tar Sands Blockade, Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, and dozens of Earth First! groups from across the country.

“Our governor, legislature, and regulatory agencies have all failed in their obligation to protect Ohioans from the predatory gas industry,” said Ebert. “Greenhunter wants to use our water sources as dumping grounds for their toxic, radioactive waste. We are here to send a message that the people of Ohio and Appalachia will not sit idly by and watch our homes be turned into a sacrifice zone!”

Tar Sands Blockade stands in solidarity with Appalachia Resist, Ohio residents, and all those fighting dangerous and exploitative resource extraction world wide.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/appalacha_resist/

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

MR Birds

 

 

 

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/

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