On Tuesday, the last day of the four International Days of Prayer and Action with Standing Rock, climate justice activists from Climate Direct Action shut down all five coal/tar sands pipelines crossing the Canadian/US border by turning off the manual safety valves, and then waited until the authorities came to arrest them.
The reactionary forces have reacted, including the arrest yet again of independent media covering the action, but one of the things that stands out for me is the age of the activists. Here in their own words,
There is no plan of action, policy or strategy being advanced now by any political leader or environmental organization playing by the rules that does anything but acquiesce to ruin. Our only hope is to step outside polite conversation and put our bodies in the way. We must shut it down, starting with the most immediate threats — oil sands fuels and coal.
– Ken Ward, 59, of Corbette OR
For years we’ve tried the legal, incremental, reasonable methods, and they haven’t been enough; without a radical shift in our relationship to Earth, all that we love will disappear. My fear of that possibility is far greater than my fear of jail. My love for the beauties of this world is far greater than my love of an easy life.
– Emily Johnston, 50, of Seattle WA
Like mothers everywhere, I act from a deep love that extends to all children and young people, and all living beings on this planet. I have signed hundreds of petitions, testified at dozens of hearings, met with most of my political representatives at every level, to very little avail. I have come to believe that our current economic and political system is a death sentence to life on earth, and that I must do everything in my power to replace these systems with cooperative, just, equitable and love-centered ways of living together. This is my act of love.
– Annette Klapstein, 64, of Bainbridge Island, WA
I am here to generate action that wakes people up to the reality of what we are doing to life as we know it. All of our climate victories are meaningless if we don’t stop extracting oil, coal and gas now.
– Michael Foster, 52 of Seattle WA
Because of the climate change emergency, because governments and corporations have for decades increased fossil fuel extraction and carbon emissions when instead we must dramatically reduce carbon emissions; I am committed to the moral necessity of participating in nonviolent direct action to protect life.
– Leonard Higgins, 64, of Eugene, OR
Coverage from Democracy Now! including footage of the action and interviews with the activists (video and transcript).
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