Our Civil Disobedience on January 7th


We stand together as representatives of a desperate generation who have been forced into this position by the reckless and immoral behavior of fossil fuel corporations such as Transcanada. Our political leaders have failed countless times to stand up to the tyranny of fossil fuel giants and take the necessary steps to solve the climate crisis. Their failures have disrupted and destroyed millions of lives.

In November 2011, the International Energy Agency published a report stating that we would be “locked in” to irreversible global warming within five years unless we dramatically changed the rate at which we were constructing new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Fourteen months have gone by since that five year deadline was set, but still Transcanada presses forward with attempts to build the Keystone XL pipeline. Transcanada’s efforts to build fossil fuel infrastructure—when society’s resources should be invested in safe renewable energy—are dangerous and immoral. The urgency of the IEA report should be enough of a warning, but we also know that full combustion of the Canadian tar sands deposits delivered by Transcanada’s pipeline would be “game over” for the climate.

The Keystone XL pipeline thus represents an intolerable threat to our future. It represents the crippling burdens of disease borne by thousands of Americans, Canadians, and others across the planet who live near sites of fossil fuel extraction, transportation, and combustion, so we stand in solidarity with our friends in Texas who blockade construction to protect communities threatened by the pipeline. It represents the extreme destruction of the climate crisis to which countless millions have already lost their homes, their jobs and their lives, so we stand in solidarity with our friends in New York and New Jersey still suffering from the effects of Superstorm Sandy. It represents the threat of even greater destruction that is still to come from an unabated climate crisis, so we stand in solidarity with all humanity.

Our actions today aim to raise awareness and build momentum to halt the destruction that fossil fuel corporations knowingly cause. Science, and economics and logic provide an obvious imperative for action. However, even overwhelming factual evidence has not compelled our political leaders to stand up to these corporations. Our elected representatives have not yet found the courage to draw a clear line in the sand and prevent the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Today, we hope to present our political leaders with an example of the courage needed to confront the climate crisis by putting our bodies in the way of corporations whose activities threaten our society. Today, we add our peaceful civil disobedience to an accelerating tidal wave of actions, from the farmlands of rural Texas to the steps of the White House, as people across the nation rise up together.

Contact us.

25 comments on “Our Civil Disobedience on January 7th

  1. Brian Sparks says:

    Love and solidarity from Alaska.

  2. C_Lambeth says:

    Solving our addiction to fossil fuels is a standard collective action problem, and it lends itself to a collective action solution. We can’t effectively fight climate change by taking isolated, unilateral action like installing high-efficiency lightbulbs in the bathroom or buying hybrid vehicles. These things aren’t bad, but the only way for us to make significant change is to come together and execute “collective” action like the brave and intrepid souls at the TransCanada offices. It also means we have to vote with our ballots and our dollars and make as many visits, calls, letters and emails to our President, our State Representatives and our Senators to let them know what we will and will not tolerate. We are only now beginning to fight and this is not over. Do not lose hope!

  3. I applaud your bravery and your conviction.

  4. skornkob says:

    You guys are awesome —- this is the kind of action that actually makes a difference!

  5. Sherri Long says:

    Thank you, you are indeed awesome! If the government would take back the subsidies that the oil/gas and nuclear companies receive, we could indeed afford to transform the country away from fossil and nuclear to renewables. At the GOP18 climate conference, the experts said that by the end of this century, the global temperature now will rise by 6+ degrees. We must do all we can, including voting our government officials out of office who will not support the campaign to rid the US of these dangerous and climate changing types of energy. We must also end the extremely dangerous fracking. Fracking chemicals are in our food, soil, water and the air contamination of methane (one of the worst greenhouse gases) will drive us faster toward severe climate change. Thank you again for taking an important stand.

  6. djbernstein2 says:

    From a geezer against climate change:
    Holy@$€¥#£!!, I have been looking for ExxonMobile sites for ages. I never thought to look for TransCanada!!! GOOD work! I wish I were there! Aside from donating, what can I do?

  7. Joe Ramsey says:

    Much more important than inspiring politicians who are by definition operating inside, and often enslaved within the existing system, your bold, targetted action today is inspiring courage and thought among thousands of ‘ordinary’ people. Imagine if all of these people do as you have done and are doing. We will need so much of both–courage and thought– as we build the great revolutionary struggle to save this planet and humanity. This pipeline, and others like it, must be shut down. Love and solidarity to you all!

  8. Barb Steeves says:

    Thanks for the brave stand you made today, brought me to tears!

  9. Thank you for doing this!

  10. Akhil Mathew says:

    Thank you for doing this. I hope it will be successful!

  11. Well done. From here on in, we scale up!

  12. So awesome to see – you all are the best! Sending love and solidarity.

  13. Good work everyone. In the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. –
    “We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.”

  14. Mad props, guys!! ❤

  15. aalasti says:

    May this be a TransFormative act in its capacity to inspire and inform!

  16. Camila says:

    Fantastic!! Thank you!

  17. Richard Hudak says:

    Love and solidarity from elsewhere in Massachusetts.

  18. Laura Roskos says:

    Thank you to the Westborough 8, Your courage and conviction are contagious.

  19. Thank you from Michigan … as an inpacted citizen of the 2010 1.1 million tar sand oil spill into the Kalamazoo River .. Bravo

  20. Thank you and your colleagues, Ben. Good work. Peace & blessings.

  21. Sent the following e-mail to Pres. Faust of Harvard University, urging her to call for total divestment of Harvard U. funds from fossil fuel industry stocks:

    Keystone pipeline protesters: IEA says we ill locked in to irreversible global warming in 5 years

    Dear President Faust,

    As these protesters accurately put it, we face the worst threat to life on earth in all of geological history. This is not over a time span of hundreds of years, but within the next decades.

    If business as usual continues, the momentum of global warming will simply be become too great to reverse, at least not without drastic geoengineering methods which might bring on enormous crop loss and rainfall changes that would in themselves be disastrous.

    We will commit the human race to losing all the major coastal regions to several feet of sea-level rise per decades at the same time as fiercer storms make for much higher storm surges. Hurricane Sandy, which destroyed much of the coastal real estate around New York and flooded Manhattan, is a small foretaste of the storms to come.

    For every 1 degree centigrade rise in temperature, as a rule of thumb 10% of agriculture is lost. Moving farms north within decades, as suggested by Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson is an absurdly impossible adaptation to carry out within a few decades.

    We will be forced to abandon the cradles of civilization: all the coastal urban regions. To think that this could be done without pure hell on earth is a naïve fantasy. All past plagues and conflicts will seem puny by comparison.

    There has never been a more extreme emergency for humankind, as well as all life on earth.

    Please act now to totally divest all Harvard University funds from fossil fuel industries. They must pledge to leave around 80% of all known fossil fuel reserves in the earth if we are to stave off Armageddon.

    Respectfully yours,

    Christopher Young
    350.org, Mass. chapter
    Arctic Methane Emergency Group (AMEG.me) follower


  22. Doug Deaett says:

    You people are awsome. I respect you and wish you the best. The piplines have to be stopped.
    Doug Deaett
    Upper Valley Sierra Club Group

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