Protest Fracking

Jun 25, 2012 by

Dear friends,

Lately, our 350 network has been breaking a lot of rules.

Last Sunday, we marched right into the place where the fossil fuel industry didn’t want us — into the Ohio state capitol, for a “people’s assembly” in the middle of the state-house protesting the dangerous practice of fracking. It was a beautiful sight to behold: 1000 passionate activists bravely standing up for their rights to free assembly, clean water, and a future worth fighting for.

And on Thursday we marched right out of the place that we were supposed to be: the Rio Earth Summit. World leaders had gathered yet again to forge a plan to address our planetary challenges  — but they ended up failing us by producing another weak, non-binding agreement. So when youth leaders asked us to join a walk-out in protest of the summit’s disappointing outcomes, we were proud to join them — even if that meant breaking the rules set out by the UN.

The point is, if we play by the rules that the corporations have set for our political life, we’re going to lose. Corporate polluters channelled $350,000 to Ohio’s governor to make sure he was pushing fracking, and they made sure that the official text in Rio was a mush of weasel words and toothless promises.

So we’re going to have to find the places we can have a people-powered edge. Some of those places will be in the streets, of course — but we’ll also be ramping up our work on the web, where hundreds of thousands of people around the world launched a “TwitterStorm” on fossil fuel subsidies last week. Those subsidies ended up being one of the only real issues that drew much attention at Rio — meaning that hundreds of thousands of people around the world managed to take this arcane topic and thrust it into the global spotlight. In the weeks ahead, we’ll continue to ramp up the pressure on fossil fuel subsidies with a sustained, strategic campaign in the US and around the world.

World leaders failed us in Rio — and if we don’t shake things up, there’s no reason to think that they are likely to change. Fortunately for the planet, this movement already has some big plans under way.

Some of our friends in Texas are taking the lead with a bold action called the Tar Sands Blockade. They’re planning a very direct action that will literally stand in the way of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline.

This section of Keystone will get final approval from the Obama Administration this week — the plan is to build a pipeline running from Cushing, Oklahoma to Port Arthur, Texas, carrying hundreds of thousands of barrels of toxic oil across farms, homes and communities. Stopping the northern leg of the pipeline running from Canada is an important victory that we will continue to defend, but with folks in Oklahoma and Texas facing this new danger, our movement needs to step up to help them as well.

They need all kinds of help: online supporters who can amplify their message on social media, small donations for supplies, and courageous people who can join them on the front-lines in Texas. (A full list of needs is below this email)

Click here to sign up to support the Tar Sands Blockade in Texas

We’re not in charge of this action, but our team has been working with the organizers closely, and we’re excited to pass on their call to action.

It’s not always easy to be doing such hard work in trying times. But if we have a hope to beat this crisis, it’s in our collective bravery and strength.

Thank you.

Bill McKibben for the Team


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