Thursday, August 25, 2011

Jailed for Peaceful Protest -- Back in the USA -- And it is going to keep going on until billionaires and politicians are jailed

Try the abolitionist's shoes on. Or the farm workers' sandals with Cesar Chavez. Try civil rights workers' shirts. Anti-war protesting Americans' pants. The War on the Greens is a great book written by David Helvarg. Almost 20 years ago. So, Bill McKibben is in jail, or was, with more than 250 peaceful protesters.

Using democracy to say no to Canadian energy companies getting a pipeline built from Canada to Texass and you end up jailed. For three days. Hell, it's also a property rights battle -- Canadian billion-dollar company getting USA soil to run their dirty oil pipes. USA helping secure Eminent Domain seizures?

Welcome to the 21st Century wars --

Jailed Over Big Oil's Latest Attempt to Kill the Planet

After being arrested protesting the Keystone XL pipeline, activist Bill McKibben shares what he learned.

August 25, 2011 |

Pipeline about to be installed in Manitoba, presumably to link to Alberta Tar Sands

Photo Credit: Loozrboy

I didn’t think it was possible, but my admiration for Martin Luther King, Jr., grew even stronger these past days.

As I headed to jail as part of the first wave of what is turning into the biggest civil disobedience action in the environmental movement for many years, I had the vague idea that I would write something. Not an epic like King's “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” but at least, you know, a blog post. Or a tweet.

But frankly, I wasn’t up to it. The police, surprised by how many people turned out on the first day of two weeks of protests at the White House, decided to teach us a lesson. As they told our legal team, they wanted to deter anyone else from coming -- and so with our first crew they were… kind of harsh.

We spent three days in D.C.’s Central Cell Block, which is exactly as much fun as it sounds like it might be. You lie on a metal rack with no mattress or bedding and sweat in the high heat; the din is incessant; there’s one baloney sandwich with a cup of water every 12 hours.

I didn’t have a pencil -- they wouldn’t even let me keep my wedding ring -- but more important, I didn’t have the peace of mind to write something. It’s only now, out 12 hours and with a good night’s sleep under my belt, that I’m able to think straight. And so, as I said, I’ll go to this weekend’s big celebrations for the opening of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial on the Washington Mall with even more respect for his calm power.

Preacher, speaker, writer under fire, but also tactician. He really understood the power of nonviolence, a power we’ve experienced in the last few days. When the police cracked down on us, the publicity it produced cemented two of the main purposes of our protest:

First, it made Keystone XL -- the new, 1,700-mile-long pipeline we’re trying to block that will vastly increase the flow of “dirty” tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico -- into a national issue. A few months ago, it was mainly people along the route of the prospective pipeline who were organizing against it. (And with good reason: tar sands mining has already wrecked huge swaths of native land in Alberta, and endangers farms, wild areas, and aquifers all along its prospective route.)


Or this --

On Saturday 70 people from across the US and Canada were arrested at the White House for the first day of a two week sit-in aimed at pressuring President Obama to deny the permit for a massive new oil pipeline. Over 2,000 more people are expected to join the daily civil disobedience over the coming days.

At stake is what has quickly become the largest environmental test for President Obama before the 2012 election. The President must choose whether or not to grant a Canadian company a permit to build a 1,700 mile pipeline from the Alberta tar sands to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.

Environmentalists warn that the pipeline could cause a BP disaster right in America’s heartland, over the largest source of fresh drinking water in the country. The world’s top climatologist, Dr. James Hansen, has warned that if the Canadian tar sands are fully developed it could be “game over” for the climate.


or this,

Within a few minutes, police began issuing warnings to clear the area. At 11:30 AM, a young woman from Sarah Palin’s hometown of Wasilla, AK was the first person to be arrested. Arrests proceeded for over an hour as van-loads of protesters were taken away from the White House.

Jane Kleeb, an outspoken opponent of the pipeline and founder of BOLD Nebraska, stood in Lafayette Park this morning and cheered on the protesters as they were arrested.

“Nebraskans are counting on President Obama to do the right thing,” said Kleeb, who is planning to risk arrest on Monday with a delegation of farmers and ranchers who are coming in from Nebraska. “Back home we are fighting to protect our land and water. We decided to bring that fight to the President’s doorstep because our families’ legacies, those that homesteaded the very land now threatened by a foreign oil company, are too important for us sit on the sidelines. We are acting on our values and expect our President to act as w

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