It was cold tonight. So cold that batteries start to get weird, that cameras quit working, that you stand amazed when over 100 people turn out to protest dirty oil, the scraping of the Canadian Shield, the delivery of toxic sludge to an international market for the rich to get richer. The Overpass Light Brigade brought the "sidewalk soapbox" out tonight; our portable PA system that allowed for spirited chants which kept us warm. We held the sign KXL = CLIMATE CRISIS, having decided to focus on what it is and what it will do rather than the political question of who will approve or reject it. We even had the first DIY Drone Brigade action: a video drone as part of the citizen produced media circus, rising into the air over the streets, almost swatted down by a passing city bus, capturing entirely new video views. Did I say it was cold? It was so cold that the drone camera couldn't even focus!
As I sit and post this, more and more Light Brigade actions from around the country hit my Facebook and Twitter feed. We were part of the coalition with 350.org and the Sierra Club, and it was very gratifying to be listed among them, and to help give visibility to this urgent issue. This will be a defining position for President Obama. Sure, it is tough: if he rejects the Pipeline, he will have all the business "moderates" who are in bed with the capitalist extractors, as well as all the capitalist extractors, on his case. They will be on his case anyway. He'll have all the people who are such experts about the dangers of rail telling him that the pipeline is way safer than train cars of toxic death. I love how well binaries narrow the frame into absurd choices. Rail or Pipeline… gee, whiz, if only there were options!
And of course, if President Obama accepts the pipeline, his legacy regarding the environment will be written in lubricant, will be toxic, will be an attack on the rapidly growing environmental movement. You know what? The fact is: we should not have to sit here and wonder whether he, or Hillary, or anyone else elected on a somewhat "left" discourse should accept this travesty. This should not be ambiguous. We shouldn't have to fight the people we fought to elect to fight for us.
If we cannot rely on the integrity of the elected Left, we need to find a whole new path to a future that isn't total insanity. I've got no answers here other than that it is time for us to rise up, to flip this system, to end this assault on our collective survival.
From CREDO's call to action:
The No KXL protest vigils were organized by CREDO, Rainforest Action Network, and the Sierra Club, and supported by 350.org, The Other 98%, Center for Biological Diversity, Oil Change International, Bold Nebraska, Energy Action Coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Hip Hop Caucus, Overpass Light Brigade, Environmental Action, League of Conservation Voters, Waterkeeper Alliance, Friends of the Earth, Forest Ethics, Forecast the Facts, and others.We are damned proud to be in that list!
Occupy Moab Light Brigade went out with 350.org:
Get active. Sign stuff. Call people. Join groups. Do stuff. Resist. Disrupt. Disobey. End this criminal cartel of Earth Eaters. Run the Extractors out of the county! Send them to the Asteroid Colonies, where they can stockpile mineral wealth and dream of rich humus soil musky with moisture and crawling with life. This is my offering tonight: paddle with the sweet bozos and singers and poets and holders of the light. Tell your children that you fought like hell.
That is the only story that matters!