PLANET EARTH NEEDS YOU IN TEXAS
Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News
“Earth! Fire! Wind! Water! Heart! Goooo Planet!”
“By your powers combined, I am Captain Planet!”
oes anyone else remember the cartoon Captain Planet, from the 1990s? It was a great show about five kids with special rings that had powers over the elements, who fought greedy bad guys with names like Looten Plunder and Verminous Skumm who were always trying to destroy precious natural resources for corporate profit. When the going got too tough, the kids would combine all their powers and summon Captain Planet, who would then proceed to kick corporate ass for Planet Earth.
Demonstrators protest against the Keystone XL Pipeline, 11/6/11. (photo: Evan Vucci/AP)
Sadly, the bad guys who destroy the environment for profit are very real. Since there’s no real-life Captain Planet to stop them, anyone who cares about America’s natural resources and fundamental human rights needs to get down to Winnsboro, Texas, ASAP. Because some very brave planeteers in the Tar Sands Blockade, risking their own safety for the environment and landowner rights, are being tortured by police at the encouragement of TransCanada executives.
TransCanada’s hopes of having the Keystone XL pipeline go from the Alberta Tar Sands, through the American Great Plains region, all the way to the Gulf of Mexico in Southeastern Texas, were dashed in January, when their proposed route was rejected. But they haven’t given up - one of their former lobbyists is a senior advisor for President Obama’s re-election campaign. And Obama has promised to “fast-track” construction of the first leg of the Keystone XL pipeline from Texas through Oklahoma. TransCanada says the pipeline will bring job growth and decrease gas prices, but both claims have been thoroughly debunked.
If Obama is re-elected, that TransCanada ex-lobbyist will likely continue to play a key role in the White House, where he’ll ensure the construction of the pipeline and the extraction of the Tar Sands oil. Should that happen, the global temperature is expected to increase dramatically, meaning numerous catastrophes like species extinction and the forced relocation of millions of people living on coastal cities due to rising water levels. The resulting damage to our tenuous climate would also mean crop and livestock extinction, driving up food prices to astronomical levels beyond what most ordinary folks would be able to afford. All this damage would be done so a few oilmen at the top of the economic ladder, who have already amassed more wealth than could be reasonably spent over the course of several lifetimes, can get even richer.
Landowners who are sick of TransCanada grifting people out of their property like Daniel Day Lewis in "There Will Be Blood" (“There is a pipeline!”), along with environmental activists determined to have a planet for future offspring to enjoy, have banded together to stop this from happening through nonviolent direct action dubbed the Tar Sands Blockade. The plan is to halt the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline at its source, so it’s game-over for the pipeline before it even gets to be built, instead of game-over for the climate once it’s built.
During previous actions, police were generally peaceful with the activists. But TransCanada officials have recently encouraged police to use “aggressive pain compliance tactics” on peaceful protesters who handcuffed themselves to TransCanada’s equipment to stop the company from tearing down forests in Winnsboro, Texas. At the insistence of Transcanada, police used choke holds, the painful manipulation of activists' free arms, pepper spray, and even tazers. One activist was tazed twice. TransCanada officials then praised police on a “job well-done.”
Police have apparently forgotten that as peace officers, it’s their job to keep the peace and protect the people, not to serve the interests of multinational corporations. If unarmed protesters are being subjected to such extreme violence and brutality, then it’s our duty as fellow citizens and fellow stewards of Planet Earth to join their effort to stop the pipeline’s construction. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment, just as the infamous pepper-spraying of two defenseless Occupy Wall Street activists at the hands of NYPD officer Anthony Bologna last year galvanized the movement to get to Zuccotti Park.
The battle happening in Texas right now is one we must win if we’re to have a planet on which to raise the next generation. A company motivated by nothing other than naked greed, like TransCanada, must not be victorious in their goal to harm our planet and brutalize our people all to make more money.
On October 12th and 13th, tarsandsblockade.org is hosting a direct action training camp. If you need a ride, they can even help you get there. Get to Texas, ASAP. Your planet needs you.
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