Take the Pledge of Resistance to the Keystone XL Pipeline

tar sands blockade

Tar Sands Blockade tree sit

During the 1980’s, religious, peace and human rights activists organized against Ronald Reagan’s not-so-secret wars in Central American countries like El Salvador and Nicaragua.Reagan’s policies killed hundreds of thousands of Central Americans, funded death squads and threatened invasion of Nicaragua to throw out the Sandinista government.

In response, this mass movement, known as the Central America solidarity movement, came up with the “Pledge of Resistance” to Reagan’s cold war adventures down south. The Pledge mobilized thousands to organize take action. Through the 80’s and early 90’s, the Central American solidarity movement non-violently confronted Reagan’s policies from the heartland to the Beltway.

Now we’re faced with another crisis of epic proportions. The Keystone XL Pipeline represents both a political and scientific tipping point for the climate crisis. Climatologist James Hanson has called the building of Keystone XL “game over” for the climate.

Despite lofty rhetoric from Obama on climate during his state of the union, the State Department’s Environmental Impact Statement (released last Friday afternoon) appears to be on track for pipeline approval. Another indicator of coming approval is mainstream media outlets and pundits lining up behind the President and the pipeline. It appears that the environmental movement is now being pitted against the political establishment.

In response today, a number of groups, including CREDO Mobile, Rainforest Action Network, 350.0rg, the Other 98%, BOLD Nebraska and Oil Change International, have put out a call for individuals to take a pledge of resistance to Keystone XL Pipeline’s approval.

The call to action says:

“It is time for us to pledge to resist. That is, we are asking you to commit – should it be necessary to stop Keystone XL — to engage in serious, dignified, peaceful civil disobedience that could get you arrested.”

For the past two years, the climate movements have petitioned, voted, lobbied sat in, rallied and blockaded to stop Keystone. Along the pipeline route in Texas and Oklahoma, the Tar Sands Blockade, Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance and various Rising Tide entities has squared off against TransCanada’s lawyers and rent-a-cops.

It’s now time to escalate outside the Beltway and even beyond the pipeline route.

Will you take the Pledge?


Scott Parkin is a Senior Campaigner with Rainforest Action Network and organizes with Rising Tide North America. He has worked on a variety of campaigns around climate change, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, mountaintop removal, labor issues and anti-corporate globalization. Originally from Texas, he now lives in San Francisco.

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