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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/22/11

October2011 Movement Urges Solidarity with Oil Pipeline Tar Sands Protesters

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The Stop the Pipeline!-The Tar Sands Action ongoing in Washington, DC deserves the support of all of us. The protest has gotten the attention of the White House as they mistreated protesters arrested on the first day.  President Obama would have liked to quietly approve the pipeline but climate activists are making that impossible. The  October2011 Movement which is organizing an occupation at Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC beginning on October 6, 2011, is urging its participants to come to Washington, DC and join the pipeline action. The over-reaction to carefully choreographed and negotiated civil resistance shows the fear the administration has of mass civil resistance.  It means we need to up the ante and show them that their actions are increasing the protests, spreading confidence among protesters and showing us that we can make a difference.


Critical action is being taken right now to stop the machine and create a new world. We are writing to urge you to participate.

From now until September 3rd in Washington DC, Stop the Pipeline!-The Tar Sands Action is fighting to stop what will be an ecologically destructive Keystone XL pipeline, a pipeline also with great potential for massive leakage, that would run through the United States from the tar sands in Canada to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. Protestors are demanding that President Obama reject any permit for the pipeline. The pipeline will send 900,000 barrels a day of the world's dirtiest oil to US refineries, allowing further development of the Alberta tar sands. If this is allowed to occur it could mean "game over' for the climate in the word of the nation's leading climate scientist, NASA's James Hansen.

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Civil disobedience sit-ins are happening every day at the White House Fence. A news story posted today in Firedoglake covers a significant development: Police have been telling organizers of the sit-in that they were keeping the first wave of demonstrators in jail to deter people from taking part in the civil disobedience. In fact, the arrests have just the opposite effect.

"Saturday's arrests and overnight jailings are already lighting a fire," said Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, who was arrested Saturday. "More people are now inspired, determined, and committed to join.

Jane Hamsher of describes how the resisters were treated and urges all of us to join in lighting a fire.

And from an earlier article: "US Park Police told protest organizers protest participants would be able to pay a $100 fine and be released the same day. But, the US Park Police went back on what they said and made a calculated decision to hold the activists for 48 hours. The Park Police told Tar Sands Action organizers jail time was given to deter future participants from engaging in civil disobedience."

The decision to hold protesters was made at a "higher level" according to the police.  The decision on whether to proceed with the pipeline rests solely with President Obama.  The Congress has no role in it.  It is his decision alone. The White House does not want the pressure of mass protests and is trying to discourage protests with harsh treatment, especially on August 28th when the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is dedicated.  We need to show the White House that courage is contagious and the more aggressive they get, the stronger the resistance will be.

When the corporate-government machine goes to such lengths to deter us, we know we are on the right track. The October2011 organizers urge everyone that can to go to Washington DC and support this critical call for civil resistance. To get more information and to sign up for this critical action please go to

If you'd like to be associated with others who are supporting October2011, when you sign up for the Tar Sands action, list October2011 Movement as your group. And when you go, if you already have one, wear your purple Stop the Machine! t-shirts! See you in DC! Let's make it happen now and in October!

In Solidarity,
The October2011 organizers
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Kevin Zeese is co-chair of Come Home America, www.ComeHomeAmerica.US which seeks to end U.S. militarism and empire. He is also co-director of Its Our Economy, www.ItsOurEconomy.US which seeks to democratize the economy and give people greater (more...)
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