UPDATE: Thank goodness we have all of our friends facing misdemeanors out of jail!
Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands activists directly halted business yesterday at the Stockbridge Enbridge construction site. They are being arraigned this afternoon between 2 and 4 PM. Come stand in solidarity with them, donate to our bail fund, or take direct action against Enbridge on your own, with your friends!
Here are some thoughts written by a couple of folks who participated in the action yesterday:
My name is Virginia. I am 63 years old and I am tired. Tired of decades of fighting greedy corporations raping & pillaging the beautiful planet I knew as a young woman for oil & money.
Each day people are getting sicker. Entire species are going extinct and I wonder; will my granddaughter’s generation become extinct as well?
Carbon levels are at an all time high and some environmentalists predict that at this rate, human beings may have 40 more years to live if the carbon levels aren’t reversed immediately. According to Forbes, 7 of the 10 wealthiest corporations in the world are oil companies. My years on earth are few however I have left to live, I want my grand daughters generation to live and enjoy the beauty of the world as my generation once knew it to be.
My name is Al Smith. I am a 49 year old man and a laborer by trade. I am writing this on behalf of my wife Vicci Hamlin who may be facing felony charges. Also, I want to explain to those who may have preconceived notions of who and what we are as activists.
My wife Vicci is currently locked up in the Ingham County jail. I can only imagine she is feeling afraid and uncertain. Vicci is not a subversive radical. She is one of the kindest and most loving people that I have ever known. She is the mother of six children and grandmother of 8 children and great grandmother of 1. She has always loved people and believed in passivity in all sorts of stances. She has always stood up for others. She is passionate about women’s rights, civil rights, has helped start a food bank in Ohio. She has taught me more about love, kindness and compassion than anyone I have ever met.
Lately we have watched documentaries together and learned about people whose lives have been shattered by untouchable and obscenely wealthy corporations. These corporate entities who have so much political and legal power, that people like us are completely helpless before them. Since there is no longer any political or legal recourse left to us, we have only two options. We can either close our eyes and focus on ourselves, our families and our friends and try to find some solace while hiding from this overwhelming sense of doom and powerlessness, or we can take a stand. It’s painful and frightening to put ourselves on the line.
Vicci chose to disobey the authorities and lock herself to heavy machinery because we believe it is the only way for people to learn what we believe to be the truth. It doesn’t feel good to know we are stopping people like us from doing their jobs, nor does it feel good to have to tie up so many Public Safety officers. We believe there is no painless way to bring about a change that we believe is necessary. We feel our willingness to sacrifice our own safety and comfort is a place to start. We both believe if not us then who, if not now then when?
According to another person, Dakoda, it isn’t enough to simply stop this pipeline, or any single pipeline. Stopping tar sands development in whole, is not enough. In order to prevent climate disaster most of us fear, we must challenge the very nature of industrial civilization. Anything other than shattering the dominance over the land this culture enables and this culture itself will fall short of creating any meaningful change.
We are a diverse group, with many different perspectives, from landowners, teachers, students, outdoors people, workers and parents. Our varied world views make us strong. We want the end of corporate abuse of the planet to happen today. We feel that the urgency of this cannot wait. Many of us wish to see an end to all fossil fuel extraction. We want people to be brave and stand up. We want to work together to elevate the issue of tar sands and the environmental classism and racism we see inherent in these industries. We want to nip these issues in the butt. Join us.