San Francisco, CA – CREDO, Rainforest Action Network and the Other 98% announced today their first planned act of civil disobedience as part of the Pledge of Resistance to the Keystone XL pipeline. The organizations have begun recruiting activists to participate in a sit in and risk arrest on Monday, June 17th at the State Department office in Downtown Chicago, IL. The location of the sit in is notable not just because it's President Obama's hometown, but because the State Department is the agency currently engaged in finalizing the review of Keystone XL, a process that has been wrought with conflict of interest and insufficient science.
Next week’s action is the first of a number of civil disobedience actions the groups are planning throughout the summer to show the president they are serious about the pledge. So far, over 62,000 people have signed the group’s Pledge of Resistance to risk arrest in peaceful, dignified civil disobedience if President Obama’s administration issues a draft National Interest Determination in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline. The decision is expected in the late fall.
“Many of President Obama’s best supporters have pledged to risk arrest to stop Keystone XL and next week’s action in Chicago is a preview of what's to come if his State Department recommends approval of the pipeline,” said Becky Bond, CREDO’s Political Director. “The people who knocked on doors, donated to his campaign and helped put him in the White House are watching to see if President Obama will side with a foreign oil company or keep his promise and take real action to fight climate change, starting with rejecting Keystone XL. The president said in his State of the Union speech 'If Congress won't act soon to protect future generations, I will.' We're taking action to hold him to that promise.”
“The science is irrefutable, the Keystone XL pipeline, if built, poses an extreme risk to the climate and to public health,” said Amanda Starbuck, Rainforest Action Network’s Energy and Finance Program Director. “People from all walks of life will be taking a bold and dignified action to send President Obama a clear message: stand on the right side of history and say no to this dangerous and dirty energy pipeline.”
"Keystone XL and the moral urgency of climate change will determine this President's place in history more than anything else," said John Sellers, Executive Director of The Other 98%. "President Obama can be the FDR of this moment and say no to dirty fossil fuels, or he can lock us and our children into a future of climate chaos. His legacy is his choice, and his alone."
At the heart of the Pledge of Resistance are hundreds of volunteer-led, grassroots civil disobedience actions ready to be deployed at strategic targets around the country. It will take hundreds of activist leaders across the country to plan, lead and train others to participate in local civil disobedience actions. In order to train these local action leaders, the groups announced today that they will run regional weekend trainings in 25 cities nationwide throughout July. The groups also launched NoKXL.org as the online hub where they will provide resources to activists who have signed the pledge, along with other ways activists can get involved to stop the Keystone XL pipeline.
Visit the online organizing hub for the pledge here: nokxl.org
Read the Pledge of Resistance here: http://act.credoaction.com/sign/kxl_pledge
Rainforest Action Network runs hard-hitting campaigns to break North America’s fossil fuels addiction, protect endangered forests and Indigenous rights, and stop destructive investments around the world through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. For more information, please visit: www.ran.org