The Pledge is a commitment made by more than 60,000 people to engage in civil disobedience and risk arrest if President Obama’s administration issues a draft approval of Keystone XL. It is a huge and complex undertaking but we believe preparing for mass civil disobedience is a necessary next step in our movement.
Since we launched the pledge, the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide broke 400 ppm for the first time in millions of years and in human history – a somber milestone that greatly underscores the need to stop KXL and do everything in our power to prevent the tar sands carbon bomb from being detonated. And, the President learned about your pledge, when news of it was personally conveyed, face to face, to the President by CREDO’s president and CEO.
No one really knows when the draft decision on whether the Keystone XL pipeline is “in the national interest” will come. At first, conventional wisdom said it would come in the fall. Then President Obama said he could make the decision as early as this summer. And now the State Department is saying it could be many months more before the Environmental Impact Statement is finalized – which will trigger the 90-day process to issue the draft National Interest Determination (NID), which, if it recommends approval of Keystone XL, would trigger our pledge to resist.
We have two goals over the coming months: To create enough pressure on President Obama through demonstrating our commitment and our numbers that he has no choice but to reject Keystone XL. And to build out our organizing capacity across the country such that, should the draft NID recommend approval of Keystone XL, we are ready to deploy acts of peaceful, dignified civil disobedience.
So today, we have a two big announcements:
Local action leader trainings in July: The heart of the Pledge of Resistance will be 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, we will run regional weekend trainings in 16 cities nationwide throughout July.
Serving as a local action leader will be a significant commitment of time – but if you are interested in being trained to lead a civil disobedience action near you, click here to let us know you are interested, and we will let you know when a training is happening near you and how you can sign up.
First action in Chicago: To show that we are serious in our pledge, we will plan sit-in actions throughout the summer – one or two a month – in key targets around the country. These actions are intended as a demonstration of our commitment, and a small-scale “coming attraction” for the feature film we hope we’ll never have to watch: tens of thousands of people getting arrested in the event of a draft NID recommending approval of Keystone XL.
The first action will be a sit-in on Monday, June 17th, in President Obama’s home town of Chicago. Participants will be risking arrest, and will be required to attend an action training the day before, on Sunday, June 16th. While this action is open to anyone, we think it will be especially powerful to see Obama supporters, volunteers, donors and even staff taking this stand. We recommend that only people from the Chicago area sign up, as your participation could result in a legal process requiring you to be in Chicago a number of times in the coming months. Click here to RSVP for the Chicago action.
The next phase of this campaign is going to make this pledge even bigger. Stay tuned for more updates coming soon. Thanks for everything you are doing to stop Keystone XL.