XL Dissent: Where Do We Go From Here? Announcing the Pledge of Resistance Spring Training Tour

By Rainforest Action Network

The Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance is coming to campuses to train students for civil disobedience to stop the pipeline. Click here to join the 86,000 people who have already pledged to risk arrest to stop Keystone XL, and read on for training dates and locations—and to learn more about the movement to resist the pipeline.

“We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the tension that is already alive.” – Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

XL Dissent, February 28th
XL Dissent, February 28th

Last Sunday, the world got a sense of the pressure that has been building just beneath the surface of our society when over 1,000 youth massed outside the White House and demanded the rejection of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Nearly 400 were arrested at XL Dissent, which will be remembered as a significant early skirmish in the battle for a post-carbon future. If this sounds like a grandiose claim to you, read on—the bold action of the XL Dissenters is just a glimpse of the resistance to Keystone XL that is building across the country.

Tar Sands Blockade, September 2012
Tar Sands Blockade, September 2012

To the casual observer, resistance to Keystone XL might look like a series of high-profile acts of civil resistance, of which XL Dissent is the latest example. While these flashpoints have been characterized by a particular intensity (1,252 were arrested at Tar Sands Action over 15 days; Tar Sands Blockade continues a sustained direct action campaign), the punctuated rhythm of these events belies the dramatic growth of opposition to Keystone XL. Rather than functioning as a pressure relief valve, these actions have supercharged resistance to Keystone XL, and XL Dissent tapped into that reservoir. How deep does this well of resistance go? We’re starting to find out.

Last Spring, Rainforest Action Network joined with CREDO Action and The Other 98% to launched the Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance, a national pledge to resist the pipeline through massive waves of coordinated civil disobedience. As of today, 86,503 people have pledged to risk arrest to stop Keystone XL. If the State Department finds that the pipeline passes the climate test and is in the U.S.’s national interest, Obama will find himself the target of the largest wave of coordinated resistance in recent memory. Tens of thousands will be arrested all over the country at over one hundred actions, each one planned and coordinated by local action teams. You can check out the hundred actions that are already planned here.

Boston Pledge of Resistance action, October, 2013
Boston Pledge of Resistance action, October, 2013

By this summer, the Obama administration will likely have made a decision on Keystone XL, a decision young people will live with for the rest of their lives. The stakes are enormous, but so is the movement to resist Keystone XL.

Now, on the heels of XL Dissent, the Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance is launching a training tour to prepare hundreds of students and community members to coordinate, plan, and launch civil disobedience actions. Check out the below events to see if we’re training near you, and RSVP to attend. Click here to sign the Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance and to stand in solidarity with the thousands who are standing strong against the pipeline.

Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance – Spring Training Tour 2014

April 5-6

POR2Boston, MA

Philadelphia, PA

Chicago, IL

Austin, TX


April 12-13

Los Angeles, CA

New York, NY

Ann Arbor, MI

Washington, D.C.