My favorite part of the Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance is the trainings.
Before each action, we take a portion of the day before to prepare pledge signers for possible physical and legal repercussions from placing themselves into an act of peaceful and dignified civil disobedience. In those trainings we create a space where the participants get to know one another as well as the organizers. The people taking part in the Pledge aren’t from typical environmentalist circles that I often find myself in, they are more like, well, my mom. Mostly an older crowd, many of them volunteered or worked for Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012. Many of them are concerned about the direction of the country and the environment. Now they are finding themselves deeply disappointed in the direction the President’s environmental and climate policies have taken.
This morning, over 60 of those folks risked arrest at the State Department’s headquarters to send a clear message to Barack Obama and John Kerry to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, which would flow hundreds of thousands of barrels of dirty tar sands oil from Alberta to the Gulf Coast, endangering ecosystems, communities and the climate. In yesterday’s training, we discovered that we had people with us from as far away as Florida, New Jersey and upstate New York.