CREDO Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance

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KEYSTONE XL PLEDGE OF RESISTANCE TRAINING

On Saturday, February 22, from 9 to 1, there will be a Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance training in nonviolent direct action at the Durham Friends Meeting, 534 Quaker Meeting House Rd., Durham, Maine. 

The following week, on Sunday, March 2nd, from 9 to 1, there will be another such training in Portsmouth, NH at the offices of Portsmouth’s community radio station WCSA.

The Pledge of Resistance is a national movement opposed to the Keystone XL Pipeline, which if approved by President Obama, would carry tar sands oil, diluted bitumen, from Canada to Houston, where it would be refined, mostly for export. Over 76,000 people of all ages have signed the Pledge, indicating their willingness to engage in acts of dignified, peaceful civil disobedience that could result in their arrest in order to send a message to President Obama that he must reject Keystone. The trigger for this massive upwelling of nonviolent civil disobedience would be a final environmental impact statement in favor of the pipeline followed by a formal determination by the State Department that the pipeline is in the national interest. Against this contingency, which if it happens is unlikely to happen sooner than late winter, thousands of people in dozens of states are training for nonviolent action.

 Each of these trainings will prepare people to participate in an action in the State of Maine that will coincide with actions all over the United States against local symbolic targets associated with the pipeline. In early December a group of Pledge signers delivered a letter to a Portland branch office of TD Bank, a major financier of tar sands development and the largest shareholder of TransCanada, owner of the Keystone XL pipeline. The letter served notice on TD Bank that by virtue of its financial support of the pipeline it was a target for a Pledge of Resistance action (see video here). Last January Bangor and Rockland branches of TD Bank were similarly targeted and this year on January 22nd friends from activist group TWAC were arrested while protesting the banks pipeline investments.

The Pledge states that: “If tens of thousands of people stand up as President Obama mulls his final decision, and commit to participate in civil disobedience if necessary, we can convince the White House that it will be politically unfeasible to go forward. That is, our goal is not to get arrested. Our goal is to stop the Keystone XL pipeline -- by showing enough opposition to Keystone XL that President Obama will reject it. But if he shows clear signs he that he is preparing to approve it, we will be ready.”

To join the resistance, please go online, sign the Pledge, and plan to attend either the February 22nd training in Durham, ME or the March 2nd training in Portsmouth, NH. Participants will be taught to work as a team to complete a successful non-violent direct action. Doing so will mean many people assuming different direct and supporting roles. Not all participants need to risk arrest, which in any case remains a matter of free choice and individual conscience.

If you would like to attend either training session or seek additional information, contact:

Lee Chisholm at (207) 776-3746 - leechisholm@comcast.net

Read Brugger at (207) 382-6477 - Read@350Maine.org