Posted 10 months ago on Sept. 6, 2013, 10:31 a.m. EST by ZenDog
from South Burlington, VT
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
A Nationwide Day of Action has been called for by 350.org, they are calling it Draw The Line on the KeyStone XL and it is slated for September 21. There are two protests planned in Vermont that day, and neither of them is planned for Burlington.
I suppose I might perhaps host one, but what kind of protest would I host? How would I induce local participation? What action would we take? Perhaps I could give away to the first 20 participants 20 of my black tee shirts that proclaim:
It's Right Out In The Parking Lot
The Repelican Party is Done
Perhaps we could get a series of black sheets or a long black ribbon, and form two lines across the intersection between Church and Main forming an X and shut down traffic. Get Arrested. After all, OWS was used as rubber bullet dummies to underscore the Governors support for a ban on Tar Sands shipments via existing pipelines in northern Vermont. Weren't they?
Of course they were . . . even if the precise mechanism of how along with the individual instigator responsible remain a mystery.
As yesterday's forum post indicates the issue of stopping the KeyStone Pipeline will face resistance, and one can say with utter certainty that lives have already been lost, regardless of whether their sacrifice is interpreted as having been a meticulously contrived method of lobbying or not. The cost of not building the pipeline will, and already has, produced an increase in hazmat petroleum rail shipments, and given the substandard DOT-111 tankers in use that clearly indicates the statistical probability of lives lost due to accident.
This is a given, and represents a natural headwind against which the protest movement must push - right up until the next big explosion, the next town utterly obliterated, at which time it may be expected the protest movement against KeyStone XL will fade away in shame.
And so I wonder - is getting arrested on a Saturday afternoon for shutting down downtown traffic, is it enough? IF we can say with certainty that more lives will be lost, and if we can say the temptation for a little creative lobbying activity will no doubt be overwhelming - is getting arrested enough?
There are only two weeks in which to plan the event - is getting arrested enough?
We know that in the cause of this debate lives will be lost.
We could insist that regulatory authority step up and do its job, by insisting on rail tankers of the appropriate specifications for hauling hazmat by rail. This it seems is a perfectly logical bit of advocacy. But how long would it take to engineer sufficient public pressure to bring about an appropriate agency response? Will it be in time?
And if not, who is it that is slated for sacrifice? Who among us must pay that ultimate price?
Perhaps the fundamental reality is that we simply should not even consider refining Canadian Tar Sands period. Perhaps the consequence to our environment is simply too grave, perhaps we simply must come to grips with that fundamental fact as quickly as we may and deal with it. Perhaps once we have, such debates as over this pipeline will cease.
Yet we are no where near such an epiphany of the social consciousness, let alone getting those within the oil industry to face that simple fact.
And so, how many must die before we finally cross that line? How many must die before we accept the necessity of addressing our carbon consumption?
Who are they?
And what will be the most efficacious method of their demise?