Here’s the battle plan we promised—a few hours late, because it’s been a big job wrapping up phase one of this campaign.
By now you know what you accomplished: 1,253 arrests, according to some journalists the biggest civil disobedience action since 1977, and the most sustained since the epic campaigns of the civil rights movement. That was enough to take a regional issue and make it a national and even global one (many thanks to our friends, who picketed American and Canadian embassies on every continent).
Together you managed to make this the central environmental test for the administration, and to inform everyone who’s paying attention that Barack Obama will get to make the call by himself, without Congress in the way. In other words, you’ve laid the groundwork for a mighty victory - now we have to make it pay off.
Here’s the plan:
Our main efforts will be to keep the focus on the White House, even as we engage the State Department review process and other technical aspects of the debate. We don’t want the President to be able to hide from the decisions he’s making.
And we’re not going to do him the favor of attacking him. Instead, we’re going to pay him the dangerous compliment of taking his words from 2008 seriously. Just to remind you, here are two of the many pledges he made while he was inspiring so many of us to knock on doors and send in donations in 2008:
“Let’s be the generation that finally frees America from the tyranny of oil”
“Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children … this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”
We’re still planning something big for October 7th or 8th – the 7th is the date of the last State Department hearing in Washington, DC – but first we need to go back into our communities to keep building this movement. The White House is going to be watching to see if our sit-in was an isolated incident or whether there really is a movement of people across this country rising up to stop the pipeline.
First, we need to tell the story of what just happened in Washington by meeting with folks in our communities to talk about our experiences. This could be as simple as a small gathering in your home, or as elaborate as you’d like. Your story is the most powerful tool you have to keep building this movement. A few of our organizers got together to make a PowerPoint slideshow that you can use in a meetup, and if you’d like to host an event in your community to spread the word, sign up here: http://www.tarsandsaction.org/meet-up
Second, all around the country, people will be going to Obama campaign offices in polite but firm fashion to remind him that we took him seriously—that he shouldn’t have said it if he didn’t mean it. Watch this video that just arrived from Seattle to get a sense of what we have in mind. We’ll be trying to coordinate this work from city to city—if you’re willing to help in your town, and are certain you can deliver a calm, stern message, sign up here:http://www.tarsandsaction.org/office-visits/
That’s our plan for now. I want to make sure that we use this opportunity to strengthen our connections with each other, and make this a true movement. This is your opportunity to start taking a leadership role in this campaign.
We’ll be giving you updates on plans for the 7th of course, and letting you know what’s up. We have no guarantee we’ll succeed, but thanks to you this fight is very much on!
PS – We’re very aware that the federal government has scheduled the hearing on the 7th for Yom Kippur. With whatever action we take, we will make sure our Jewish brothers and sisters will be able to join us.
The Vatican has turned its fury toward the nation’s largest and most influential group of Catholic nuns accusing them of promoting “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith” for questioning the church’s stance on homosexuality and male-only priesthood.
The group was also punished for focusing too much on poverty and economic justice while keeping “silent” on abortion and same-sex marriage.
The New York Times reports that the Vatican has appointed an American bishop to “rein in” the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The sisters were also reprimanded for making public statements disagreeing with the bishops over their attacks on health care reform.
The conference is an umbrella organization of women’s religious communities with approximately 1500 members who represent 80 percent of the Catholic sisters in the United States. It was formed in 1956 at the Vatican’s request and answers directly to the Vatican.
News of the reprimand took the sisters by surprised. Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobby stood strong and insisted the nuns were doing nothing wrong. “I would imagine that it was our health care letter that made them mad,” Sister Campbell said. “We haven’t violated any teaching, we have just been raising questions and interpreting politics.”
Because the nuns had the audacity to challenge Pope Benedict XVI and the bishops they will now be required to pre-clear any speakers or information supplied to the public. It’s part of an ongoing inquisition launched by the Pope into the activities of American nuns and religious communities making it crystal clear that the leadership of the Catholic church believes its faith has no place for women of independent minds.
Thisis article is about the largest oil spills in north american history.
Information in this article is not publicized in mainstream media cause the mainstream does not want the american public to know that the largest oil spills happened on native lands and also that on these lands the natives depended on there way of life. This is yet another way that corporations are still trying to commit genocide on North American Tribal people.
NEW TOWN, North Dakota -- Native Americans in Alaska and Louisiana have both suffered from the nation's largest oil spills, which have devastated Native communities who depend on subsistence from the land and oceans to survive.
Faith Gemmill of REDOIL (Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands) said oil spills and climate change should serve as a wakeup call in North America -- but this has not happened.
Gemmill is a Pit River/ Wintu and Neets'aii Gwich'in Athabascan from Arctic Village, Alaska.
Speaking at the 16th Annual Protecting Mother Earth Gathering of the Indigenous Environmental Network, Gemmill joined local Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara fighting massive oil and gas development here in North Dakota, and First Nations activists fighting dirty tar sands development in Alberta, Canada.
As the four day gathering here came to a close, Gemmill spoke of the similarities between the devastating oil spills in Alaska and Louisiana. She pointed out that climate change further wrecks Native villages on both coasts, where land is caving into the ocean.
"We all have the same story. Houma Nation Chief Brenda Dardar Robichaux (shown on left) was among the presenters at the Protecting Mother Earth Gathering in North Dakota, July 28-31, 2011. The Houma were hard hit by both Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill.
Gemmill said when the oil spill devastated the Louisiana Gulf Coast, she was a member of a delegation from Alaska that traveled to Louisiana. They shared with the Houma, their own struggle in Alaska to recover from the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Gemmill said she described to the Houma the years of litigations and the years of impacts for Alaska Natives, years of heartbreak that Louisiana Natives would now have to face.
"Years later we haven't recovered. The species haven’t recovered. There were a lot of similarities," Gemmill told the Gathering that attracted Indigenous Peoples from as far away as Guatemala, Mexico and Canada.
On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound. The Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of oil into the marine ecosystems on the North Slope. It killed birds, marine mammals and fish, devastating the ecosystem in the oil's path. The way of life of Native people was shattered and their food sources poisoned.
In Louisiana, where the Houma make their home on the Gulf Coast, BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers. The explosion was followed by months of oil leaking into the ocean, months of devastation for Houma who fish and shrimp the waters.
Gemmill said subsistence economies and subsistence communities are profoundly affected by oil spills and the degradation to their environments.
"They are profoundly affected for generations. We are oil states and we are severely impacted by climate change." Now, climate change is forcing Native Americans to relocate on the coast of Alaska. "Communities are caving into the ocean because of climate change."
As Native people struggle to survive, Gemmill said the US government is no help, in either Alaska or Louisiana.
"We thought that the Valdez oil spill would be a wakeup call. We thought leaders would change oil policy, we thought the United States would start moving forward."
Although Gemmill hoped the Valdez oil spill would be a wakeup call for clean energy, she said for the United States, that is not a reality.
Now, REDOIL is pressing for a moratorium on new oil, gas and coal extraction.
“It is going to take people calling for it in mass numbers to make that happen.”
Gemmill said all over Indian country, and throughout the world, the land is devastated by oil and gas drilling. “We all have the same story."
REDOIL was created in June of 2002 when a group of Alaska Natives came together in Cordova to share knowledge, experience and strategies for addressing the detrimental impacts of oil and gas development in Alaska. The following principles had been agreed upon by the participants of that gathering who have formed a new network, Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands or REDOIL.
The Principles of the REDOIL network, a program of the Indigenous Environmental Network:
We adhere to the inherent right to self-determination for all indigenous peoples.
We reject the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act as an illegitimate infringement on our right to sovereignty and self-determination.
We are committed to a moratorium on all new exploration for oil, gas and coal as a first step towards the full phase-out of fossil fuels with a just transition to sustainable jobs, energy and environment. We take this position based on our concern over the disproportionate social, cultural, spiritual, environmental, and climate impacts on indigenous peoples, particularly in Alaska.
We are committed to creating sustainable economic solutions for our communities.
We are committed to upholding and promoting the integrity of our traditional cultures and values.
We are committed to an intergenerational approach, which honors the wisdom and guidance of our elders and that values the role of our youth.
We are committed to standing in solidarity with the members of this network and their struggles for self-determination and a sustainable future for the seventh generation to come.
All decisions of and direction for the network will come from the indigenous members from impacted communities. Non-indigenous supporters will be included at the prerogative of the decision-making members.
New members will be added to the network by consensus of the group based on adherence to our principles.
We welcome individuals and legitimate, empowered representatives of communities and organizations that accept and adhere to the principles.
REDOIL is honored to share, reach out and network with Indigenous peoples who want to defend their inherent way of life.
We believe that the working group has the potential to bring these critical issues to a head and address them with honor, science, and spirituality and to help build an alliance where our collective voice will be louder than broken promises
Petition | United States
Conference of Catholic
Bishops: Change the Roman
Catholic Church's Stance
on Gay Marriage. |
Change.Org Society &
Over a year after the
tragic shootings at Sandy
extremely little has
actually been done to
remedy the situation that
leads to such horrendous
shootings in the first
place. Lawmakers haven't
yet seen fit to pass
This is the Content of my
weekly e-mail to the
President and my Members
I have just sent the
following message to
President Obama, and I
think the Congress should
heed this also!Mr.
Administration is very
much to be comm...
I have just sent the
following Message to
Vice-President Biden, and
others:We must absolutely
STOP the privatization of
our Prisons - and the
QUOTAS for filling those
Prisons and for Police
making arrests! We must
I have just sent this
message to the President
of the United States.
And my Senators and
consider sending a
SIMILAR message to YOUR
It is time to get REAL,
get SERIOUS about
stopping Climate Change
GMOs are GENOCIDAL.GMOs
make laboratory animals
STERILE - is there any
reason to think it will
be any different for
Diabetes in kids.GMOs
KILL POLLINATORS - bees,
This is my Weekly Message
I e-mail to the
President, my two
Senators, and my
course, I am aware that
there is NO-ONE THERE to
receive this message! So
it's a little different
from the usual...
Sent to the Presi...
Each Week I e-mail
President Obama, my two
Senators, and my
Representative. This is
the e-mail I sent them
this Week: [Headings of
Foreign Policy, Foreign
Affairs or International
With regard to War
Against Syria - or
anywhere else - whe...
This is a message I just
sent to President Obama:
I hope you have a sense
of how RELIEVED the
people of the United
States were - not to
mention the people of the
World! - when the
decision was made, NOT to
bomb Syria - to go for
Diplomacy and Intern...