In a speech prepared for COP21 in Paris, a man named Barack Obama served up the following platitude:
As recently as 2012, this same man stated the following, regarding the construction of the Keystone pipeline from the Alberta tar sands to the Texas Gulf Coast:
How did we get from business as usual to hope rooted in collective action? The president’s legion of handlers and boosters would like us to believe that this dramatic sense of urgency provides evidence of visionary leadership. Yet those closer to the bone (that is, those who fought in the trenches against the insane Keystone pipeline) know the truth: that the collective action referenced in the first Obama quote has nothing to do with politicians dining on haute cuisine.
We take our title for today’s post from an excellent indie documentary by Garrett Graham, which clearly and convincingly demonstrates what sort of collective action will prove decisive in years to come, through courageous acts of non-violent resistance taken by local activists and citizens, resistance that forced the likes of Mr. Obama to change course.
Below, a link to the video (generously donated to the creative Blockadia commons by Graham) and a series of excerpts from the transcript. Listen to the voices of the Tar Sands Blockade, voices that have been far more consequential than those now blathering away in the City of Light between bites of goose liver.
We look forward to a forthcoming film by Graham and his colleagues that documents ongoing attempts to protect communities from the toxic, lethal consequences of fracked gas: