“No Tar Sands Oil Pipelines!!

via John Berkowitz

Amherst action on 9/21 to stop the pipeline

Saturday, Nov. 9, noon-2pm:  
 5th monthly protest at TD Banks in 
Springfield, Northampton, Amherst, and Greenfield.
TD Bank is a major investor in Canadian Tar Sands oil
 mining and pipelines--the most polluting, climate-changing
 oil on the planet.    
 President Obama will decide in the coming months whether
to approve or reject the Keystone XL pipeline to carry Tar
Sands oil from Canada to Texas.  Another proposed route is
east to Montreal, then through VT, NH, and Maine to the coast
at Portland.
Come if you can to the Springfield protest.   Our goal is that this one will be the biggest, so that we  finally get coverage of our message by the region’s biggest newspaper (the Republican) and the 3 major network TV stations.    More details below.
**  Central theme and media hook :  “Funeral for Our Future”10 to 20 participants carry mock coffin painted black to signify Tar Sands oil,  and sing “They are digging us a hole, They are digging us a hole,  Six feet underground,  Where the Tar Sands oil will flow.” . . . and other verses.   The rest of the crowd will join them and sing too.
Scroll down for list of speakers and other background info.   And, please
share this info–by email and word-of-mouth– with friends, family, co-workers, members of your faith community, etc.    
ALSO:  Civil Disobedience Training will be held on same day in Springfield from 9am—4pm, with a break from 12 to 2pm to attend TD Bank protest downtown.  This training will prepare participants to join local action of the national “Pledge of Resistance”, which has over 75,000 people signed up so far.  They all agree to join in non-violent direct action (civil disobedience) if Sec. of State Kerry or President Obama approve the Keystone XL Tar Sands oil pipeline; their decision is expected by the end of this year or early in ’14.  To sign up for this training, contact me at johnpberk@gmail.com or 413-325-4533.
I’m stepping down in mid-November as coordinator of this Boycott TD Bank campaign . . . who’d like to step up?
Since April, I’ve been leading this campaign to Boycott TD Bank until it stops investing in Tar Sands oil pipelines.  Also, some of us have been training and preparing to use Civil Resistance (a.k.a ‘Civil Disobedience’) as part of the campaign to capture the media and public’s attention about the climate crisis, and stopping the Keystone pipeline as one urgent essential step.
I now plan to step back, after the Nov. 9 protests,  to pursue other priorities in my life, for the next 6-12 months.   I do plan to attend future protests, including joining others engaging in CR, such as when the Pledge of Resistance calls for action by its 75,000 signers.
So I invite anyone to step forward and take the baton from me.   On Monday  Nov. 4,  I’ll be meeting with the leaders of Climate Action Now of western Mass . to see if they will carry on the TD Bank campaign.  I’ll be glad to orient and train anyone who’d like to work on it, including passing over my files of individuals  and organizations in the valley, and my list-serve of over 700 names.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  * * * * *
Good things about Pres. Obama’s policies to address the climate crisis:
  1. 1)    his EPA introduced new rules to reduce emissions from power plants
  2. 2)     his speeches earlier this year were passionate calls to action, supporting increased renewable energy sources and energy conservation and efficiency efforts;
  3. 3)    he said he’d reject the Keystone XL pipeline if convinced that it would worsen global warming and climate change.
Bad things about his climate change policies:
  1. 1)    Recently, it was reported that his top foreign trade official, Michael Fromer, was lobbying European governments to drop their opposition to buying Canadian Tar Sands oil;  and one of his top campaign strategists, Anita Dunn, was lobbying Congress for TransCanada, builder of the Keystone pipeline.
  2. 2)    His State Department under Sec. of State Kerry is completing  a second  environmental impact review of Keystone XL, after the first one was revealed to be conducted by a consulting company with deep ties to the oil industry.
  3. 3)    He supports increased drilling for oil in the Arctic; increased fracking for natural gas; increased coal mining and exporting; and increased building of new nuclear power plants.
The leading climate-destroying corporation is  Exxon Mobil .  It’s  pouring tons of money into preventing  the residents of Portland Maine from
passing an ordinance banning construction of a giant terminal  in the harbor to export Tar Sands oil.   It would be pumped all the way across Canada, through northern VT and NH, and through southern Maine past Sebago Lake to Portland—in an existing 60 year-old pipeline!
Know anyone in Portland, Maine?  Tell them to vote NO on Nov. 4th  to any Tar Sands oil pipeline terminal in their harbor.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
And, contact President Obama and your Senators and Congressperson about these current critical issues:   
  • •    The ‘Arctic 30’, Greenpeace climate change activists, in Russian jail!  Seized from their ship and charged with piracy for protesting Russian oil drilling in Arctic sea.
  • •    The Fukushima nuclear power plants are at risk of exploding and causing an unprecedented world-wide environmental catastrophe!  Read these accounts, feel the grief, horror, and outrage,  and act!  Call for international help to solve this crisis!
— Fuel Removal From Fukushima’s Reactor 4 Threatens ‘Apocalyptic’ ScenarioIn November, Tokyo Electric Power Company set to begin to remove fuel rods whose radiation matches the fallout of 14,000 Hiroshima bombs”  Common Dreams.org   10/24/13
— “The Ocean Is Broken,” http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1848433/the-ocean-is-broken/ October 18, 2013, is a first hand narrative by and about Ivan Macfadyen as he crossed the ocean from Melbourne, Australia to Osaka, Japan and then from Osaka to San Francisco.
“….The next leg of the long voyage was from Osaka to San Francisco and for most of that trip the desolation was tinged with nauseous horror and a degree of fear.
“After we left Japan, it felt as if the ocean itself was dead,” Macfadyen said.
“We hardly saw any living things. We saw one whale, sort of rolling helplessly on the surface with what looked like a big tumour on its head. It was pretty sickening.
“I’ve done a lot of miles on the ocean in my life and I’m used to seeing turtles, dolphins, sharks and big flurries of feeding birds. But this time, for 3000 nautical miles there was nothing alive to be seen…”
  • *****************************************************
News and Events on the Clean Energy and Climate front: 
Oct. 21:   Amherst SelectBoard mtg  discussed resolution to divest from fossil-fuel investments, as Northampton has already done.   More info:  Darcy Dumont  253-9644
Oct. 17 and 24:  followup meetings held to build on successful Climate Justice Conference in Springfield, Sept. 28, attended by 200+ people.   Sponsored by Climate Action Now of western MA., and Arise for Social Justice based in Springfield.
Oct. 7:  Hundreds attend Tar Sands Pipeline protest in Boston: http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/10/environmentalists_protest_in_b.html
Nov. 2,  Worcester statewide 350MA summit:   350 Massachusetts is a grassroots, volunteer-led network that Bill McKibben has called a “model for what we need all across the country and all around the world.”
We’re focusing on two core campaigns: divesting the state of Masschusetts from fossil fuels and working with Governor Deval Patrick to achieve key climate goals during his last year in office. On November 2nd, we’re holding a statewide summit for activists who want to work on these key campaigns. Will you join us?
WHAT: 350MA Campaigns Summit
WHEN: Saturday, November 2nd, 9:30AM-4:00PM, with a bonus session from 4:00-5:45
WHERE: Unitarian Universalist Church, 90 Main St, Worcester, MA
Nov. 12:  Boston Statehouse Hearing on Clean Energy Bill
H. 2935: “An Act to Transition to a Clean Energy Commonwealth” – Fact Sheet
This legislation ensures that the Commonwealth, owners of coal-fired power plants, employees of such plants, and municipalities where the plants are located are properly prepared for a smooth transition into a cleaner energy future. This legislation would be economically beneficial, good for the environment, and helpful to workers and municipalities who will need support during this transition.
What does this bill do?
  • •    Section 1 of the bill requires owners of coal plants to file a report with the commissioner of DOER detailing how greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced consistent with state and federal standards.
  • •    Section 2 requires DOER to establish a plan for replacing all use of coal as an energy resource by 2020.
  • •    Section 3 establishes a greenhouse gas emissions performance standard for all retail electricity suppliers selling electricity to end-use customers in the Commonwealth. It also sets up a community transitioning fund to mitigate the impacts of the retirement of coal-fired plants on employees of such facilities and on the municipalities where they are located.
Section 4. This section establishes worker re-training programs focused on clean energy jobs.
Important articles about the climate crisis:
Dr. Michael I. Niman is a professor of journalism and media studies at Buffalo State College. His previous columns are at artvoice.com, archived at www.mediastudy.com, and available globally through syndication.
http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/18941-arctic-sea-ice-and-al-gores-prediction-2013      Lou Miller, Ph.D. is an emeritus professor who writes fiction and nonfiction about climate change. His upcoming “cli-fi” novel is Save It Now.
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/18925-climate-change-movement-shifts-to-convey-urgency-of-the-moment   interview with Tim DeChristopher, who served 21 months in prison for falsely buying land in the West at federal auction and preventing it from being mined and abused.  He’s also a climate change activist.
By Shamus Cooke, Counter Currents | News Analysis
By Paul Jay, The Real News Network | Video
By Dennis Trainor Jr, AcronymTV | Video Reports
Go to website Tar Sands Blockade, and you’ll find a lot of inspiring examples of people all over the country protesting Tar Sands oil extraction, the Keystone XL Pipeline, and TD Bank’s major investment in both of them
i.e. “Rising Tide Philly Targets TD Bank’s Cherry Hill Headquarters Over Investments in Tar Sands and Keystone XL Pipeline
Rolling Stone  9/12/13 International Scientists Warn Climate Deniers Are Enabling Earth’s Suicide   by Jeff Goodell
http://www.ameg.me/index.php/sea-ice     Arctic Methane Emergency Group  Malcolm Light
Paul Beckwith, Ottawa
Guy McPherson
5th monthly protest to Boycott TD Bankfor bankrolling and worsening climate change by investing in Tar Sands
oil mining and pipelines from Western Canada to Texas and Maine.

Saturday, Nov. 9, 12-2pm
TD Bank,  1441 Main St. in downtown Springfield(1-block walk from I-91, easy parking under 91; rally with music and speakers will be in a public park adjacent to TD Bank building) 
and  protests on same day and time at TD Banks in
* Northampton ( 175 Main St);
* Amherst (11 Amity St at main downtown intersection)
* Greenfield (324 Main St.)
Speakers (not yet confirmed) in Springfield include: 
* Ivette Cruz, Director, Puerto Rican Cultural Council, Springfield;  
* Ernesto Cruz, candidate for Springfield City Council and activist for  environmental justice;
* Natalia Munoz, Board member, Alliance to Develop Power, Springfield;
* Michaelann Bewsee, Director, Arise for Social Justice, Springfield;
* an active member of  Springfield No One Leaves.
* Rev. Douglas Fisher, Episcopal Bishop of western MA diocese
* Alex Leff and Varshini Prakash, student climate activists at Hampshire College and UMass;
* Malcolm Bliss, 350Mass/Better Future Project, Boston;
* Kim Finch,  volunteer organizer with Coal-Free Mass Coalition (led by Mass. Sierra Club)
Central theme of rally to attract media coverage
“Funeral for our Future”, with 10 participants carrying a black casket covered in oil and chanting:
“They Are Digging us a Hole, They Are Digging us a Hole,
Six Feet Underground, Where the Tar Sands oil Will Flow”.
Participants are protesting and boycotting TD Bank for being a major
investor in TransCanada, the corporation building the proposed Keystone XL
pipeline.  Top U.S. climate expert Dr. James Hansen said: “It’s ‘Game
Over’ for stopping catastrophic climate change if Tar Sands oil keeps
getting burned”.
Co-sponsored by:   American Friends Service Committee of western MA
More info:  John Berkowitz, Northampton
413-325-4533  johnpberk@gmail.com
Area citizens concerned about climate change will hold a permitted rally in front of TD Bank at 1441 Main St. in downtown Springfield in a campaign to boycott TD until it stops its major investments in Canadian Tar Sands oil mining and pipelines.
Similar protests on the same day will take place at TD Bank branches in Northampton, Amherst, and Greenfield.  Protests have already taken place at TD banks in all 4 cities. Read Daily Hampshire Gazette story at: http://www.gazettenet.com/home/7272782-95/qa-climate-activists-put-northampton-td-bank-branch-in-spotlight  and Greenfield Recorder story at climateactionnowma.org
Representatives of the group will ask the TD Bank manager to write a letter to
the TD CEO, urging him and the Board of Directors to divest its holdings and
loans to TransCanada, the Canadian energy giant that is developing the Tar
Sands Oil fields in Alberta.The group will also call on President Obama and Sec. of State John Kerry to reject the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to Texas.  Their decision is expected later this year or early next.

Recently, 10 Nobel Peace Prize recipients signed a letter urging President Obama to reject the pipeline as a key step in taking bolder action to stop climate change.

Nearly 2000 people have been arrested in the past two years protesting the
proposed Tar Sands pipeline, including 30 college students in February at TransCanada’s office outside Boston, and 44 people of all ages on July 29th at the Brayton Point Coal Plant south of Boston.
Over 75,000 people across the country have signed a “Pledge of Resistance” to engage in non-violent direct action/civil resistance to protest if the pipeline is approved, or in the lead-up to the President’s decision.

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