More than 86,000 say they’d risk arrest over oil pipeline


On Mon/3, nine environmental activists were arrested in San Francisco for marching through the financial district and entering One Spear Tower, the building that houses local offices of the State Department, to express opposition to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

A day earlier, a mass protest against the oil pipeline was staged outside the White House in Washington, D.C. Roughly 200 protesters were arrested after using plastic zip ties to lock themselves to the White House fence.

Meanwhile, thousands more have made a vow – at least in the sense of clicking to add their name to a petition – to engage in peaceful civil disobedience if President Barack Obama grants ultimate approval for the oil infrastructure project, which would transport 830,000 barrels of crude oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

Nonprofit Credo Action has created an online petition urging people to get ready to respond with peaceful civil disobedience if the pipeline wins final approval.

The Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement on the project was released by the State Department on Jan. 31, setting in motion a process that will likely conclude in early May, when Secretary of State John Kerry is to submit a formal recommendation to Obama regarding whether the pipeline is aligned with our “national interest.”

If Kerry recommends approval, Credo and a host of participating organizations including the San Francisco-based Rainforest Action Network and will ask everyone who has signed the petition to make good on their “pledge of resistance.” 

At last check, 86,442 had signed the pledge. (It’s unknown how many checked the box stating “I am not comfortable with the risk of being arrested, but would volunteer to support those able to do so.”)

Here’s the statement “signed” by the critical mass of digital activists:

"I pledge, if necessary, to join others in my community, and engage in acts of dignified, peaceful civil disobedience that could result in my arrest in order to send the message to President Obama and his administration that they must reject the Keystone XL pipeline."