Standing Rock: Defending the Land
Indigenous folks and organizations are standing up to TransCanada building the Keystone oil and gas pipeline. Construction is scheduled to begin next Spring.
Please consider standing with these tribes and organizations and signing up for their Promise to Protect and reading their Call to Action.
Indigenous leaders want to spread the message from the beginning that this effort is meant to be peaceful civil disobedience. Whatever your personal political beliefs about how to bring about change, the strong request of Promise to Protect is to follow and respect the native leadership of this movement.
You can read more below about what you can do, whether you want to travel and be part of the effort in person or support it from your hometown.
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Standing Rock: Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Promise to Protect?
On November 20, the Nebraska Public Service commission issued a permit to TransCanada to build the Keystone XL pipeline, but not for the route they wanted. This is a huge setback for TransCanada as they face major obstacles to move this project forward. Indigenous communities, farmers, ranchers, students, scientists, and the rest of the climate movement have been fighting this pipeline for years and we won’t not stop now. We don’t know if or when construction could start, but we are asking people to commit to traveling to the route to take action when called upon by frontline and Indigenous leaders.
We’ve been installing solar directly in the route of the pipeline, and we plan to defend this local clean energy source, show solidarity with communities on the ground, and get trained up to go back to our communities to fight for a fossil free future and a fast and fair transformation to 100% renewable energy. Join us!
What is the goal of the Promise to Protect?
The goal of the Promise to Protect is to defend Indigenous rights, build the movement fighting to keep fossil fuels in the ground, and deter financiers, shippers, and the company itself from completing this project. We will train thousands of people to take creative action on the pipeline route who will then take these skills and momentum back to their communities and grow this movement exponentially. It’s up to us to make sure that we defend our land, water, air, and climate.
How can this stop the pipeline?
We may not be able to hold the line against Keystone XL forever, but the Promise to Protect can create roadblocks that will have ripple effects on every fight against fossil fuel projects.
Joining the Promise will send a clear message to the financial backers of this pipeline that this is a bad investment. Our bold stand will make it more expensive, riskier, and harder for TransCanada to build Keystone XL.
Alongside the Promise to Protect, the tribes in South Dakota and the farmers and ranchers in Nebraska will be taking this fight to the courtroom. These legal battles are a critical strategy toward stopping this project for good and will have historical significance for Indigenous sovereignty and the use of eminent domain.
Should I come to the pipeline route now? If not, when should I come?
No, please don’t come to the pipeline route yet. The Promise to Protect is asking people to commit to resist Keystone XL when the call is put out by frontline and Indigenous communities to help stop this Black Snake. Indigenous peoples and communities along the route are preparing for resistance and will invite people to join them there when the time is right.
When is TransCanada expected to start construction?
With the legal battle in Nebraska continuing, and winter weather conditions approaching, it’s likely that TransCanada will not begin construction any time soon. We’re watching TransCanada’s next move and will keep you updated.
The company has also said publicly that they will make a final decision by December whether or not to move forward with construction. Joining the Promise to Protect will show TransCanada and the companies bankrolling the project that we are ready to fight.
Why are you asking people to go to the pipeline route? What would I need to do to prepare?
Communities along the route have been protecting the land, water and climate against this pipeline for years. It’s time for us to stand by them where we can’t be ignored, and defend the renewable energy solutions we’ve built directly in the pipeline’s path.
We’d ask that anyone coming to participate in creative resistance along the route be prepared with everything needed to keep yourself fed and sheltered. Everyone who participates will be required to undergo a training beforehand.
How does coming to the pipeline route to resist Keystone XL support the movement to stop all new fossil fuel projects?
We know that to counter the devastating impacts of climate change, we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground and stop building new projects, yet the fossil fuel industry continues to exploit our communities, air, water, and land. If we are going to counter the power of fossil fuel billionaires, we need thousands and thousands of people taking action at all levels.
The fossil fuel industry has a lot of money, but we have people power. And there has never been meaningful change without people standing up to injustice, and putting their bodies on the line. This is the time for us to come together in unity with our allies to take action. Keystone XL has been a major fight in the climate movement for many years — it’s become a symbol of the ability of communities to stop fossil fuel projects in their tracks. Resisting Keystone XL is about more than one pipeline, it’s about stopping all new fossil fuel projects and the companies that have run down our communities, our health, and our climate with no repercussions. It’s time to take action.
How can I donate money?
You’ll be able to support this effort soon. Stay tuned.
What if I can’t travel to the pipeline route, what can I do locally?
If you can’t come to the route, we still need you to take a stand where you live. There are a ton of things you can do locally. This fight is not just about Keystone XL, it’s about challenging every fossil fuel project that threatens our land, water, climate, and Indigenous rights. Here’s some ways you can get involved locally:
Join a fossil free campaign for a just and equitable transition to 100% renewable energy and an immediate stop to new fossil fuel projects
Mobilize your community to take action at the banks financing these dirty projects and urge your city to divest from the banks funding these projects. Learn more about divesting your community here.
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