United States: Tar sands pipelines shut down by activists

Ten climate activists were arrested on October 11 for trying to shut down all tar sands oil coming into the United States from Canada by manually turning off pipelines in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and Washington state Democracy Now! said.

The group, which calls itself Climate Direct Action, posted pictures and videos online that showed them cutting chains and turning the manual safety valves to stop the flow through the pipelines. The activists issued a statement that day saying the action was in support of the call for International Days of Prayer and Action for Standing Rock. They also called on President Barack Obama to “use emergency powers to keep the pipelines closed and mobilise for the extraordinary shift away from fossil fuels now required to avert catastrophe”.

Afrin Sopariwala, a member of Climate Direct Action, told Democracy Now!: “People have taken this risk … are ordinary people. These are parents and grandmothers, concerned citizens, who, after years and years of all kinds of different actions in the legal realm of actions came to a point where they felt morally compelled to engage in civil disobedience and nonviolent direct action and put their bodies in the line…

“Standing Rock put out this call, international call, for prayers and action. And we are absolutely responding to that, because what’s happening in North Dakota is so historic and so important. “And around the world, as well, we’re seeing frontline communities and indigenous communities who are facing climate impact today. I am from India, and people are dying every year back home because of heat waves…

“I read news about four people in India who were shot for protesting at a coal power plant. And those are people whose lives are already — who are already victims of the climate crisis. And so, it is our duty and responsibility to act in solidarity with indigenous people and frontline communities around the world, and also with this historic moment in Standing Rock.”

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