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C.3.d.i. Resisting Production of Fossil Fuels and Pipelines

NB. Earlier references to resisting oil companies can be found under Vol. 2 A.4.b., which also covers some references on resisting mining.

Hambach Forest Saved, Feb-Mar 2019, Peace News, issue 2626-2627, 2019, pp. 11-10

Reports that after years of resistance by German green activists against open cast coal mining, which had already destroyed much of the Hambach forest, the rest of the forest seemed to be safe. A government-appointed 'coal exit commission' recommended in January 2019 that Germany should stop using coal-fired energy by 2038 and that it was 'desirable' to preserve the Hambach forest. A court order requested by the German Friends of the Earth (BUND) had already temporarily halted expansion of the mine, after major protests by the campaign Ende Gelaende, which included occupying coal train tracks

See also: Polden, David, '4,000 Activists Block German Coal Trains for 24 Hours', Peace News, 2624-2625, Dec.2018-Jan.2019, p.5.

Very brief report on Ende Gelaende direct action. 

 

Indigenous Activists Keep Carbon Below Ground, May-June 2020, New Internationalist, 2020, pp. 51-50

Brief account celebrating victory after years of campaigning by Indigenous Climate Action against Teck Resources, the company pressing for permission to build the tar sands Frontier Mine in Canada, which would have produced 3.2 billion barrels of oil over 40 years. Teck withdrew early in 2020, after 12 years of lobbying (indigenousclimateaction.com). The journal also reports very briefly that the Great Australian Bight Alliance, led by Aboriginal elders and local activists has in succession prevented Chevron, BP and (most recently) Equinor to abandon plans to drill for oil in the Bight (fightforthebight.org.au.)

Brandt, Katie, Native Americans and Supporters Fight Keystone XL Pipeline with Spirit Camp, [2015], Huff Post, 06/12/2017,

Account of resistance to the TransCanada Corporation's Keystone XL oil pipeline to protect ancestral lands and the environment against oil spillage. President Obama halted the project in 2015, but President Trump gave TransCanada the go-ahead in March 2017. In response two Native American communities launched a lawsuit against the Administration in 2018.

See: 'Native American Tribes File Lawsuit Seeking to Invalidate Keystone XL Pipeline Permit', npr, 10 Sept. 2018.

https://www.npr.org/2018/09/10/646523140/native-american-tribes-file-lawsuit-seeking-to-invalidate-keystone-xl-pipeline-p?t=1595266018021

Estes, Nick, Our History is the Future: Standing Rock versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance, London, Verso, 2019, pp. 320

This book is an account of the prolonged and multi-faceted Sioux resistance to the 1,172 mile Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) which in 2014 was rerouted through their territory, threatening their ancestral burying grounds and archaeological sites. In addition to violation of their rights over the land, the Sioux Nation feared that oil spills would pollute their land, and especially the water supply. The protest began in April 2016 with the setting up of a camp as a centre for direct action and the expression of spiritual resistance, and was supplemented by a social media campaign. Surrounding Native American communities joined in the protest, as did many environmentalists, so that thousands were involved by the summer. The local police were criticised for using unnecessary force against protesters and there were many arrests. The story of Standing Rock is set within the context of the much longer history of indigenous resistance to colonization and struggle to maintain their culture.

See also: Treuer, The Heartbreak of Wounded Knee (under Vol. 2. B.1.d.) which includes an account of Standing Rock at the end of the book. 

See also: 'What is Standing Rock and Why are 1.4m 'checking in' there? - BBC News, 2 Nov. 2016. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-37834334

Protesters were worried that they were being individually traced by the police through social media (denied by the local police) and asked for supporters to check-in to the SR Facebook site to overwhelm police efforts to identify protesters that way.

Faith, Mike, Our Fight against the Dakota Access pipeline is far from over, The Guardian, 15/11/2019,

Article representing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe position by its chairman.  Notes that the Obama administration refused in late 2016 to grant DAPL a permit to cross the Missouri River upstream of Standing Rock, but that under Trump the pipeline had been built. Faith also reports that his tribe is still engaging in legal challenges to pipeline permits, and that owners of DAPL are trying to double the pipeline capacity, increasing the risk of oil spills.

Firempong, Jesse, Everything You Need to Know about Tar Sands and How they Impact You, Vol. Greenpeace, 17/04/2018,

Explains the scope and nature of the Alberta tar sands in western Canada - oil fields and mines covering an area larger than England with lakes created by the runoff of chemicals. This oil extraction process is difficult because the oil (bitumen) is heavy and has to be brought to the surface using huge amounts of water. It is a major contributor to global warming as well as polluting indigenous lands and the local environment. Greenpeace notes that resistance was mounting to the pipeline projects linked to tar sands, including Keystone XL, and the Transmountain Expansion pipeline.

Lindemann, Tracey, The Pipeline Battle and Canada's Climate Doublespeak, Guardian Weekly, 06/03/2020, pp. 33-32

Reports on wave of rail blockades across Canada in February/March 2020 in solidarity with the Wet-suwet-en indigenous nation in British Columbia, who had been obstructing work on the 670 kilometre Coastal Gaslink project. A military style police raid in British Columbia sparked solidarity from Mohawks in Ontario and Quebec, and other indigenous and non-indigenous people. Greenpeace gave their support. There were also street marches in towns and cities.

See also: Rizvi, Husna, 'Wet"suwet'en Gas Pipeline Battle', New Internationalist, May-June 2020, p. 10.