13 arrested at TransCanada headquarters

CREDO action
Stand with the 13 people arrested at TransCanada headquarters in Houston yesterday and urge President Obama to reject Keystone XL.

Dear 5849376,

For these people, getting arrested was a very big deal.

There were 13 of them. A teacher. A great-grandmother who wrote the names of her great grandchildren Matthew and Mark on her sign. Some were Texan land owners. Others people of faith. And two had until recently worked in the oil industry -- but then decided they had to take a stand for our climate.1

The last of the 13 to be arrested was a grandfather. He'd had to explain to his grandson why he would be getting arrested blocking the door of the foreign oil company that wants to build the Keystone XL pipeline across the U.S.

The prospect of spending a night in a Houston jail is not to be taken lightly. Risking arrest in Texas is serious business. And the two dozen police officers on hand did their best to convince these activists to step aside and avoid arrest. The Houston police warned that protesters would face 180 days in jail or a fine of $1,000. It was explained that a criminal misdemeanor would go on their permanent records. It was intense. It was intimidating. But the 13 protesters did not move.

Instead, they held their ground at TransCanada's U.S. headquarters in downtown Houston, to send the message to President Obama that he must put Americans interests ahead of a foreign oil company.2

This is what courage looks like. This is what commitment looks like. And their action is all the more powerful because they are backed up by another 75,000 of us who have signed the Pledge of Resistance.

In order to ensure that President Obama rejects Keystone XL, we need to take the next step to show him just how real that commitment is for us. Now you can.

Over the summer, more than 450 activists were trained on how to plan and lead a local sit-in in their community - like the action yesterday in Houston, and this summer in Chicago and Washington, DC.

We just announced some of the local-sit ins that are being planned across the country, to be deployed when and if the Obama Administration recommends approval of Keystone XL.

Stand with the activists arrested yesterday in Houston and sign up to be part of your local Pledge of Resistance sit-in.

If you don't have an action near you, you can still chip in to support this massive organizing effort to build a wave of resistance to Keystone XL.

Protestors sitting-in at the State Department

On Sunday, I arrived at the church where the activists who planned to risk arrest were training for the following day's action. There was an incredible team of organizers there -- from Rainforest Action Network, Other 98%, and Tar Sands Blockade -- ready to support people who would soon be risking arrest for the first time in their lives.

We believe that the very real threat of mass civil disobedience can help convince our president to reject this pipeline. But training, coaching and supporting tens of thousands of volunteers to engage in civil disobedience is a huge undertaking and we need your help to make it work.

Not everyone is ready to risk arrest. And there are roles in local-sit ins groups both for people risking arrest, and to support those who are risking arrest.

But if a great grandmother in Texas is willing to go to jail in Houston, then I know there are a lot more folks out there all across the country who are willing to step up, too.

Build the resistance by signing up to be a part of your local sit-in, and increasing pressure on President Obama to do the right thing for our climate.

The fact is - President Obama is probably looking for any excuse at all to go ahead and approve Keystone XL. The Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently wrote a letter to the President offering concessions to clean-up the tar sands extraction process in exchange for approval of Keystone XL.3 Canada can't reduce climate emissions from the tar sands while speeding their extraction thanks to Keystone XL - but it might be a good enough excuse for President Obama to say yes to this foreign oil pipeline.

Direct pressure on the President has been the most effective tool to stop Keystone XL so far. If we can show the President that tens of thousands of people across the country are prepared to risk arrest if his administration determines that Keystone XL is in the national interest, it will be too politically painful for him to approve it.

The folks in Houston yesterday sent a very loud, very brave message: Even in the oil state of Texas, activists are deeply committed to getting President Obama to fight climate change.

Sign up to be a part of your local sit-in to show President Obama he must reject Keystone XL.

Or chip in to help make this massive organizing effort possible.

Thanks for fighting Keystone XL.

Becky Bond
CREDO Action

Take action now ►

1. "Photo gallery of the sit-in in Houston 2. "Keystone XL protesters arrested at TransCanada in Houston," Houston Business Journal, 9/16/13
3. "Seeking Keystone XL Backing, Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper Pens Letter To Obama, 9/6/13

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