Blair Mountain used to be an idyllic place in southwestern West Virginia where the hills rolled for miles. Blair is also a historical treasure—the mountain is the site of arguably the most important post-Civil War battlefield in the US. Now, Arch Coal is planning to decimate this historical treasure for the tiny seams of coal that lie beneath the mountain. This is mountaintop removal coal mining at its worst.
These devastating coal mining practices could not happen without nine big banks (Bank of Montreal, BBVA, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, PNC Financial, Royal Bank of Scotland, Union Bank, and Bank of America as a lead lender) pumping $250 million dollars into keeping Arch coal afloat last November.
Blair used to be a thriving community of 700 people—and now has merely 50 residents because of the extreme dangers posed by existing mountaintop removal mines near the town. And the people who stayed behind live with constant dynamite blasts behind their town, carcinogenic dust rolling off the mine sites, and heavy metal contamination.
Enough is enough. When bank financing enables Arch Coal to displace an entire community and wreack havoc on mother nature we cannot remain silent.
If we want to protect the future of these communities and our climate we need to cut funding for coal.
Yesterday, a group of courageous people just like you were arrested in the belly of the beast: TransCanada’s U.S. headquarters in Houston, Texas. These were mothers, fathers, grandfathers, great grandmothers, scientists, and teachers who staged a peaceful sit-in with a clear message: No Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
At RAN we have a policy never to ask you to take an action, online or offline, that we don’t believe will make a strategic difference and have an impact that is worth your time. What I’m about to ask you to do might be one of the most important political acts you take this year.
Right now President Obama and his State Department are weighing their decision on whether this disastrous dirty energy pipeline is in our national interest. Our job must be to show enough opposition to the pipeline to ensure the president stands on the right side of this historical moment. That’s why we need you to join those standing up against Keystone XL in protest.
More than 75,000 people, including many of you, have signed RAN, Other 98% and CREDO’s Pledge of Resistance to the Keystone XL pipeline—pledging to participate in peaceful civil disobedience, to risk arrest if necessary, to stop this dangerous tar sands pipeline.
This is our next big step in the Pledge of Resistance together. This summer, after months of hard work and organizing, more than 400 volunteers have stepped up to lead acts of dignified protest in towns and cities across the country.
To be clear, this is a serious request of your time, your passion and, potentially, your liberty. We’re asking now because it’s critical.
These actions are coming together because of months of work by literally hundreds of people. A group of seasoned direct action organizers built a training curriculum and traveled to cities around the country to teach people like you how to plan and lead a safe, strategic sit-in. Hundreds of activists stepped up to attend these rigorous two-day weekend trainings, and then went home to put that training into action. Now we’re asking: Will you join them?
The dates for these local actions have not been set, but the dates of action trainings have. We’re asking everyone to get in touch with local action leaders so we can prepare for action now and are ready to respond if President Obama signals his intention to approve the pipeline. That is our most strategic window to have the biggest impact.
Soon after you sign up for an action, you’ll be contacted by your local action leader, who will send out a time for your group to meet in person, get trained up, and move forward to put together everything you will need for a local sit-in action. There will be roles for everyone: those risking arrest and those not risking arrest.
The location for these actions will be relevant to your town. Likely locations will be: Administration buildings like State Department, EPA and Federal offices, oil industry contractor offices, and branches of TD Bank, a major investor in tar sands development.
P.S. Got questions? Check out http://nokxl.org/why-pledge-resistance/.
It’s up to all of us to ensure the safety of Washington State’s children.
The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility needs your help.
Without legislative action, enacting commonsense reform like requiring criminal background checks on all gun purchases will take a successful ballot initiative. To get on the ballot means gathering thousands of signatures.
The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility is working to do just that, and they need your help.
As a registered Washington voter, you can provide the first signature on your petition (and there’s room for four friends to sign too).
With our ambitious goal of 250,000 signatures by the end of this month, we need your support to help protect Washington’s children from the threat of gun violence. But, unfortunately, state regulations do not allow you to simply download an online petition.
We’ve just printed hundreds of new petition forms, and it’s time to put them to good use.
And I would very much appreciate seeing your signature alongside mine, and those of hundreds of thousands of our fellow Washington voters.
Thank you for helping to make Washington State a national leader in responsible gun ownership.