Tar Sands Pipeline Valve Turners: Civil Disobedience
Featuring Leonard Higgins in person and Emily Johnston, Michael Foster, and Ken Ward via Skype
Saturday, December 3, 12 pm to 2 pm, in Eichardt’s Pub upstairs room, 212 Cedar Street, Sandpoint, Idaho
Sunday, December 4, 12 pm to 2 pm, in the 1912 Center Fiske Room, 412 E. Third Street, Moscow, Idaho
Public forums and fundraisers co-hosted by #ShutItDown – Climate Direct Action and Wild Idaho Rising Tide
$10 suggested donation for the #ShutItDown legal defense fund
All ages of participants and free admission are welcome.
On October 11, 2016, five brave climate organizers successfully closed the manual, emergency valves of five pipelines carrying oil from the Canadian tar sands into the northern United States [1, 2]. Their unprecedented acts of nonviolent direct action to avert climate cataclysm shut down 15 percent of U.S. crude oil imports for nearly a day.
Emily Johnston, age 50, and retired attorney Annette Klapstein, 64, each interrupted Enbridge’s Lines 4 and 67 pipelines in Leonard, Minnesota. Michael Foster, 52, shut down TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline in Walhalla, North Dakota. Leonard Higgins, 64, who locked down to a tar sands megaload in Umatilla in December 2013, halted the flow of Spectra Energy’s Express pipeline at Coal Banks Landing near Great Falls, Montana. Ken Ward, 59, a Climate Disobedience Center and #ShutItDown co-founder, stopped Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline in Anacortes, Washington.
“Calling on President Obama to use emergency powers to keep the pipelines closed and to mobilize for the extraordinary shift away from fossil fuels now required to avert catastrophe,” the activists staged their actions in support of the International Days of Prayer and Action for Standing Rock. Police removed and arrested all five activists, supporters Carl Davis, Reed Ingalls, and Sam Jessup, and independent documentary filmmakers Lindsay Grayzel and Deia Schlosberg. These ‘valve turners’ face prosecution on felony charges with sentences of up to 95 years in prison .
Emily Johnston: “For years, we’ve tried the legal, incremental, reasonable methods, and they haven’t been anything like enough. Without a radical shift in our relationship with this Earth, all that we love will disappear. My fear of that possibility is far greater than my fear of jail.”
Annette Klapstein: “Like mothers everywhere, I act from a deep love for my children, which extends out to all children and young people and all living beings on this planet.”
Michael Foster: “I am here to generate action that wakes people up to the reality of what we are doing to life as we know it. All of our climate victories are meaningless if we don’t stop extracting oil, coal, and gas now.”
Leonard Higgins: “I am committed to the moral necessity of participating in nonviolent direct action to protect life.”
Ken Ward: “Only if we are truly contesting the means of our own destruction – like wrestling a gun from the hands of a suicide – will we be able to use words like ‘hope’ without cynicism or despair.”
Please join #ShutItDown and Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) in hearing valve turners Leonard Higgins, in person, and Emily Johnston, Michael Foster, and Ken Ward, via Skype, discuss why they felt morally compelled to take these nonviolent direct actions. In affirmation and solidarity with these valve turners and all fossil fuel/climate change resisters, Idaho frontline WIRT activists are covering the costs of this #ShutItDown benefit event.
 Media and Press, #ShutItDown – Climate Direct Action
 Breaking: Activists Reportedly Shut Down Five Pipelines Carrying Tar Sands Oil into U.S., October 11, 2016 Democracy Now!
 Climate Activists Face Decades in Jail for Shutting Down Oil Pipelines, November 1, 2016 King 5 TV