10,000 People Will Surround White House on Nov. 6 to Protest Keystone XL Pipeline
Thousands of people are waking up across the District of Columbia on Nov. 6 and a preparing to head down to the White House to join hands with one another and stand up to the Keystone XL pipeline. It’s going to be an incredible event and a great step forward for this growing movement.
Who: Nearly 10,000 people and top environmental leaders and celebrities, including actor Mark Ruffalo, activist Bill McKibben, Sierra Club executive director Mike Brune, Medal of Freedom recipient and NRDC founder John Adams, Nobel Prize recipient Jody Williams, and more.
Where: Lafayette Square Park across from the White House
When: Spokespeople will be available for interviews between 1:00 – 2:00 pm, opening rally begins at 2:00 pm, crowd will encircle the White House from 3 - 4:30 pm, closing rally begins at 5:00 pm.
Why: President Obama is currently considering whether or not to grant a “presidential permit” for the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The project requires the special permit because it crosses an international border with Canada. The Keystone XL would carry tar sands oil, the dirtiest fuel on the planet, more than 1,700 miles across America’s heartland, risking a BP-style oil spill over one of our largest sources of fresh drinking water. America’s top climate scientist says that fully exploiting the tar sands could mean “essentially game over for the climate.” This August, 1,253 people were arrested during a sit-in at the White House protesting the pipeline.
On Nov. 5, around 500 people packed into a church up in Columbia Heights for an evening of speeches, music and (most importantly) planning for the weeks and months ahead. One thing is already clear from our time in Washington, D.C.—this pipeline has lit a spark amongst everyday folks across the country. Farmers in Texas are planning direct actions in case the pipeline is built, students in North Carolina and Ohio are preparing to make sure that their important electoral states swing “no” against Keystone XL and more. As the evening continued, more and more buses of people showed up. And more are still coming in this morning.
Nov. 6 is going to be a turning point for this campaign. What started as a small, grassroots effort to stop a pipeline has emerged as the defining environmental battle of the year.
And the good news is, it looks like we’re winning. A week ago, most analysts were telling the press that the pipeline was a shoe-in. But earlier this week, the establishment wisdom was flipped on its head when President Obama came out and not only took full ownership of the pipeline decision, but said that environmental and health concerns would be paramount. Now, articles documenting the tremors shaking the oil industry as the Keystone XL approval becomes less likely.
Make no mistake, there’s still a long way to go. Big Oil are dumping millions into misleading advertising and you can bet that pressure behind the scenes is growing. Together, we can win this fight, but it’s going to take everything we got. Nov. 6 is going to be incredible … and it’s just the beginning.
For more information, click here.
By Jessica Corbett
A leading environmental advocacy group marked Native American Heritage Month on Wednesday by urging President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Kamala Harris, and the entire incoming administration "to honor Indigenous sovereignty and immediately halt the Keystone XL, Dakota Access, and Line 3 pipelines."
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Returning the ‘Three Sisters’ – Corn, Beans and Squash – to Native American Farms Nourishes People, Land and Cultures
By Christina Gish Hill
Historians know that turkey and corn were part of the first Thanksgiving, when Wampanoag peoples shared a harvest meal with the pilgrims of Plymouth plantation in Massachusetts. And traditional Native American farming practices tell us that squash and beans likely were part of that 1621 dinner too.
Abundant Harvests<p>Historically, Native people throughout the Americas bred indigenous plant varieties specific to the growing conditions of their homelands. They selected seeds for many different traits, such as <a href="https://emergencemagazine.org/story/corn-tastes-better/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">flavor, texture and color</a>.</p><p>Native growers knew that planting corn, beans, squash and sunflowers together produced mutual benefits. Corn stalks created a trellis for beans to climb, and beans' twining vines secured the corn in high winds. They also certainly observed that corn and bean plants growing together tended to be healthier than when raised separately. Today we know the reason: Bacteria living on bean plant roots pull nitrogen – an essential plant nutrient – from the air and <a href="http://www.tilthalliance.org/learn/resources-1/almanac/october/octobermngg" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">convert it to a form that both beans and corn can use</a>.</p><p>Squash plants contributed by shading the ground with their broad leaves, preventing weeds from growing and retaining water in the soil. Heritage squash varieties also had spines that discouraged deer and raccoons from visiting the garden for a snack. And sunflowers planted around the edges of the garden created a natural fence, protecting other plants from wind and animals and attracting pollinators.</p><p>Interplanting these agricultural sisters produced bountiful harvests that sustained large Native communities and <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/eam.2015.0016" target="_blank">spurred fruitful trade economies</a>. The first Europeans who reached the Americas were shocked at the abundant food crops they found. My research is exploring how, 200 years ago, Native American agriculturalists around the Great Lakes and along the Missouri and Red rivers fed fur traders with their diverse vegetable products.</p>
Displaced From the Land<p>As Euro-Americans settled permanently on the most fertile North American lands and acquired seeds that Native growers had carefully bred, they imposed policies that <a href="https://doi.org/10.1086/ahr/87.2.550" target="_blank">made Native farming practices impossible</a>. In 1830 President Andrew Jackson signed the <a href="https://guides.loc.gov/indian-removal-act" target="_blank">Indian Removal Act</a>, which made it official U.S. policy to force Native peoples from their home locations, pushing them onto subpar lands.</p><p>On reservations, U.S. government officials discouraged Native women from cultivating anything larger than small garden plots and pressured Native men to practice Euro-American style monoculture. Allotment policies assigned small plots to nuclear families, further limiting Native Americans' access to land and preventing them from using communal farming practices.</p><p>Native children were forced to attend boarding schools, where they had no opportunity to <a href="https://doi.org/10.5749/jamerindieduc.57.1.0145" target="_blank">learn Native agriculture techniques or preservation and preparation of Indigenous foods</a>. Instead they were forced to eat Western foods, turning their palates away from their traditional preferences. Taken together, these policies <a href="https://kansaspress.ku.edu/978-0-7006-0802-7.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">almost entirely eradicated three sisters agriculture</a> from Native communities in the Midwest by the 1930s.</p>
Reviving Native Agriculture<p>Today Native people all over the U.S. are working diligently to <a href="https://www.oupress.com/books/15107980/indigenous-food-sovereignty-in-the-united-sta" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">reclaim Indigenous varieties of corn, beans, squash, sunflowers and other crops</a>. This effort is important for many reasons.</p><p>Improving Native people's access to healthy, culturally appropriate foods will help lower rates of <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/aian-diabetes/index.html" target="_blank">diabetes</a> and <a href="https://www.apa.org/pi/oema/resources/ethnicity-health/native-american/obesity" target="_blank">obesity</a>, which affect Native Americans at disproportionately high rates. Sharing traditional knowledge about agriculture is a way for elders to pass cultural information along to younger generations. Indigenous growing techniques also protect the lands that Native nations now inhabit, and can potentially benefit the wider ecosystems around them.</p>
By Jake Johnson
Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.
Anger, anxiety, overwhelm … climate change can evoke intense feelings.
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