Tar Sands Blockade and John 15


As President Obama winds down two American war fronts in Iraq and Afghanistan, what will he do about the war at home? Watch this 50-minute video to better understand the nonviolent war being waged by Americans in Texas and Oklahoma against a foreign company which has hired a private army to protect its corporate interests.

From a Christian perspective, the moral war against the Keystone XL pipeline and bitumen tar mining has already been won, as our evangelicals brethren would say, in “the Lordship of Jesus Christ.” The Tar Sands Blockade and the nonviolent war being waged to defend God’s land and people is what the real “new evangelism” looks like: chaining oneself to corporate bulldozers, living in tree sits for months on end to protect the forest, living in a concrete pipe to shut down the construction zone, walking through burn zones to protect property lines, being dragged away by “off-duty police” hired as private security.

Isn’t this what Jesus talked about when he said, “There is no greater love than this: that a person would lay down his life for the sake of his friends” (John 15:13)? I think it is.

Here’s more about the film and filmmaker:

Blockadia Rising: Voices of the Tar Sands Blockade is an hour-long documentary film written and directed by Garrett Graham in collaboration with the Tar Sands Blockade and features exclusive video footage shot by the blockaders themselves during the course of over six months of sustained resistance.

In 2012, Texas landowners and environmental activists came together to organize resistance against a dangerous pipeline being built by a Canadian corporation to bring tar sands oil from Alberta Canada to refineries near the Gulf of Mexico. This hazardous project continues despite unprecedented opposition from indigenous communities, local farmers and even global environmental movements. From this struggle, a community of resistance was born that has attracted volunteers from around the continent who have successfully defied this multi-million dollar corporation with the power of non-violent direct action.

The film is meant to be both a celebration of the blockades’ achievements and a primer for those interested in joining the campaign. It explains the dangers of tar sands extraction and the risks to public health posed by the pipeline as well as the strategy of non-violent direct action that has been delaying the pipeline so far.

The story takes place in the backwoods of East Texas where the pipeline crosses farmlands and homesteads as well as aquifers and old growth forests. You will hear the voices of the blockaders who are risking their lives to stop this pipeline. In the Texas heat, they have locked themselves to heavy machinery, and braved the elements by living in trees. Hear these courageous folks in their own words.

Blockadia Rising is just the opening chapter in this ongoing movement to stop this pipeline and halt the extraction of the Canadian tar sands, but the blockaders see themselves as a part of a larger struggle against the consequences of run-away climate-change caused by unchecked extraction of natural resources by industry at the expense of both human and non-human communities. This film speaks to all movements for environmental and social justice and showcases direct action techniques that have never been attempted before.

Blockadia Rising: Voices from the tar Sands Blockade (2013) was written, edited and narrated by Garrett Graham, an active participant of the Tar Sands Blockade who continues to support their efforts. This film is dedicated to them, and everyone fighting for environmental and social justice.

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