By Jarret Schlaff
Occupy Detroit is organizing an action on Monday January 7th at 1:00 PM at the Chase building in Downtown Detroit following a national call by Occupy Denver for a day of solidarity actions to raise awareness and mobilize in support of the Tar Sands Blockade in Texas.
J.P Morgan Chase was selected as the target for the protest because they are one of the main financiers of the Keystone XL Pipeline and also are heavily invested in the project. In an open letter last October to Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit and JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Rain forest Action Network’s(RAN) Executive Director, the late Rebecca Tarbotton, expressed her “concern” about the banks having been underwriters for a $1 billion TransCanada bond and having each bought $295 million in the transaction.
Occupy Detroit is calling on J.P Morgan Chase to divest from the Keystone XL Pipeline and to stop funding climate change. We all have the power to be responsible citizens with our investments. If Chase is not representing the people and planet’s best interests, those that have accounts with them should make the conscious choice to divest from Chase and take their dollars elsewhere.
There are countless reasons why groups like Sierra Club, 350.org, Greenpeace, NRDC, RAN, and the Keystone XL Blockade, to name just a few, are involved in the fight against the Canadian tar sands. Here are a few of the reasons many of us came together to speak out against against the Keystone XL pipeline:
Majority of Facts courtesy of Tarsands Blockade.org
1. CLIMATE CHANGE – NASA’s leading climate scientist, Dr. James Hansen has called the Keystone XL pipeline“a fuse to the largest carbon bomb on the planet.” Hansen has said that if all the carbon stored in the Canadian tar sands is released into the earth’s atmosphere it would mean “game over” for the planet.
Carbon Tracker initiative and IEA say Keep 80% of fossil fuel reserves in the ground by 2050 to avert climate disaster
2. SPILLS – All pipelines spill. According to TransCanada the Keystone 1 pipeline was predicted to spill once every seven years. It spilled 12 times in its first year and it has spilled more than 30 times over its lifetime. The Keystone XL pipeline is built to spill, and when it does it will have a devastating effect upon employment and the economy, according to Cornell University.
The oil firm Enbridge ignored warning signs for more than five years along its 6B Line, and when it spilled in July of 2010 in Michigan’s Kalamazoo River it caused the most damaging onshore oil spill in US history.
3. EMINENT DOMAIN ABUSE – TransCanada has intimidated landowners along the pipeline route into signing contractual agreements for their land. TransCanada fraudulently steals land from private citizens through eminent domain.
A recent Texas Supreme Court case ruled that the application process for common carrier status, the status that allows private companies to seize property, does not not conclusively establish eminent-domain power.
TransCanada has indicated that up to 700,000 gallons of tar sands crude could leak out of the Keystone XL pipeline without triggering its real time leak-detection system.
4. WATER CONTAMINATION – The Keystone XL pipeline threatens Texas’ Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer which supplies drinking water to more than 12 million people living across 60 counties in drought-stricken East Texas.
The pipeline’s cross-border section also threatens the Ogallala Aquifer, the largest aquifer in the western North American region, upon which millions of people and agricultural businesses depend for drinking water, irrigation and livestock watering.
Currently one of Occupy Detroit’s very own is down in East Texas right now on the front lines supporting the Tree Stand Blockade to halt construction of the pipeline. More details about the Tar Sands Blockade can be found here.
Detroit to Texas: United Against the Tar Sands
What: Detroit Solidarity Action For The Tar Sands Blockade: National Day of Action Moving Beyond FOSSIL FUELS for a sustainable future
Where: Meeting at the Statue in Campus Martius. Protest at Chase Bank, Downtown Detroit
611 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI
When: Monday January 7th 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Why: We are all in this together
Following Monday’s action there will be a conference call to debrief and explore future plans for building an alliance or connecting into existing coalitions of groups and individuals in Detroit and beyond willing to tackle the interconnected issues facing us all. This conference call will be followed by a meeting/potluck the following Friday. Details are as follows:
Detroit/Metro Planning against Fossil Fuels for the safety of our planet and future generations.
Friday, Jan. 11 @7pm
Conference code #273839
Potluck Planning Meeting:
Friday, Jan. 18th @7pm
For more information call 1-313-444-8428