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Midwest Battlecry Goes Up Against Tar Sands as Thousands March in St. Paul


Midwest Battlecry Goes Up Against Tar Sands as Thousands March in St. Paul

Jon Queally, staff writer

With the marching crowd stretching "as far as the eye can see" in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota on Saturday, thousands of people from across the Midwest came together to protest the construction of new pipelines and other infrastructure projects which they say will deliver only harmful climate impacts for the planet and irreparable destruction to the region, not the jobs and energy security promised by big oil companies and their political backers.


Yep. That ought to do it. Just like 30 million people in the streets worldwide stopped the destruction of Iraq.

Until every last drop of fossil fuel has been extracted from the last stone humans will continue this deadly march toward extinction. Might as well get used to it. Either that, or put the energy into starting a true social revolution. These street parties are a waste of time and resources. No on is listening. They’re just laughing all the way to the bank.


The endless whining about the uselessness of protest and about the uselessness of a hundred other tactics here is endless whining.

Every action is part of the development toward a movement that can take effective action, and every social struggle that ever arose arose out of the developing elements of that social struggle.

Please tell us how you are “putting energy into starting a true social revolution.” Besides your endless whining here.


Just whose side are you on? These people are what, going with the tide of corporate governance?


Okay you guys stop all this in fighting. J is not whinning. J is being truthful; 30 million in the streets and the wars continue. The few thousand super rich pull the puppets’ strings and dance they do and are richly rewarded. The cops who strike fear, so far, in citizens’ hearts as they are often herded in to “free speech zones” or arrested inmass on some bridge. J merely pointed out reality up to now and asked for a new kind of social movement that would actually achieve what we all want-to live in a peaceful, healthy world and in a country of which we can be proud. We pretty much stopped the Vietnam “war” when it was the people in the white house that were afraid, not the citizens outside in the streets saying enough!


Just wondering about the lack of protest to current 5X the oil sands production from extremely high sulfer production of Venezuela Low grade petroleum with the worlds second highest oil reserves…they need to leave that stuff in the ground.


“30 million in the streets and the wars continue”

Fallacy, given what we know about how that war had been decided upon by those who were the architects. It is as if you and J have no accounting whatsoever of power relationships.

So you berating me is not infighting?

The people in the streets are doing something positive and should be given credit for it and not belittled.


The anti-tar-sands demonstration in St. Paul showed that the press has been overly absorbed with the politics of Keystone and has neglected the successful opposition to planned expansion of other tar-sands-crude bearing pipelines around the country. This means that crude will likely continue to roll by rail. The spotlight should be pn the rails regulator, the Federal Railroad Administration.
Some lawmakers opine the the FRA is more interested in helping railroads cut corners than in regulating them.
But Sarah Feinberg, the acting agency head, a newcomer to the railroad industry, draws high marks, even from FRA critics in congress and from the railroads as well.
Compared to the 8% of its value that engineers recommend we spend on maintenance of our railroad infrastructure, we spend 3%. As a % of GDP, we spend 1/3 of Britain and 1/4 of Australia.
Congress allows railroads to keep hazmat routes secret. Lobbyists keep the FRA from requiring that crude oil volatility be reduced before loading, lower speed limits, rerouting around cities, and more rail and car inspections.
The DOT predicts 200 derailments over the next 20 years, totaling $17 billion, with 10 of them disasters for people, property, or the environment, averaging $1.2 billion, with 1 in the $6 billion range.
We have 160,000 miles of track to inspect and maintain. In 1978 we had 4,780 train-caused accidents. By 2011, we were down to 669.
Under new leadership and with a tailwind from a public wanting increased safety, even at the cost of railroad profits, the FRA may well be amenable to a stricter reading of railroad health and safety regs. Sign the attached position to show that’s exactly what you want. Go to moveon.org/sign/enforce-railroad-health?source=s.fwd&r_by=1718159, sign, and add a comment.


The stopping of the damage to the ecology of the continent by stopping the XL pipeline may be closer and more definitive that most people realize. Alberta elected a social democratic government in May. The NDP has close ties with worker co-ops, and economic democracy initiatives in general. Subsistence co-ops, that do not require the profit margins demanded by multinational oil companies, in order to declare a project “economic”, could upgrade and refine bitumen locally, thus eliminating the whole scenario of pipelines and tankers hauling this “dilbit” to places where these oligarchs can process this dangerous material on their terms.

I strongly feel that it is essential for our policy organizations across the continent such as the PIRG [public interest research group] network to get serious about putting the literature together , and building the networks that can accomplish this goal. We need to understand that the oil industry will continue to produce oil from the tar sands. If the forces of social democracy are able to divert this oil from control by multinational gangster organizations, to community controlled projects that act in the public interest, and that are able to produce in the interests of closed-loop processing and other methods - that corporations aren’t interested in, because their goal is maximization of short term profit, Alberta could demonstrate the value of developing the social economy.


I was at this march and saw a true social revolution in the making. Resistance is growing, and as it grows more and more of the oil company’s profits must be diverted to “security”. This demonstrates that the ruling class is getting more fearful, while we who resist are becoming fearless. Join us.


Bernie… We need Bernie Sanders