The potential trigger for our Bayou Bridge Pipeline Pledge of Resistance is if work begins in earnest on the pipeline across Louisiana.
The Bayou Bridge pipeline — a sister project proposed by Energy Transfer Partners to connect the flow of oil from its Dakota Access pipeline — would cross 700 bodies of water, through 11 Louisiana parishes, including the drinking water of 300,000 families.
With only 12 permanent jobs on the table, this pipeline is all risk for the citizens of Louisiana, with all the rewards going to a Big Oil corporation.
We are at the point where men and women of conscience must step forward. In the tradition of other great American struggles for freedom, from the March to Montgomery for Voting Rights, to the Farm Crisis when farmers stood with their neighbors to block foreclosure auctions, to the Native-led resistance at Standing Rock, we are asking people to stand for what we believe is right through acts of nonviolent civil disobedience to stop the Bayou Bridge pipeline.
As was the case when over 100,000 Americans signed the pledge to resist the Keystone XL Pipeline, now is the time for us to pledge to resist the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. (1)
Our sister organization, Bold Iowa, launched the Dakota Access Pipeline Pledge of Resistance (2), that recruited thousands of Water Protectors to commit to participating in nonviolent direct actions to stop construction on the pipeline in Iowa, and actions that resulted in nearly 100 arrests. (3)
We ask you to commit, should it be necessary, to engage in serious, dignified, nonviolent civil disobedience that could get you arrested.
Specifically, we are asking you to pledge, if construction of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline begins across Louisiana, to either:
- Come to one or more designated locations and risk arrest to physically stop pipeline construction, or
- Join with others who are supporting those risking arrest by volunteering or donating to assist with these actions, and amplifying their message by sharing them with your own personal networks.
If you are able to pledge to participate in taking direct action, it is impossible to say exactly where our action will be most needed and most effective. This is and will remain, by design, a moving target. If you are able to commit to risk arrest during an act of nonviolent civil disobedience, we ask you to sign this pledge with the understanding that, when called upon, you will do everything possible to join the landowners, tribes, and others who are in this fight for the long haul.
We’ll need many volunteers to help organize these actions, and funds to help produce trainings so local leaders and activists can get the tools they need to organize an action near them.
The most important thing for our Pledge of Resistance is that all of us are ready to spring into action when needed, and that the threat of mass civil disobedience to block construction on the Bayou Bridge Pipeline becomes credible, known and continues to grow.
On Thursday, Jan. 5, more than 400 Water Protectors turned out to stand in solidarity and testify at a public hearing against the Bayou Bridge pipeline, organized by the Louisiana Dept. of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Over 200 attended the final public hearing on Feb. 8 in Napoleonville, Assumption Parish held by the Louisiana Dept. of Natural Resources.
This decision affects all of us, wherever we live. So we want to engage everyone who cares about protecting our land, water and climate to join our efforts to stop the pipeline.
You shouldn’t make this pledge lightly. We certainly don’t ask lightly. We ask in the belief that there are tens of thousands of people out there who feel as strongly as we do, who believe that these circumstances call for extraordinary action, and who want to be part of that action in their community.
And we ask with the faith that those who commit to participate and organize actions will participate only in the most dignified manner.
After all, we are the conservatives, standing up for a safe and secure future for our families. It is those we protest, those who profit from poisoning our water, who violate our property rights, and who are radically altering the chemical composition of our atmosphere — and the prospects for survival of humanity — that are the radicals.
Just as we were successful at stopping Keystone XL, we need to be successful against the Bayou Bridge Pipeline.
Thanks for standing with us.
Cherri Foytlin and the Bold Louisiana team
1. “The Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance,” CREDO.org, 3/6/13.
2. “Dakota Access ‘Bakken’ Pipeline Pledge of Resistance,” BoldIowa.org, 8/24/16.