Sierra Club B.C. won't use civil disobedience to protest Enbridge pipeline

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Although the U.S.-based Sierra Club has, for the first time ever, endorsed an act of nonviolent civil disobedience over a tar-sands pipeline and its Canadian counterpart is debating whether to do the same, Sierra Club B.C. says it won't be breaking the law to stop Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.

Poll

Should civil disobedience be used by protesters opposed to Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline?

Yes 66%
29 votes
No 18%
8 votes
Maybe 16%
7 votes

"Sierra Club BC is doing all that we can, within the bounds of the law, to stop the proposed Enbridge pipeline and oil tankers project and persuade governments to act on the climate crisis before we cross a truly dangerous threshold," Sarah Cox, interim executive director of the nonprofit environmental group, said in a statement sent out today (February 1).

"Sierra Club BC is a separate organization from Sierra Club Canada, which last night made a decision to conduct an internal dialogue to reassess its rules concerning civil disobedience in future campaigns."

A registered charity based in Victoria, Sierra Club B.C. noted it "does not support civil disobedience as a matter of policy".

Today, the board of directors of Sierra Club Canada issued their own statement saying they "understand" the U.S. Sierra Club's recent decision to get involved with a "limited civil disobedience action" over TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

"Sierra Club Canada recognizes that the climate is rapidly approaching a tipping point that demands immediate and significant action if we are to avoid a global catastrophe," the board said.

"The Sierra Club has advocated for action on climate change for more than 25 years, yet the governments in Canada and United States have failed to take serious action. This refusal to apply the same scientific principles to climate change policy that have been applied to numerous other health and environmental issues, despite unprecedented scientific research and public opinion, forces all people of conscience to question their methods."

On January 22, U.S. Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune blogged that some people "might wonder whether [Sierra Club founder] John Muir is sitting up in his grave". But he argued the group's "unprecedented decision" is warranted.

"For civil disobedience to be justified, something must be so wrong that it compels the strongest defensible protest. Such a protest, if rendered thoughtfully and peacefully, is in fact a profound act of patriotism. For Thoreau, the wrongs were slavery and the invasion of Mexico. For Martin Luther King, Jr., it was the brutal, institutionalized racism of the Jim Crow South. For us, it is the possibility that the United States might surrender any hope of stabilizing our planet's climate," Brune wrote.

Comments (4) Add New Comment
Ward Kemerer
The Sierra Club and its acolytes or fellow travellors should go after the true Bad Actor in the Climate Change debate, The Consumer.

As Pogo said, "The Enemy is Us"

The Consumer is 100% responsible for the demand.

The Consumer is about 75 to 85% responsible for the GHG's from fossil fuel use.
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Randall Shoop
Ward Kemerer.... What are you proposing, mass suicide? If there were less of us we would use less petroleum products. You may have something there.
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G
the masses just need to stop buying so much needless, uselss crap...big-boy toys like shiny cars, elecronics that last 6 months, plastic over-packaged kid's toys, girly things like 16 pairs of shoes and 12 handbags and all that other crap that "fashionable" women cart around...
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"i-had-a" free nation called canada ....once upon a time.
i can't fucking believe what is happening to canada. everything that our parents and great-great-great-grandparents right down to that baby in your arms today is compromised including our earth, sky, air, water and land = our environment. why isn't it a crime to compromise our environment? why is our prime minister allowed to make deals with foreign leaders without a democratic process? what the fuck happened to our canadian constitution? i am in shock that harper is making canada into china. really. fuck the fipa ! this deal behind closed doors on a trade agreement with china that will ultimately strip canadians of any democratic choice or voice by allowing china the ability to sue canadians for the right to full protection and security from public opposition ---for generations. wtf happened to true north strong and free? wtf next? this is serious for any canadian now and the next generation. this really pisses me off. it seems that according to harper the only difference between canada and china is "i-had-a" free nation. we've gotta take our country back. take a stand. voice our opinion now. our environment should automatically be protected and sustained and part of our consitution. without our environment we no longer be.
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