This Is America #62: Interview with Pipeline Valve Turner on Mobilizing Against Enbridge

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Welcome, to This Is America, March 2nd, 2019.

In this episode, first we talk to one of the four valve turners who in Minnesota in mid-February, took direct action against an Enbridge pipeline, shutting it down. As one report wrote:

Four Catholic Workers were charged with property damage after they attempted earlier this week to shut off valves on a northern Minnesota pipeline as part of a non-violent action to curtail “the imminent and irreversible damage being done to the climate” by the fossil fuel industry.

The group, calling themselves the “Four Necessity Valve Turners,” appeared Wednesday in Itasca County District Court, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Two days earlier, they were arrested after they broke into a fenced valve site and attempted to turn off emergency shut-off valves for two pipelines operated by Enbridge Inc., a Canadian energy company that operates an extensive network of more than 200,000 miles of crude oil and natural gas pipelines across North America.

One of the pipelines targeted was Line 3, which has been a focal point for environmental demonstrations since an extensive renovation project was announced that would increase the amount of tar sands oil — which emit greater amounts of greenhouse gas emissions than typical crude oil — the pipeline could transport.

During our discussion we cover what the Catholic Worker movement is, why the Valve Turners took action, and we talk about the coming struggle against Line 3 that many groups are already organizing against, (see Anti-Colonial Land Defense), and private security firms like TigerSwan are already gearing up to defend.

We then switch to discussion, and talk about the recent Cohen testimony and then discuss the recent CrimethInc. piece that critiques the spectacle of the Mueller investigation that has created a culture of waiting around it, which serves as a distraction from people taking mass action against Trump and his policies.

It reads:

Yet even if the Mueller investigation concludes with Trump’s impeachment, the spectacle of the investigation has served to immobilize millions who have a stake in systemic social change, ensuring that what comes next in the United States will be politics as usual—not liberation.

Until next week, we will see you soon!


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