BREAKING NEWS: Native Americans Protest Keystone XL From A Cage

Activists compelled to stay in enclosure miles from President’s pro-oil event 

This comes to Climate Connections straight from the source:

Native Americans gathering in Cushing, Oklahoma for a Thursday protest of President Obama’s anticipated words of praise for the Keystone XL pipeline are being forced by local authorities to hold their planned event in a cage erected in Memorial Park.

For details on this breaking news story, contact:

Fannie Bates: 405.642.3527

Rosemary Crawford: 405.206.3979

Marty Cobenais: (218) 760-0284

MARCH 22, 2012 — Native American’s gathering in Cushing, OK for a planned Thursday protest of President Obama’s anticipated words of praise for the Keystone XL pipeline will be forced by local authorities to hold their event in a cage erected in Memorial Park. The protestors were stunned that their community, so long mistreated, would be insulted in such an open manner instead of being given the same freedom of speech expected by all Americans simply for taking a stance consistent with their values.

“A lot of tribal councils and Indian businesses struggle to find a balance between economic resources and our inherited responsibilities for the earth,” said Indian actor and activist Richard Ray Whitman in a statement. “How will the decisions we make now effect coming generations?”

Marty Cobenais, Red Lake Ojibwe, arrested at Keystone White House protest in Sept. 2011 (from Censored News) Photo Shadia Fayne Wood

“President Obama is an adopted member of the Crow Tribe, so his fast-tracking a project that will desecrate known sacred sites and artifacts is a real betrayal and disappointment for his Native relatives everywhere,” said Marty Cobenais of the Indigenous Environmental Network. “Tar sands is devastating First Nations communities in Canada already and now they want to bring that environmental, health, and social devastation to US tribes.”

The President visited Cushing to stand with executives from TransCanada and throw his support behind a plan to build the southern half of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to move tar sands bitumen and crude oil from Cushing to the Gulf Coast refineries in Texas.

A major concern for Native Americans in Oklahoma, according to spokespeople at the event, is that Keystone XL and the Canadian tar sands mines that would supply it ignore impacts to indigenous communities and their sacred spaces.

“Natives in Canada live downstream from toxic tar sands mines,” said Earl Hatley, “and they are experiencing spikes in colon, liver, blood and rare bile-duct cancers which the Canadian government and oil companies simply ignore. And now they want to pipe these tar sands through the heart of Indian country, bulldozing grave sites and ripping out our heritage.”

The group points to a survey done by the Oklahoma Archeological Survey which found 88 archaeological sites and 34 historic structures that were threatened by Keystone XL. TransCanada was asked to reroute around only a small portion of these, leaving 71 archaeological sites and 22 historic structures at risk. The group says they have asked for a list of these sites and to oversee operations that might threaten sacred burial grounds, but neither request has been honored.

Beyond the threat to their own cultural heritage, the group voiced opposition to the pipeline’s environmental impacts.

“The Ogallala Aquifer is not the only source of water in the plains,” said RoseMary Crawford, Project Manager of the Center for Energy Matters. “Tar sands pipelines have a terrible safety record and leaks are inevitable.”

“We can’t stop global warming with more fossil fuel pipelines,” added Crawford. “The people who voted for this President did so believing he would help us address the global environmental catastrophe that our pollution is creating. He said he would free us from ‘the tyranny of oil.’ Today that campaign promise is being trampled to boost the President’s poll numbers.”


Fannie Bates: 405.642.3527

Rosemary Crawford: 405.206.3979

Marty Cobenais, IEN Pipeline Organizer

         Cell: (218) 760-0284; Email:

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Filed under Energy, Indigenous Peoples, Tar Sands

0 Responses to BREAKING NEWS: Native Americans Protest Keystone XL From A Cage

  1. Pingback: 2012 Top ten articles on Climate Connections | Mobilization for Climate Justice

  2. Pingback: 2012 Top ten articles on Climate Connections | Climate Connections


    MASTER: What’s Wrong–
    WOMAN: What do you Mean what’s wrong?–whats NOT wrong–am Eye reading things–am eye stuck in My Crystal-Globe–did eye pick up a Trick card–did eye not fully come out of a Nightmare–or is this FACTUAL 2012 American-History in The Making
    MASTER: Have XL Issues?
    WOMAN: Are We?–KNOWINGLY and Deliberately–Cancering Out our Native American Society–beeing Fully Aware of The Life-Threatening Agonizing Pain of Disease–that XL just Inflicted on Canadas Tribals–Her Men Women and Children having their Lives Destroyed by Eco-Toxic PipeLine Contamination–and KNOWING that we are going Genocidal on our own Native Americans we are Continuing?–to Drown them in Carcinogenins–am eye sleeping?
    MASTER: Not unless you are Sleep-Writing–
    WOMAN: Did eye wake up in the Dark-Ages–
    MASTER: No–that was Centuries Ago–
    WOMAN: Are you sure this is Post Renaissance?
    MASTER: Yes–Shakespeare has come and gone–
    WOMAN: What Right do We Have to Filth out The Native American Water Supply–when WATER is the Sacred Element of Life-Source–when kept PURE–and the RoundUp to Death–when IMpure–when TOXIC–did not India drink RoundUp water to Her Death by the Mega Hundreds of Thousands–and now?–would we leave our own Native American Nation with Tar-Water to Drink?–and Bathe our babies in–and wash our hair with–if somebody didn’t want me Alive–because of My Origins–it would bee much less Painful 4 me to just bee forced to drink Hemlock like Socrates or take a Bullet like Ghandi–AT LEAST that is over in 5 Minutes–but to spend the Last Few Years of my Life in Merciless Suffering–Losing all Human Dignity and all Quality of Life–beeing reduced to a dying out Endangered Captive of Tubes and Radiation–until eye painfully breathe my last–on the Bed of Monsanto–WHO made that Map
    MASTER: What Map
    WOMAN: The Map that Deliberately Cuts Right Through My Natives
    MASTER: You Want a Name
    WOMAN: Absolutely!–Eye want to Give Credit where Credit is Due–4 when the Next Generation of Native Americans ReWrites the History Texts–WHO is The Visionary beehind the XL what China-Joke is this on All America–like the Visionary beehind the ‘Mock-Tower’ of our 911 Tragedy–and now?–blowing through the Foundation of American History–Only somebody who Despises our Nation our Roots and our Flag could have conjured up such an Assault-Plan on our Environment our Autonomy and our Constitution–and Why is there not a Barricade of Human-Rights Lawyers on this–and how in Hades did XL even get this far–and what are the Names of Canadas Victims beeing taken away on stretchers under the Cancer of the XL–do we have a Monument to Remember the Names of Our Chiefs under Ecocidal-Holocaust

    Rachel X


    President Obama needs 2 WAKE-UP from his Oil Slumber–and REMEMBER his promises–to The Tribes–as an Honorary Member of The CROW TRIBE he should B standing WITH the Protesters!–and shield our Natives and our Earth against this Tyrannical Ecocide and Violation of Human Rights–AND while he is there–he should Remember his Historically Recorded PROMISE to keep all Seeds (and ‘food’ derived from seeds) that are LESS than Native!–Labeled and separate from our Safe Organic supply–so that we have the Survival Option of NOT consuming Mutant-Toxins of Lab-Slop–not even Safe 4 the Animals!–OFF our LunchTrays–Is He a NATIVE or is he a Corp-Slave THAT is the Question!
    And Who Mutated our Crop-God–we ONCE held Corn as Sacred!

    Rachel X

  5. I’m saying we can’t know if Canada’s aboriginals are getting cancer from waste, or from alcoholism.

    • Hmmm, I’m guessing that not ALL of Canada’s First Nations peoples are alcoholics. However, many people are developing cancers around toxic waste emitters like the tar sands, energy refineries, uranium mines, etc. There was a nine year old who died of a brain tumor, children born with birth defects. Were they alcoholics? Sorry, but your argument is just a wee bit racist. Maybe you can’t know what is killing native people around the tar sands, but they seem to be quite clear on it.

    • The rate of caner in these particular First Nations communities is higher by far than other First Nations communities, so any alcoholism in the population is not a factor. Also, I find your stereotyping of First Peoples as alcoholics is quite ignorant and seems like a desperate ploy to detract from this very serious health problems that are caused by the toxic emissions & leachates released from the oil sands processing & waste disposal.

  6. Every one of those aforementioned cancers is also caused by alcoholism. Which our Natives in Canada suffer from more than they suffer from the oil sands.

  7. DaMav

    Imagine being such a wack job that you are to the left of Obama on this stuff. lol

  8. I attended the protest today. They did not require us to stay behind the wire fence as the police had previous indicated. We were allowed to stand behind a yellow police tape instead, along side a park. The street was roped off from the public, so the residents of Cushing couldn’t see us at all, except for one woman who happened to live across the street from the park. She kept yelling at us and saying we were on welfare. There was a Chickasaw citizen there who is a toxicologist and gave us a lot of good information about the dangers of the Keystone XL and tar sand oil. He also did a very cool skit, that I hope we can record and put on YouTube. There were other “protester” groups who were in Cushing to show support for the pipeline. It is our understanding that they were allowed to be in places where they were visible to the citizens of Cushing. President Obama’s motorcade came right past us twice. But it was still frustrating that the people of Cushing could not see us. There were a large number of law enforcement officers – maybe 15 or 20 – standing right in front of us and staring at us. It was very intimidating. I wonder if the other protesters had to stay behind a yellow police tape.

  9. Don

    Hello. My name is Don, I am a member of occupy Wall Street. We have a lot of members that are interested in what your organization does.
    We would like to learn more about your organization and help you get your message out. We would like to invite you to do an interview on our livestream so our viewers can ask questions and you can give us instructions on what we need to do to help you with your very important cause.
    We can interview you via skype and channel it thru our livestream. I hope you can do this and we can get together and get your message out.
    Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
    Best regards,
    we are the 99%

  10. Pingback: Texas landowner calls out Obama on Keystone XL fast-tracking | Grist

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