Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Defending Water for Life coordinator testifies against Keystone XL Pipeline

Here's Ruth Caplan's statement at the State Department Hearing on Keystone XL Pipeline, which was held October 7.

Ruth was arrested earlier this month protesting the pipeline project. She spoke as a past chair of the Sierra Club's National Energy Committee, as well as National Coordinator of the Alliance's Defending Water for Life Campaign. Video of the full four hours of public testimony is here.

Ruth quotes an op-ed by Daphne Wysham, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and is the founder and co-director of the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network (SEEN), which was also excerpted by the New York Times.

I’m not here today to argue about pounds per square inch or parts per million.

I’m not here today to say move the pipeline one mile east or west.

I’m not here today to say put inspectors along the pipeline every 10 miles or even every one mile.

I am here today to speak for my godson, and for my grandson, and for Malia and Sasha and for Chelsea.

And so I will read to you part of what my godson’s mother (Daphne Wysham) wrote after being arrested in front of the White House, a few days before I too was arrested protesting the pipeline.

In Daphne’s words....
“As I stood before the White House gates ... listening to the police issue their warnings of our impending arrests to our group of over 100 demonstrators, I thought of what I would say as they carted me away – what cry I wanted the president to hear.

“And I recalled the day Obama stood before the American people, in those days and months as BP’s deepwater well billowed millions of barrels of oil from that horrifying wound in the Gulf of Mexico floor. I remembered him remarking that, yes, he was very concerned about the spill because, while he shaved one morning, his 11-year-old daughter Malia had asked him, ‘Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?’

“Children have a way of speaking to our hearts. And so, I mused, even if President Obama didn’t hear the songs and the chants of the more than 1,000 people who were arrested over the course of two weeks, even if the prayers of religious leaders and Native American elders went unanswered, even if he didn’t read the editorial opposing the Keystone XL pipeline in The New York Times, even if he ignored the advice of his very own EPA, perhaps, in this instance, Sasha or Malia might see us outside the White House gates and ask him, “Did you stop the pipeline yet, Daddy?”

“As the police handcuffed my hands behind me and led me off to a white school bus, I shouted: ‘For Sasha and Malia.’

“I don’t think Obama or his daughters heard me, I thought, as I watched my fellow protesters be cuffed, searched and photographed through the bus’s caged windows. But perhaps, if we keep this up, they will.”

And so I am here to keep this up.

Mr. President, do this for Malia and Sasha, not for Jeff Berman your former National Delegate Director and current lobbyist for the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Secretary Clinton, do this for Chelsea and her future children, your grandchildren, and not for Paul Elliott, who was the senior official for your Presidential bid and is now a lobbyist for the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Did you stop the pipeline yet Daddy?

Did you stop the pipeline yet Mom?

Our future is in your hands.

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