Drawing the Line

Saturday I took part in a local expression of a nationwide day of action, 350.org’s Draw the Line. About 40 of us came out to demonstrate resistance to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

KI EcoCenter hosted the Indy event in partnership with Earth Charter Indiana. These two stellar groups both work at the intersection of environmental, social, and economic concerns.

Photo by KI EcoCenter

Photo by KI EcoCenter

Alvin, one of the organizers, started us off with a wholistic assessment of what we were about: creating a new world, beyond the issue of the pipeline or tar sands or even fossil fuels.

“Keystone XL is a symbol of the past…We’re saying no, we want something different for our world,” Alvin said.

In the ensuing discussion, there was talk of reining in corporate greed, making companies pay the true cost of production, reforming the way election campaigns are financed, and other policy changes.

But many people brought up the need for internal as well as external shifts. How are we making the old reality obsolete by creating a new reality, as Buckminster Fuller advised?

Photo by KI EcoCenter

Photo by KI EcoCenter

Some of the insights:

We need to build a united movement that encompasses social justice, because climate change disproportionately affects the poorest of the poor. —Rosemary

We have to shift away from the value we put on money. Companies value money and profits more than our own lives. We have to focus on the intangible side of life, such as happiness that comes from having a healthy place to live. —Keenan

Photo by KI EcoCenter

Photo by KI EcoCenter

The problem stems from the idea of separation—that we’re separate from each other, separate from the earth, separate from the animals. But we are one. —Marion

We need to change the definition of the good life. —Tom

We need to take responsibility for what we carry within so we don’t pollute the world with negativity. Anything inside us that fears and hates is that which is in common with what is feared. It’s important to notice—because when you notice things, they lose power. —Phoebe

Photo by KI EcoCenter

Photo by KI EcoCenter

At the end of the discussion, we lined up outside the center with signs we had made, and a KI EcoCenter intern drew a black line across to represent our line in the (tar) sands.

Though I much prefer creating the new world to protesting what needs to fall away, I do believe it’s important to stand up and be counted. I’m glad Indy was represented in the movement, however small our number. And we didn’t stand alone. These photos of the line’s reach (into hundreds of cities, drawn by thousands of activists) at 350.org’s flickr stream are inspiring.

3 thoughts on “Drawing the Line

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