Pipes stacked at the southern site of the Keystone XL pipeline (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Civil Disobedience to stop the Keystone pipeline - Sierra Club Canada
For the first time in our 120 year history, we have suspended the Sierra Clubs long standing policy that prohibits civil disobedience. We have approved for one time a team of selected leaders and prominent Sierra Club supporters to face arrest in order to elevate discussion about a critical issue.
The critical issue is the Keystone XL pipeline. Alison Chin, the board president of the U.S. Sierra Club is opposed to the proposed pipeline and the bitumen it would bring to the U-S from Alberta's oil sands. This change in tactics represents a striking shift for the Sierra Club. We're looking at it today as part of our Line in the Sand project on the difficult ethical choices people and organizations make.
The Sierra Club is one of the oldest and most influential environmental organizations in the United States. Its board is mum on exactly what kind of 'civil disobedience' it plans, but the Sierra Club will participate in an anti-Keystone rally in Washington next month.
The Board of the Canadian chapter of the Sierra Club meets later today to discuss whether it will follow suit and endorse 'civil disobedience' to fight the proposed Keystone and Northern Gateway Pipelines.
John Bennett is the Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada. He was in our Ottawa studio.
Civil Disobedience to stop the Keystone pipeline - World Wildlife Fund
The World Wildlife Fund is another, well-established environmental group that's never supported civil disobedience. And it seems it has no plans to change.
Darcy Dobel is World Wildlife Fund Canada's Vice President for Conservation and Pacific. She was in Vancouver.
Civil Disobedience to stop the Keystone pipeline - Historian
Civil disobedience has an effective track record in causing political change. From Gandhi's Salt march to King's Selma march. From Clayoquot to Cairo.
Sir Adam Roberts is the President of the British Academy and the co-author with Timothy Garton Ash of Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non Violent Action from Ghandi to the Present. He was in London England.
* Story Update *
After our Thursday program looking at the pros and cons of Sierra Club
Canada using civil obedience to protest oilsands pipelines ... its board met to
consider the issue. We've learned that the board did NOT endorse use of civil
disobedience at its meeting. Sierra Club Canada Executive Director John Bennett
told us Friday morning that the board instead opted to continue the discussion
and consultation process before deciding to put the use of civil disobedience to
This segment was produced by The Current's Gord Westmacott.
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