Jessica Clark, Co- Director of the Kalamazoo Peace Center, is in the locker. Her heroic actions in her LaPorte, Indiana tree sits to protest pipeline 6B of Enbridge’s oil/blood trail have led to her serving 26 days in jail. Jessica stands for environmental justice of all people. Her choices in court were to either have a year of probation or take jail time for her tree sit actions, which stopped tar sands for a day. Many people when doing direct actions take plea deals for their own personal reasons, but Jessica choose jail time in a choice of solidarity with the people and environment of Indiana – because tar sands need to stop. Not many folks have gone to jail for environmental direct action against Enbridge and tar sands, and Jessica believes in the immediate cease of dirty oil transport and use!
Here is her full speech of what she read in court as her ending statement:
“I grew up a mile from Lake Michigan. I rode my bicycle there many mornings to watch the sunrise. BP just spilled 1,638 gallons of oil, probably tar sands into Lake Michigan. This is the inevitability of the tar sands industry- it is sloppy and poorly regulated. There are unreported spills every hour, but it is well funded, and easy for companies like Enbridge to pay off governmental agencies to influence them to make statements like No long-term health effects expected from 2010 Kalamazoo River oil spill.
I climbed that tree in September to highlight the injustice of tar sands, and to halt expansion of Enbridge pipeline 6B. As a resident of the greater Kalamazoo River basin, I am conscious of the ways in which corporations such as Enbridge, Marathon and BP turn ecosystems and communities into sacrifice zones in the name of profit. The people of Marshall and surrounding communities that endured the spill have been dealing with intense health implications such as kidney and liver failure, and cancer. July 27, 2010 when Enbridge spilled around a million gallons of tar sands into the Kalamazoo River, should have been the end of the line. Tar sands should no longer be pumping through the great lakes bio region. We have to leave tar sands in the ground. The governmental agencies need to stop valuing profit over health and safety of communities. July 27, 2010 when Enbridge spilled around a million gallons of tar sands into the Kalamazoo River, should have been the end of the line. Tar sands should no longer be pumping through the great lakes bio region. We have to leave tar sands in the ground. The governmental agencies need to stop valuing profit over health and safety of communities.
Tar sands from Canada are actively killing indigenous people in the boreal forest as their water and land are polluted by around 39 companies that are active there. The concept of “infinite growth” that underlines capitalism is not at all logical on a planet with finite resources. Enbridge, Marathon and BP, these “corporate people”, and the attitude of entitlement are actively enabling the apocalypse. Climate change is another main reason I climbed the tree- all reputable organizations of scientists endorse the statement “Most of the global warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities.” Our species will not continue this way. The jury is no longer out, there are things we can do about this fact. Halting the problem at the root is a viable solution. The green house gas emissions must stop. Carbon emissions must stop. Stomping on the rights of indigenous people must stop.
I am calling for a revolution of values. As a society, we need to re-consider what happiness actually is. Happiness is not a comfortable middle class lifestyle at the cost of ecosystems, water and health, and comfort of others. Happiness is not getting so drunk or zonked out on television that you forget about the smog cloud of guilt in your gut for polluting neighborhoods and ecosystems. Happiness is not living next to a refinery, or downstream from tar sands strip mine. It is not living next to a rare earth mineral mine. Happiness is building resilient communities, growing food in our own neighborhoods and fostering independence from global capitalism.
It is essential that we come together and organize ourselves in the spirit of resilience. We cannot live on a dead planet. We cannot drink their money. We need each other to stop these industries from threatening our livelihoods. It is essential we resist harsh extraction and the attitude of human entitlement, colonialism and patriarchy that enable the earth to be co modified. We need to grow organic, bio-dynamic food in our own communities to become independent, to soften the collapse that climate change will incur. We need to stop the movement of tar sands once and for all. Leave the tar sands in the ground.”
You can support Jessica by writing her a letter, which can be sent to this address:
809 State Street Suite 201A
La Porte, IN 46350
Jessica can also receive books, but they must come directly from the publisher (Amazon or Barnes & Noble doesn’t count). Here are some of the types of books she likes:
The Architecture of Infinite Justice
Listening to Grasshoppers
Walking with the Comrades
books about radical social change
anything about farming
anything about herbalism
We love you Creepsauce, miss you, and our hearts are with you.