Blockadia Rising: Voices of the Tar Sands Blockade

Published on 10th April 2016 by

In Texas and Oklahoma a coalition of people calling themselves the Tar Sands Blockade formed a grassroots protest movement and used peaceful resistance and civil disobedience in an attempt to halt the construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, an extension of an oil pipeline system which transports oil from Canada to the United States. The group was formed in 2012 and was active until late 2015 when the Keystone XL proposal was blocked by the US government.

Blockadia Rising is an hour long documentary by Garrett Graham, filmed in 2012, which consists primarily of footage shot by the blockaders themselves over a six month period of sustained resistance. Graham himself was an active participant in the movement. The group were protesting against the inevitable environmental impact of the pipeline’s construction, the displacement that the pipeline would have caused to those whose home was on the pipeline route, the subsequent environmental risks associated with having a pipeline run through farmland and to water systems, as well the deforestation which would be required to lay the massive pipeline.

The protesters were also joined by people who were primarily protesting against climate change and the continued development of infrastructure created for the fossil fuel industry. This documentary was made with the full blessing of the group, so can be considered an authorized film.

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