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Growing up in small-town Texas, I quickly learned about fighting, including this valuable lesson: You should never hit a man with glasses – you should use something much heavier.
This also applies to fighting for our Good Earth against rapacious profiteers – the spillers and spewers, frackers and extractors, drillers and pipeliners – who view our environment, communities, health, and happiness as barriers to commerce that must be shoved aside. The heaviest tool we have for striking back is the indomitable human spirit that, when pushed, produces a fierce feistiness, tenacity, and organized resistance.
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I can even put a name to this spirit: Nancy Zorn. She’s a 79-year-old grandmother from Warr Acres, Oklahoma, who’s refusing to be shoved out of the way of Exxon Mobil, TransCanada Corporation, and other giants that are trying to force the massive Keystone XL pipeline down America’s throat. It would carry a nasty, extra-toxic, sludge-oil from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, to oil export facilities in Port Arthur, Texas. The crude would be piped right through Oklahoma, where TransCanada already is underway with construction.
Well, it was underway, until Grandmother Zorn literally put her neck on the line. Using a bicycle lock on April 9th, she attached her own neck to one of TransCanada’s huge Earth-moving machines, halting construction. “I can no longer sit by idly,” she declared. “It is time to rise up and defend our home. It is my hope that this one small action today will inspire many to protect this land and our water.”
Of course, TransCanada had Nancy arrested, but it can’t stop her and thousands of other spirited souls from continuing to fight this destructive corporate greed. Join them! They’re organized as the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance: www.gpTarSandsResistance.org.
“79-Year-Old Oklahoma Grandmother Locks Her Neck to Heavy Machinery in Keystone XL Protest ,” www.alternet.org, April 9, 2013.