laurie laurie, March 4, 2017


A week ago Friday (February 24), the Valve Turners gifted a capacity audience at First United Methodist Church in Eugene with their stories of grace and grit. How did they pull off their “October Surprise” on October 11, 2016, shutting off the valves on 5 pipelines carrying Canadian tar sands oil into the US across 4 states? Why did they do it? How has this impacted their lives?  How is their effort connected to the larger movement, inspired by and anchored in that of the Standing Rock Water Protectors? How can you help support them, including help with their legal expenses?

You can watch the entire conversation here, thanks to 350 Eugene videographer, Don Ewing. (Note: Leonard Higgins participated via video feed and therefore was not physically present for the event.  He was at Standing Rock in solidarity the Water Protectors as their camp was being forced to dismantle.)

Background information:
October 11th 2016, 5 brave climate organizers turned emergency shut-off valves on the 5 pipelines that carry oil from the Canadian tar sands into the United States. It was an unprecedented act of non-violent direct action that shut down 15% of US crude oil imports for nearly a day. To ensure that the pipelines would be safely shut down, a call was placed to each company fifteen minutes before valve turners entered the sites, giving them ample time to shut each pipeline down.
The five valve-turners say their actions are not only necessary, but morally and legally justified, to avoid the catastrophic harm caused to humanity by unprecedented climatic disruption. Now, the “Valve Turners” face Felony charges with sentences of up to 95 years in prison. In the above video, you hear Emily, Michael, Annette, Leonard, and Ken discuss why they felt morally compelled to take this action. In the very first trial, a hung jury failed to convict Ken Ward (Feb 1 – read more)!

We raised over $1500 at the February 24 event!!! (Thanks to everyone for their generous contributions.) If you weren’t able to attend the event, please consider donating online.  With gratitude!