The Yes Men are collaborating with Gitz Crazyboy (Dene and Blackfoot Youth Worker and indigenous activist), Tito Ybarra (Red Lake Ojibwe comedian and a champion powwow singer), and Winona LaDuke (Green Party VP candidate) to oppose a network of proposed crude oil pipelines that threaten to contaminate the lands and waters of the Northern Midwest.
This is a tour of action-oriented lectures, workshops and screenings for frontline communities in the path of pipelines, and for nearby urban communities where the tour will recruit more activists to join the struggle.
While the massive Keystone pipeline gets most of the attention, there are in fact many other pipelines that are currently in the hearing stages or on the books. Many are planned to go through sensitive areas of communities that do not support them, including Native American communities in the northern Midwest. Many are fighting back, such as the Mille Lacs and White Earth band of Ojibwe, who are opposing the pipelines and the dangers they represent. But to win they need greater regional support, not just in their own communities but at the local and state level.
This is a key opportunity for public intervention.
The tour will stir up more support for direct action, by bringing it to frontline communities that are grappling with the expansion of the fossil-fuel infrastructure. It is the right place to act, as the local struggles to block pathways for fossil fuel may well determine the future of the climate for everyone else. It is also the right time to act: Honor the Earth, Winona LaDuke’s non profit leading regional resistance to the pipelines, and their allies have recently begun using more direct action to move the battle outside the dysfunctional state regulatory process, where tribes have been silenced and Native people excluded.
This tour will support and amplify the efforts of Native American groups fighting pipelines slated to pass through their communities. Honor the Earth is organizing on the ground in the Native communities most directly impacted, collaborating with water and climate allies, and supporting legal interventions by tribal governments. Through their organizing they have already delayed the proposed new pipeline corridor by three years, but they need more support to make their temporary success permanent.
The Yes Men’s latest documentary THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING follows a whistleblower who was hired to clean up the spill from the Enbridge pipeline rupture, but was asked to cover it up instead. The clip has already been used as testimony, and in our outreach program we will leverage the raw power of these testimonials to demonstrate the extreme risks that pipelines pose to the local waterways.
Speakers and presenters include:
The Yes Men are renowned activists whose satirical interventions at business events, on the internet, television, and in the streets form the basis of three award-winning documentaries. They are the authors of several books and many articles, and lecture internationally on art and social change. They are the founders of the Yes Lab and the Action Switchboard, an online platform for generating direct action in the service of social movements.
Winona LaDuke is an Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe) enrolled member of the Mississippi Band Anishinaabeg. She is the Executive Director of Honor the Earth, where she works to advocate, raise support, and create funding for frontline native environmental groups. A graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities, she has published six books. She has also run for Vice President of the United States twice, on the Green Party ticket with Ralph Nader.
Gitz Crazyboy is a Dene and Blackfoot Youth Worker and indigenous activist from ground zero of the Tar Sands extraction in Alberta. He has become an important leading voice in the environmental movement, taking the stage at numerous rallies and conventions internationally.
Peter “Tito” Ybarra is a member of the Red Lake Ojibwe in Minnesota. He has been doing comedy professionally since 2010, and regularly travels throughout Indian country as a comedian and a champion powwow singer.
The Yes Lab training and action platform will play a sustained role in the movement to block these pipelines. In collaboration with Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno of The Yes Men, participants will brainstorm fun, funny, and enjoyably risky ways to publicize issues of import to them and their communities… and, hopefully, millions of others.