In October of last year, the group Climate Direct Action turned off a valve on the Keystone Pipeline. Last week, activist Michael Foster was convicted for being involved in the action.
‘If we don’t stop, we can’t correct … it will be too late for this generation.’ – Michael Foster, activist
Despite that hefty prison sentence hanging over his head, the former mental health counsellor from Seattle is still speaking out because he says he wasn’t allowed to tell his full side at his trial.
Foster says the plan was simple. “We called the pipeline operations control center for five pipelines, about 10 minutes before we cut the chains and turn the valves to stop the flow. This allowed them to shut off the flow at the pump stations for a safe shut down,”
A few minutes later 15 per cent of the nation’s oil supply — the U.S. oil supply — halted. “So it was I think a very effective action in terms of drawing attention to the tarsands and in drawing attention to the existing consumption of fuel that we have to stop right now.”
Foster sees these kind of tactics as the only way to draw attention to how serious the situation is. According to him, we are in an emergency and running out of time. “If we don’t stop, we can’t correct … it will be too late for this generation,” he says.