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Blockadia Rising: Voices of the Tar Sands Blockade (2013)

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Blockadia Rising: Voices of the Tar Sands Blockade is an hour-long documentary film written and directed by Garrett Graham in collaboration with the Tar Sands Blockade and features exclusive video footage shot by the blockaders themselves during the course of over six months of sustained resistance.

In 2012, Texas landowners and environmental activists came together to organize resistance against a dangerous pipeline being built by a Canadian corporation to bring tar sands oil from Alberta Canada to refineries near the Gulf of Mexico. This hazardous project continues despite unprecedented opposition from indigenous communities, local farmers and even global environmental movements. From this struggle, a community of resistance was born that has attracted volunteers from around the continent who have successfully defied this multi-million dollar corporation with the power of non-violent direct action.

The film is meant to be both a celebration of the blockades' achievements and a primer for those interested in joining the campaign. It explains the dangers of tar sands extraction and the risks to public health posed by the pipeline as well as the strategy of non-violent direct action that has been delaying the pipeline so far.

Blockadia Rising is just the opening chapter in this ongoing movement to stop this pipeline and halt the extraction of the Canadian tar sands, but the blockaders see themselves as a part of a larger struggle against the consequences of run-away climate-change caused by unchecked extraction of natural resources by industry at the expense of both human and non-human communities. This film speaks to all movements for environmental and social justice and showcases direct action techniques that have never been attempted before.

Blockadia Rising: Voices from the tar Sands Blockade (2013) was written, edited and narrated by Garrett Graham, an active participant of the Tar Sands Blockade who continues to support their efforts. This film is dedicated to them, and everyone fighting for environmental and social justice.

The Campaign: tarsandsblockade.org
The Filmmaker: garrettgrahamonline.wordpress.com

www.tarsandsblockade.org
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Films For Action is a community-powered, digital library for people who want to change the world.

 

Our mission is to provide citizens with the knowledge and perspectives essential to creating a more beautiful, just, sustainable, and democratic society.

Films For Action was founded in 2006 by a few friends in Lawrence, Kansas, after realizing how essential a healthy media is to a healthy democracy.

Although we started out hosting community film screenings in the beginning and did so for many years, our digital library eventually became our primary focus. 

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“Independent media is dangerous because it allows people to speak for themselves. And when you hear someone speaking from their own experience - whether it's a Palestinian child or an Israeli grandmother or an uncle in Afghanistan or a refugee in the Calais refugee camp - it changes you. It breaks the sound barrier. It challenges the stereotypes and the caricatures that fuel the hate groups. You may not agree with what you hear - I mean, how often do we even agree with our family members? - but you begin to understand where they're coming from. That understanding is the beginning of peace. I really do think that the media can be the greatest force for peace on Earth. Instead, all too often, it is wielded as a weapon of war. We have to take the media back.” - Amy Goodman, Place to B at COP21