In many respects, our second performance on Friday, March 12 proceeded as our first on Monday, March 8, but we had quite a few more actors this time, which made the performance all the more spectacular. Nothing amps up the epic like a cast of thousands. We didn’t have that, but we did have a cast of tens, a COVID-appropriate number for an outdoor event on a clear spring-like day.
And the award for the best choreographed protest prop-switching on cue goes to the dead side/live side salmon-on-a-stick puppeteers. In fact, the entire cast gave a moving performance. A dramatic score boomed from the World on Fire Truck as the dastardly Enbridge pipeline gushed tar sands diluted bitumen to poison the land, the water, the people, the animals and the plants, while nearby death danced impatiently, ready for the harvest.
The spirit of the performance was inescapably light-hearted. It is difficult not to breakout in uncontrollable fits of laughter when your props are rubber duckies. We should not let that distract from the serious fact that the Line 3 pipeline project is a negation of an indigenous people’s treaty rights for one, and literally a life-threatening project for a number of reasons, for example: the possibility of spills as depicted in our play; the increased rate of lethal crimes against indigenous people, particularly women and girls, in the proximity of temporary worker quarters (“man camps”); and the expansion of Alberta tar sands extraction.
A well-known, scientifically accurate exclamation about the Alberta tar sands is that to exploit such a resource will mean game over for the climate. One already gets the sense that the fans in the upper bleachers are heading for the exits. We really need to shut down this pipeline project along with every other path of tar sands shipment available, including of course oil-by-rail through our own neighborhoods here in Portland, OR. Our ultimate Stop Line 3 solidarity actions here will always involve Zenith Energy, where the same tar sands oil is transferred from rail cars to tankers on the banks of the Willamette River. In shutting down all roads to market, our movement will ultimately shutdown tar sands extraction—a heavily leveraged project that already teeters on bankruptcy.
And as far as Chase Bank, our target for the reason that they are one of the banks that fund Line 3 and other destructive fossil projects, the Chase branch in Northeast Portland where we performed politely closed for the day. Could it be that they did not want to interfere with our performance?
Regardless, our cat critics, Wisker and Fleabert, give us four paws up!
Meow! Meow! Meow! MEOW!