The end of July in Minnesota, and barely 60 degrees with intermittent showers every 20 minutes; it was not the weather we were expecting for Summer Heat. Nonetheless, the sun shone out from the heavy clouds at exactly the right time, and our beautiful puppets and paper mache props went across the bridge miraculously dry. This action highlighted the who, what, where, and whys of Minnesota’s Tar Sands Fight in a larger than life vibrant way.
It ended on a high note with a Dixieland style band playing some old tunes while we danced to a New Orleans style funeral song for our dear ol’ Enbridge tar sands pipeline. Gathering afterwards with an incredibly multi-generational crowd, a conversation about divestment, and lots of good food, the people were dedicated to stay and talk with one another despite the fickle rain showers. I know that personally as a student working towards a divestment campaign, it’s easy to get trapped in your campus bubble, and generally end up working exclusively with your peers. This was a great opportunity for us all to be reminded of the bigger picture and all of the other communities we’re ultimately fighting for, and to know that we’re definitely not alone. The goal of campus divestment is to send the message loud and clear that we don’t think it is right to invest our time, money, and energy into these backwards sources of fuel, in Minnesota’s case it’s the dirty Alberta tar sands that accounts for 80% of our gasoline. A larger goal this action highlighted is to take it a big step further from divestment alone, and to leave tar sands in the ground altogether. Working to ruin this industry’s financial credibility is an important stepping stone towards working to shut it down entirely before it ruins our future. This fight doesn’t end with divestment, but it is sure a great way for students and organizations to get it started.