In 2006, I had the honor to meet Leonard Higgins through my work as a computer consultant. We developed a friendship and in 2007 I introduced him to the Work That Reconnects, where he attended an all men’s workshop facilitated by Fran & Joanna Macy. The next year he brought his son to attend his second workshop at Land Of Medicine Buddha. Leonard spent 30 years working for state government as he, like so many of us, pursued the “American Dream” but always felt something was out of balance with how he lived his own life and how it impacted the planet.
In the following video excerpt, featuring Leonard Higgins and Michael Foster, Leonard shares how the Work That Reconnects moved him to direct action as one of the five activists who on Oct.11, 2016 successfully shut down 5 pipelines across the United States delivering tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada. The October date was chosen in support of the call for International Days of Prayer and Action for Standing Rock.
Activists employed manual safety valves, calling on President Obama to use emergency powers to keep the pipelines closed and mobilize for the extraordinary shift away from fossil fuels now required to avert catastrophe. They notified the oil companies and media and waited to be arrested. Leonard’s trial is tentatively scheduled for July 18 and he could face up to ten years in prison. Others have felony charges that could result in prison sentences from 20 to 50 years.
These activists are fierce examples of responding to the call to action where the consequences are severe, but their commitment to future generations compels them to act in defense of the earth.
For more information about the valve-turners go to http://www.shutitdown.today/.
This 9-minute video is an extract by Connie Barlow of an hour-long presentation filmed at Highline College (south Seattle) during Earth Week 2017. The full video can be accessed via the caption here: https://youtu.be/AnvKbNC19sc
for peace and justice,