What was the Promise to Protect Training Tour?
The Promise to Protect Tour came to 9 cities across the United States this spring and helped train 1,160 organizers to follow Indigenous leadership and learn how to take nonviolent direct action against fossil fuel infrastructure from coming into their communities. Organizers were provided the opportunity to understand how to organize locally while being a part of a broader, unified movement to stop the fossil fuel industry. We have such a short window to address the climate crisis and we need to escalate to the scale of the problem – and this tour was a great start.

Spanning from Oakland to Miami, the Promise to Protect Tour helped build solidarity between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous activists by teaching folks how to be a good relative and to amplify allyship and strategic action. It also helped solidify a collective understanding of the work and approach needed to build a movement strong enough to stop the most powerful industry in the world–and the politicians that are beholden to them– from continuing to put communities and our climate at risk.

Our highlight reel

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Organizers who participated in the training deeply engaged with lessons such as how to appropriately fill support roles in a nonviolent direct action, protocols for mobilizing in Lakota territory, and how to bring these skills back to their communities to take local action.

What organizers are saying about the Promise to Protect Training Tour this spring:

I am inspired greatly by how as a large group the tour reflected learning new ideas of relating to one another with such a diverse group of attendees. I am also moved by the connections that attendees made with one another sharing the common interest in Promising to Protect. – Dita Devi, Miami

The Promise To Protect training in Boston brought together community members and climate organizers from around New England with Indigenous allies to reconfirm our commitment to joining them on the frontlines of Keystone XL, fossil fuel infrastructure fights, and other struggles when called upon by Indigenous leaders. By building new relationships and rekindling old ones, we are building a movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground and move towards a just and equitable future. – Alan Palm, Boston

The bay area promise to protect tour stop was inspirational! People from all walks of life attended, including a large group of wise women from the affinity group called 1,000 grandmothers. Many frontline activists were present such as Socorro, who came to meet others who are fighting big oil like she is in the bay area’s refinery corridor. After the Saturday training, some folks stuck around and others joined for the Protect the Bay Coalition’s Tar Sands Free SF Bay art build. The bay area now has hundreds of activists trained up on how to take direct action against the Keystone XL pipeline and how to respect Lakota protocol. A big thanks to the trainers and Promise to Protect tour organizers who made this all possible.– Mary Zeiser, 350 Bay Area

What’s next?

We spoke with 350.org Keep it in the Ground Campaign lead, Kendall Mackey to hear about what the Promise to Protect Team’s plans are after the training tour to continue ensuring communities have the tools to #keepitintheground.

“The most important thing people who attended the training tour can be doing right now is engaging in the local work happening in their communities stopping the expansion of the fossil fuel industry. It’s important we all stay vigilant and ready to mobilize if invited by the leadership on the ground to stop KXL, and we should be putting the skills built and the lessons learned through this tour into practice right now in the communities we live in. This movement has never been about one pipeline–it’s about building a movement large enough to take on the fossil fuel industry and win.” – Kendall Mackey, 350.org

As government leaders continue to try shutting down pipeline protestors and the wider movement work to stop the fossil fuel industry, we must continue to keep up the momentum. The tour was a catalyst for greater resource sharing, learning, and movement building that is so critical to the fight against dirty energy. We are excited to see what trainees will be bringing back to their communities, and how our team will continue to brainstorm and engage organizers nationwide who see the need to be part of this work and want to lead others to also take meaningful action.

Stay tuned for more work by signing on to the Promise to Protect at nokxlpromise.org. 

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