tagged w/ Occupy TransCanda pipeline
WINONA, TX – MONDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2012 7:30 AM – Several protestors with Tar Sands Blockade sealed themselves inside a section of pipe destined for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline to stop construction of the dangerous project. Using a blockading technique never implemented before, Matt Almonte and Glen Collins locked themselves between two barrels of concrete weighing over six hundred pounds each. Located twenty-five feet into a pipe segment waiting to be laid in the ground, the outer barrel is barricading the pipe’s opening and neither barrel can be moved without risking serious injury to the blockaders.
The barricaded section of the pipeline passes through a residential neighborhood in Winona, TX. If TransCanada moves ahead with the trenching and burying of this particular section of pipe, it would run less than a hundred feet from neighboring homes. Tar sands pipelines threaten East Texas communities with their highly toxic contents, which pose a greater risk to human health than conventional crude oil. TransCanada’s existing tar sands pipeline, Keystone XL’s predecessor, has an atrocious safety record, leaking twelve times in its first year of operation.
“TransCanada didn’t bother to ask the people of this neighborhood if they wanted to have millions of gallons of poisonous tar sands pumped through their backyards,” said Almonte, one of the protesters now inside the pipeline. “This multinational corporation has bullied landowners and expropriated homes to fatten its bottom line.”
more at the linkWINONA, TX – MONDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2012 7:30 AM – Several protestors with... more
– Thousands rally outside the White House demanding President Barack Obama to reject the building of the Keystone XL pipeline that will carry crude oil from Alberta, Canada to the United States, on Sunday.
There are rising concerns that if the government approves the Keystone construction, it will cause a surge in greenhouse gases, vast environmental and community degradation.– Thousands rally outside the White House demanding President Barack Obama to... more
This morning Earth First and Occupy in DC organized a tar sands solidarity action that is currently occupying TransCanada’s lobby firm. They occupied and blockaded the building. Four arrested at last count.
You can watch the live stream here – http://www.ustream.tv/occupyeyeThis morning Earth First and Occupy in DC organized a tar sands solidarity action that... more
Twelve people were arrested in east Texas today as they blockaded construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The protesters warn that burning the heavy fossil fuel will emit large amounts of greenhouse gases, warming the planet beyond repair.
Four people locked themselves to heavy machinery used to prepare the route for the pipeline that is planned to carry heavy tarry material called bitumen, diluted with a solvent, from the tar sands of northern Alberta to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Blockaders locked themselves to heavy equipment to interfere with construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, November 19, 2012 (Photo courtesy Tar Sands Blockade)
While the trans-border section of the pipeline needs a permit from President Barack Obama, sections of the pipeline within the United States do not.
Those locked to the heavy machinery were joined by several others forming a human chain to block the movement of the machinery, while more than 30 people walked onto the same construction site to halt work early this morning.
Meanwhile, three other protesters put up a new tree blockade at a crossing of the Angelina River, suspending themselves from 50 foot pine trees with life lines anchored to heavy machinery, effectively blocking the entirety of Keystone XL’s path.
Tar Sands Blockade is a coalition of Texas and Oklahoma landowners and climate justice organizers using peaceful and sustained civil disobedience to stop the construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Organizers of today’s Tar Sands Blockade Day of Action say they are acting in solidarity with local landowners struggling to protect their water and land from pipeline spills.
The Keystone XL pipeline route crosses 16 large rivers in Texas, including the site of today’s tree blockade, the scenic Angelina River. Climbing 50-foot pine trees in forested bottomlands, the tree blockaders arranged their platforms and settled in for a long standoff in protection of fresh drinking and agricultural water.
But within a few hours they were in custody and on their way to jail.
One of the Angelina tree sitters, Lizzy Alvarado, is a cinematography student at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches and a founder of the Nacogdoches Rat Skulls, an all female cycling advocacy organization.
Tar Sands Blockade tree sitter Lizzy Alvarado on a platform near the Angelina River, November 19, 2012 (Photo courtesy Tar Sands Blockade)
“I climbed this tree in honor of all the landowners who have been bullied mercilessly into signing easement contracts and who were then silenced through fear by TransCanada’s threat of endless litigation,” said Alvarado. “That’s not what this country stands for in my mind, and if we don’t take a stand here to secure our rights now, then it will keep happening to everyone.”
“What’s happening isn’t just threatening my community’s drinking water but it will threaten that of all communities along the pipeline’s path,” she said.
Cherokee County sheriffs were caught on tape making multiple threats to cut the support lines of the tree blockaders, which could have been fatal for Alvarado and the other blockaders.
But instead the sheriffs brought in a cherry picker to extract the blockaders. In response, a several dozen ground supporters stood in front of the truck with the cherry picker and pushed up against it in an attempt to stop it. The truck driver refused to stop until the truck hit one of the supporters and almost dragged him underneath the vehicle.
To disperse the blockade supporters, law enforcement officials sprayed people in the face with pepper spray, including Jeanette Singleton, a 75 year old woman with a heart condition.
Eye-witnesses say that Alvarado and another blockader were strip-searched by police after they were arrested. “Lizzy’s flexicuffs were also fastened so tightly that she was brought to tears and begging to have them loosened. When they were finally removed, they left marks on her wrists. Police were also very aggressive about removing Lizzy’s piercings,” said a Tar Sands Blockade spokesperson.
All four blockaders locked to the heavy machinery were also arrested after being pepper sprayed and placed in pain compliance positions by Cherokee County sheriffs. Supporters at the ground blockade and at the tree blockade also were arrested.
Those arrested will not be released until after they see a judge in the morning. Their charges are not unknown.
A tar sands blockader is removed from lockdown by Cherokee County sheriffs after he was peppersprayed, November 19, 2012 (Photo courtesy Tar Sands Blockade)
“Tar Sands Blockade stands with all communities affected by the Canadian tar sands,” said Ron Seifert, a Tar Sands Blockade spokesperson. “From indigenous nations in Alberta, Canada to the besieged refinery neighborhoods of the American Gulf Coast where the tar sands will be refined, there’s a groundswell of resistance demanding an end to toxic tar sands exploitation.”
While these multi-site actions halted Keystone XL construction this morning, local community members rallied at Lake Nacogdoches to further highlight the threats Keystone XL poses to the community’s watershed and public health.
Environment News Service (http://s.tt/1uaGG)
More at the linkTwelve people were arrested in east Texas today as they blockaded construction of... more
Today, former TransCanada engineer Evan Vokes blew the whistle on his company's incompetent pipeline inspectors and non-compliance with Canada's welding regulations.Today, former TransCanada engineer Evan Vokes blew the whistle on his company's... more