tar sands blockade


BREAKING: Two blockaders - Glen Collins & Matt Almonte - have barricaded themselves inside the Keystone XL Pipeline to protest its inevitable environmental destruction.

Police are threatening to lift the pipe to remove them and to bring in canine units, as well as tear gas them out of the pipe. “Doing so would cause serious harm or even death; Matt and Glen are locked between two barrels of concrete which weigh over six hundred pounds each.”

“I’m barricading this pipe with Tar Sands Blockade today to say loud and clear to the extraction industry that our communities and the resources we depend on for survival are not collateral damage,” said Collins, another blockader inside the pipe and an organizer with Radical Action for Mountain Peoples Survival (RAMPS) and Mountain Justice, grassroots campaigns in Appalachia working to stop mountaintop removal coal mining.

In Winnsboro, Dr. Jill Stein has been arrested, taken to Wood County Jail, and is awaiting processing. The freelance reporter has been released from detainment without arrest or charge. – http://tarsandsblockade.org/11th-action/

A statement from Dr. Jill Stein:

“I’m here to connect the dots between super storm Sandy and the record heat, drought, and fire we’ve seen this year – and this Tar Sands pipeline, which will make all of these problems much worse. And I’m here to connect the dots between climate devastation and pipeline politicians – both Obama and Romney – who are competing, as we saw in the debates, for the role of Puppet In Chief for the fossil fuel industry. Both deserve that title. Obama’s record of “drill baby drill” has gone beyond the harm done by George Bush. Mitt Romney promises more of the same.”

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UPDATE: expecting @jillstein2012 2 be released fr WoodCty jail w/in the hr; all quiet in Sacul as police & TC workers have left site #noKXL

— Tar Sands Blockade (@KXLBlockade)

October 31, 2012


Image 1: “Everybody (at the company and in government) is freaking out about this. We don’t understand what happened. Nobody really understands how to stop it from leaking, or if they do they haven’t put the measures into place.” -Anonymous Canadian Scientist

So far 4,500 barrels of tar sands have already been recovered…. but no one knows how to stop it from leaking more!

Since May there have been 4 tar sands spills in Cold Lake, Alberta on Beaver Lake Cree First Nation territory. More here.

Image 2: Residents of Houston’s East End were recently stopped and questioned by Valero security and the Houston Police Dept.

Their crime? Doing basic air quality tests near the Valero tar sands refinery in Manchester!

Image 3: While scouring East Texas for Anomalies on the KXL, evidence supporting Transcanada’s claim of “state-of- the- art materials and techniques used to construct the Keystone XL pipeline” was found. A crack in the foundation of Transcanada’s lies!

This site pictured here is a valve station, and is part of the highly advanced emergency shutoff system that Transcanada intends to use in case of a pipeline leak. It is frightening to think that this is the foundation of a supposedly high tech system to protect against a Tar Sands spill.

To see photos like this on your feed everyday ‘LIKE’ & ‘FAVORITE' Tar Sands Blockade & The People’s Record on Facebook.


Landowner’s Dream of Sustainable Biofuel Farm Destroyed by TransCanada – http://tarsandsblockade.org/michael-bishops-struggle-to-save-his-home/

Outside the small, East Texas town of Douglass, TransCanada continues bulldozing and clearing to make way for the construction of their toxic tar sands pipeline, leaving a 110-foot wide scar of desert spanning across forests and front yards.

One resident, Michael Bishop, has been fighting the devastating project for years in an effort to save his home and livelihood from what he describes as an invasion of a foreign company that will forever ruin his land and business.

#NoKXL #TarSandsBlockade 

Doug Grant, 65 from San Francisco, CA, says, “Having worked for years for Exxon, I know how enticing it is to want to develop the Alberta Tar Sands, but it’s just wrong; wrong for the folks who live near the surface mines and toxic ponds, wrong for the landowners who are coerced under duress into contracts or taken to court to have their homes stolen from them, and just wrong for the climate.”

More than 50 enter tree blockade in defiance of police repression to defend tree-sitters
October 16, 2012

Following a weekend of nonviolent civil disobedience training in North Texas by Tar Sands Blockade, dozens of protesters and supporters are rallying today at the site of the largest and longest tree sit in Texas history to stage the largest walk-on site protest and civil disobedience in the history of Keystone XL pipeline construction. Several individuals are defending the tree sitters and the trees by locking themselves to construction equipment being used in proximity to the forest blockade. Solidarity actions are also taking place in Washington DC, Boston, Austin and New York City.

Altogether more than 50 blockaders are risking arrest to stop Keystone XL construction and bring attention to TransCanada’s repression of journalists attempting to cover the blockaders’ side of the story. They are joined by dozens of supporters who are rallying on public property with colorful banners and signs alongside the easement’s closest highway crossing. A massive media team is in tow to document the day of action and any possible police repression.

As the Winnsboro tree blockade enters its fourth week, the blockaders are publicly demonstrating on the Keystone XL easement despite the threat of a newly-expanded Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) by TransCanada and egregious criminal overcharges by local law enforcement. Due to the SLAPP suits’ outrageous claims, the tree sitters have by-and-large felt too threatened to safely reveal their identities, despite their protest being nonviolent. That the defiant walk-on protest is the largest yet attempted in the history of protests surrounding Keystone XL construction sends a clear signal that the blockaders will not be deterred by SLAPP suits and other legal threats to limit their civil liberties.

“Three weeks is a long time to be sitting in a tree. The training I got this weekend has me ready to rise up and join the sitters in defending Texas homes from the toxic tar sands,” shared Glenn Hobbit, 28. “They’re saying we might get sued or worse, but stopping this pipeline is too important.”

Last week, the multinational corporation opened a civil suit in which it named 19 individual defendants, 3 organizations, and 6 anonymous tree sitters for a total of 28 defendants seeking an injunction, declaratory relief, and damages. All the named defendants are former arrestees of Tar Sands Blockade actions with the exception of media spokesperson Ron Seifert, who has yet been arrested in connection with a protest, and area landowner Eleanor Fairchild, who acted independently with activist and actor Daryl Hannah. Hannah was not named in the suit.

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.

“In reality, Tar Sands Blockade is not trespassing on TransCanada’s property. Many of TransCanada’s easement contracts were brokered through fraud and intimidation, and their entire legal foundation is being challenged in the courts for those reasons,” explained Ron Seifert, Tar Sands Blockade spokesperson. “If anything TransCanada is trespassing on the property of landowners who never wanted anything to do with their dangerous tar sands pipeline.”


BREAKING: 40 People Stop Keystone XL Construction: Four Lock to Machinery, Nacogdoches Student and Two Others Launch a New Tree Blockade

NACOGDOCHES, TX – MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2012 8:00AM – Today, four people locked themselves to heavy machinery used along the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline route. They were joined by several others forming a human chain to block the movement of heavy machinery onsite, while more than 30 people walked onto the same construction site to halt work early this morning. Meanwhile, three others launched 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. Today’s Day of Action is in solidarity with local landowners struggling to protect their water and land from TransCanada’s toxic tar sands pipeline.

Detroit protests Keystone XL Pipeline

Where: Meeting at the Michigan Soldiers & Sailors Monument at Campus Martius at 1PM and proceeding to the action in front of Chase Bank, Downtown Detroit at 611 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI

When: Jan 7th, 1-2pm

Who: All people who want a sustainable planet for their children.

Monday January 7th 2013 is a national day of protest to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. Continue reading →

(via Detroit Solidarity Action For The Keystone XL Blockade)

Spectacular Aerial Tree Blockade Halts Construction in Solidarity with #IdleNoMore First Nations Movement – http://tarsandsblockade.org/15th-action/

Diboll, TX, January 3, 2013 9:00AM — Late last night, blockaders set up two “dump platforms” in trees outside of Diboll, Texas which would otherwise be cleared to make way for TransCanada’s Keystone XL toxic tar sands pipeline.

These special “dump platforms” are shielded by an unprecedented 80-100 ft perimeter of life-lines which, if disturbed, would certainly dump the two blockaders nested in them roughly 50-60 ft in the air. The Blockaders are sitting in solidarity with the now global Idle No More campaign for First Nation’s human rights and tribal sovereignty that very recently started in Canada.

#NoKXL #TarSandsBlckade #Occupy

This new tree blockade comes just a couple weeks after the end of Tar Sands Blockade’s 85-day tree blockade near Winnsboro, TX. TransCanada rerouted the tar sands pipeline to go around the Winnsboro tree blockade, despite having told countless landowners, including Douglass resident Mike Bishop, that the route was set in stone and could not be altered to avoid bulldozing their cropland, or to go around schools, neighborhoods, or ecologically sensitive areas.

Texas judge halts Keystone XL construction 
December 11, 2012

A Texas judge has ordered TransCanada to temporarily halt work on a private property where it is building part of an oil pipeline designed to carry tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast, the latest legal battle to plague a project that has encountered numerous obstacles nationwide.

Texas landowner Michael Bishop, who is defending himself in his legal battle against the oil giant, filed his lawsuit in the Nacogdoches County courthouse, arguing that TransCanada lied to Texans when it said it would be using the Keystone XL pipeline to transport crude oil.

Tar sands oil - or diluted bitumen - does not meet the definition as outlined in Texas and federal statutory codes which define crude oil as “liquid hydrocarbons extracted from the earth at atmospheric temperatures,” Bishop said. When tar sands are extracted in Alberta, Canada, the material is almost a solid and “has to be heated and diluted in order to even be transmitted,” he told The Associated Press exclusively.

“They lied to the American people,” Bishop said.

Texas County Court at Law Judge Jack Sinz signed a temporary restraining order and injunction Friday, saying there was sufficient cause to halt work until a hearing Dec. 19. The two-week injunction went into effect Tuesday after Bishop posted bond.

David Dodson, a spokesman for TransCanada, said courts have already ruled that tar sands are a form of crude oil. He said the injunction will not delay the project.

Environmentalists are concerned that if the pipeline leaks or a spill occurs, the heavy tar sands will contaminate water and land. The tar sands, they argue, are more difficult to clean than regular crude, and U.S. pipeline regulations are not suited to transport the product. They also say refining the product will further pollute the air in the Texas Gulf Coast. The state already leads the nation in greenhouse gas emissions and industrial pollution.

In February, another judge briefly halted work on the pipeline in northeast Texas due to archaeological artifacts on the property. The judge later ruled the work could resume. The pipeline is being built, although the landowner is fighting the condemnation of her land.

TransCanada wants to build a pipeline to transport tar sands from Alberta to the Gulf Coast, but has encountered roadblocks along the way. To cross the U.S.-Canadian border, the company needs a presidential permit, which was rejected earlier this year by President Barack Obama, who suggested the company reroute to avoid a sensitive environmental area in Nebraska. The company plans to reroute that portion.

In the meantime, Obama encouraged the company to pursue a shorter portion of the pipeline from Oklahoma to Texas, which would help relieve a bottleneck in Cushing. TransCanada received the necessary permits for that southern portion earlier this year and began construction.

But many Texas landowners have taken to the courts to fight the company’s land condemnations in a state that has long wed its fortunes to oil.

Bishop owns 20 acres in Douglass, a town about 160 miles north of Houston. He used to raise poultry and goats on the land where he lives with his wife and 16-year-old daughter, he said, but sold the animals about two years ago because of the planned pipeline. Initially, the Vietnam War veteran said, he fought the company’s attempt to condemn his land, but settled because he could not afford the lawyer’s fees of $10,000.

Bishop said he settled under “duress,” so he bought a law book and decided to defend himself. Since then, he has filed a lawsuit in Austin against the Texas Railroad Commission, the state agency that oversees pipelines, arguing it failed to properly investigate the pipeline and protect groundwater, public health and safety.

Aware that the oil giant could have a battery of lawyers and experts at the hearing later this month, Bishop, a 64-year-old retired chemist currently in medical school, said he is determined to fight.

“Bring ‘em on. I’m a United States Marine. I’m not afraid of anyone. I’m not afraid of them,” he said. “When I’m done with them, they will know that they’ve been in a fight. I may not win, but I’m going to hurt them.”


Fuck TransCanada. Power to Tar Sands Blockaders & those fighting the Keystone XL!


Iron Hands Behind the Pine Curtain

Here is how the Cherokee County deputies tried to detach the blockaders from the machinery: They pepper-sprayed them in the face. When the protesters still didn’t release themselves, the deputies set about the laborious job of cutting through the locks binding them to the trucks. They got the first pair free and dragged them over to a bulldozer while they set to work on the next pair.

This took the better part of an hour, during which time we could see the unlocked protesters leaning against the bulldozer. One protester’s face was beet-red. Sheriff’s deputies knelt around him. They seemed to be speaking. Suddenly the protester started laughing.

“You should hear what he said,” he yelled. “He just told me, ‘At least this time you’re not shouting ‘black power.’”

Eventually the second pair of protesters released themselves. The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office says they did so voluntarily; the protesters say deputies pepper-sprayed them in the face repeatedly until they unlocked themselves.

A gripping, engaging article on earlier Tar Sands Blockade actions, police brutality, and the human drama behind the headlines. This is just one excerpt, read the entire piece– its great

Chris Hedges: Join the Blockade of the Keystone Pipeline | Truthdig

Keystone XL is part of the final phase of extreme exploitation by the corporate state. The corporations intend to squeeze the last vestiges of profit from an ecosystem careening toward collapse. Most of the oil that can be reached through drilling from traditional rigs is depleted. The fossil fuel industry has, in response, developed new technologies to go after dirtier, less efficient forms of energy. These technologies bring with them a dramatically heightened cost to ecosystems. They accelerate the warming of the planet. And they contaminate vital water sources. Deep-water Arctic drilling, tar sand extraction, hydraulic fracturing (or hydro-fracking) and drilling horizontally, given the cost of extraction and effects on the environment, are a form of ecological suicide.

Appealing to the corporate state, or trusting the leaders of either party to halt the assault after the election, is futile. We must immediately obstruct this pipeline or accept our surrender to forces that, in the name of profit, intend to cash in on the death throes of the planet.