Dozens of Activists Halt Keystone XL Pipeline Construction

Search form

Dozens of Activists Halt Keystone XL Pipeline Construction

Dozens of Activists Halt Keystone XL Pipeline Construction
Mon, 11/19/2012 - by Tar Sands Blockade

Nacogdoches, TX – Four people locked themselves to heavy machinery used along the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline route this morning. 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.

Keystone XL would cross 16 large rivers in Texas, including the site of today's latest tree blockade, the scenic Angelina River. Nestled amongst 50 foot pine trees in forested bottomlands, the tree blockaders have settled in for a long standoff in protection of their fresh drinking and agricultural water. The waters downstream feed into the popular Sam Rayburn Reservoir, the largest lake entirely within the state of Texas, renowned for its angling opportunities and competitions.

“Tar Sands Blockade stands with all communities affected by the Canadian tar sands," insisted 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. Today's events simply mark the latest in our sustained, community-based civil disobedience campaign, and many more communities are destined to rise up to defend their homes from TransCanada's fraud, bullying, and reckless endangerment of their lives and fresh water."

Included amongst the Angelina tree sitters is local Stephen F. Austin State University student, Lizzy Alvarado, 21, an Austin-born, third-year cinematography major. Leading outdoor excursions for other local youth and having helped found the Nacogdoches Rat Skulls, an all female cycling-advocacy organization, Alvarado is an active member of the Nacogdoches community.

“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. 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,” proclaimed Alvarado. “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.“

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. These events around the Nacogdoches area coincide with a week's worth of events in solidarity with Tar Sands Blockade. Scheduled to occur in over 40 communities around the world, these actions highlight the urgent need to address the climate crisis.

Some actions have targeted policy makers or financial institutions bankrolling dirty energy projects while others rallied to address the damage done by Hurricane Sandy through community organizing and connecting extreme weather to extreme extraction. Yesterday in Washington, DC, more than 3,000 gathered at the White House to call on President Obama to reject the permit for the northern segment of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline. Other actions are scheduled to happen today and later this week.

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.

“From the Sandy-decimate streets of New York City to these piney woods here in East Texas, communities are resisting dangerous corporations like TransCanada. These solidarity actions are part of a burgeoning movement of ordinary folks coming together in their neighborhoods, schools, and community centers to draw the connections between extreme extraction like tar sands exploitation and extreme weather like the droughts devastating farmers and ranchers all over Texas and the Midwest. Today we rally to build a future where all people and the planet are healthy and thriving,” said Kim Huynh, a spokesperson for the Tar Sands Blockade.

Article Tabs

FarmDrop and Open Food Network stress the desire to create positive, systemic social change that disrupts the existing dominance of supermarket provision of food.

Republicans are arguing that Wall Street should have the constitutional right to influence politicians and the investment decisions those politicians make on behalf of pension funds and pensioners.

As the outrage in Ferguson takes on new forms and becomes less openly confrontational, the shooting of Michael Brown has started a nationwide dialogue about race, class and American law enforcement.

The vote on Independence is a moment of unprecedented possibility for Scotland to peacefully reject the U.K.'s failed neoliberal agenda.

Grassroots organizations that once made American democracy strong plummeted in the Reagan era – when political parties stopped representing the views of constituents and turned instead to money.

Charlie Hardy, the 75-year-old former Catholic priest now running for Senate, wants to halt NSA spying on ordinary citizens and overturn Citizens United with a Constitutional amendment.

Posted 6 days 10 hours ago

If we want a healthy society that follows its laws and applies them equally to everyone, we must demand a full investigation and criminal prosecutions for everyone involved in the mortgage backed securities fiasco.

Posted 4 days 1 hour ago

The vote on Independence is a moment of unprecedented possibility for Scotland to peacefully reject the U.K.'s failed neoliberal agenda.

Posted 3 days 6 hours ago

From clashes during the Occupy movement to violence this month in Ferguson, Mo., researchers say protests get ugly when officers use aggressive tactics, dress in riot gear and line up like military.

Posted 6 days 9 hours ago

FarmDrop and Open Food Network stress the desire to create positive, systemic social change that disrupts the existing dominance of supermarket provision of food.

Posted 3 days 6 hours ago

Through rent-seeking, graft and everyday corruption, billionaires in crony sectors have had a great century so far.

The ideological division that now runs under the Republican party is making itself known with tremors around climate change, and specifically the issue of household solar installation.

The giant chemical maker was one of several corporations that helped finance a web of so-called “social welfare” nonprofits not legally obligated to publicly identify their funders.

Leaked files suggest the NSA, in partnership with its British counterpart GCHQ, is collecting information "at will" by intercepting cables that connect Google and Yahoo's data hubs.

Debt Versus Democracy: A Battle for the Future

In the U.S. and Europe, the movement of squares is articulating full-scale resistance.

Sign Up