In Oklahoma, Blockader Encases Arm In Concrete to Halt Keystone XL Construction

Search form

In Oklahoma, Blockader Encases Arm In Concrete to Halt Keystone XL Construction

In Oklahoma, Blockader Encases Arm In Concrete to Halt Keystone XL Construction
Fri, 4/26/2013 - by George Daniel

A protester with the group Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance stopped construction of the Keystone XL pipeline Thursday morning in Lula, Oklahoma, by locking his arm into a concrete capsule buried directly in the pipeline’s proposed path.

Fitzgerald Scott, 42, is the first African American to risk arrest while physically blockading TransCanada’s dangerous tar sands pipeline, and the second person to take action this week. On Monday a 61-year-old man locked himself to a piece of construction equipment effectively shutting down another Oklahoma pipeline construction site.

The week of action — called the “Red River Showdown” — is intended to protect the Red River, which marks the border between Oklahoma and Texas and is a major tributary of the Mississippi.

The site Scott blockaded is a wetland area where crews are attempting to lay sections of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline directly into the marshy waters. An undetected pinhole leak at this location would result in cancer causing chemicals to mix directly into the local community water table.

Scott, who has a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Illinois, Chicago, is a longtime activist for social and environmental justice. While organizing against Keystone over the past five months, Scott has met many people struggling to protect their homes from TransCanada’s abuse of eminent domain.

“I am doing this for the people who don’t have the financial resources to protect themselves from a bully like TransCanada,” explained Scott. “Imagine how much worse it is for them – like the mostly African American neighborhood in Winona, Texas, where protesters with the Tar Sands Blockade found holes in welds of the pipeline section that runs right behind a children’s playground, and neither TransCanada nor the government will do anything about it!”

As construction on the southern portion of Keystone XL nears two thirds completion, no regulators or politicians show any willingness to halt the project or even inspect those faulty welds. According to George Daniel, spokesperson for Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, “Scott’s action sends a clear message: because every other avenue has failed to stop this deadly project, we will blockade – all summer and on into the fall, if that’s what it takes.”

 
 

Article Tabs

The coalition was set to deliver more than 200,000 signatures to the White House, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice, calling for transparency and justice in police killings.

Divestment is less about denying fossil fuel companies the financial resources to operate – it's more about denying them reputation, legitimacy and “social license.”

Americans greatly underestimate the degree of inequality in our country – and if we were given proper media coverage of the endless takeaway of wealth by the super rich, we'd be taking it personally.

Wealthy people are often so isolated from the rest of us, many of them have forgotten how rich they really are.

Two political philosophers, Sheldon Wolin and John Ralson Saul, call for mass movements willing to carry out repeated acts of civil disobedience to disrupt and delegitimize corporate power.

Florida has the highest foreclosure rate in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2014, and also has a "foreclosure king" who is now disbarred for his failure to oversee employees accused of carrying out wrongful foreclosures.

Posted 4 days 3 hours ago

"Peoples' movements will either succeed in transforming our economic and political systems to build a new world, or we will burn with the old one."

Posted 4 days 3 hours ago

This isn't just a right to revolt, it's a call to revolt, an outright slam against apathy and nonresistance.

Posted 3 days 2 hours ago

On Sunday, hundreds of people milled around a protest site in the gentrifying, densely-populated district Mong Kok, manning aid stations and sitting in small circles on the pavement.

Posted 4 days 3 hours ago

Out of her $672 monthly disability check, Rochelle McCaskill spends $600 rent – leaving her unable to pay the city’s water bills, which have skyrocketed to more than twice the national average.

Posted 3 days 2 hours ago

Inequality is all anybody can talk about, except Democrats on the campaign trail who desperately need to turn out the very people so disproportionately affected by it: young and minority voters.

This isn't just a right to revolt, it's a call to revolt, an outright slam against apathy and nonresistance.

More than 110 students were reportedly arrested by the military-backed authorities during the first days of the new academic year.

Large corporations are the winners and taxpayers are the losers when transparency, accountability and the public interest are sold out to for-profit firms.

Divestment is less about denying fossil fuel companies the financial resources to operate – it's more about denying them reputation, legitimacy and “social license.”

Sign Up