More Than 100 Protesters Take Over TransCanada’s Keystone XL Offices in Houston

*More Than 100 Protesters Take Over TransCanada’s Keystone XL Offices in Houston*
MEDIA RELEASE: Jan 7, 2013

Contact: Kim Huynh, Tar Sands Blockade, 940-268-5375,
kxlblockade@gmail.com<https://fruiteater.riseup.net/sm/src/compose.php?send_to=kxlblockade%40gmail.com>

Liveblog and photos:
http://tarsandsblockade.org/houston-action-transcanada-offices

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*Tar Sands Blockade Proclaims Next Phase of Organizing with Largest-Yet Action*
*HOUSTON, TX, JANUARY 3, 2013 12:00PM*: Over 100 blockaders stormed the
lobby of TransCanada’s Keystone XL office in Houston this morning.
Protesters danced, spilled black ‘tar sands’ balloons and hung neon orange
hazard tape to highlight the deadly effects of TransCanada’s corporate
greed on communities and ecosystems.

After being forced out of the lobby by police, the protesters gathered on
the sidewalk and performed street theatre in which a “pipe dragon” puppet
destroyed homes and poisoned water until being slain by knights
representing the grassroots coalition of Tar Sands Blockade, Idle No More,
Earth First and others.

Today’s action was the largest yet in the months-long campaign by climate
justice organizers and Texas landowners against the pipeline and the first
mass action in Houston targeting TransCanada corporate offices directly. It
kicks off a new phase of Blockade organizing, targeting the corporate,
political and financial infrastructure behind the Keystone XL pipeline with
solidarity actions planned across the country this week, including in
Austin, Detroit and New York City.

Activist collective Anonymous today released the personal information of
TransCanada executives and Keystone XL’s financial backers in solidarity
with the launch of the Blockade’s new strategy phase. Protesters are
currently chained together and actively occupying TransCanada’s offices
near Boston.

“From the Texas backwoods to the corporate boardrooms, the fight to defend
our homes from toxic tar sands will not be ignored,” said Ramsey Sprague, a
Tar Sands Blockade spokesperson. “We’re here today to directly confront the
TransCanada executives who’re continuing on with business as usual while making
our communities sacrifice zones.”

Last Thursday, a tree blockade near Diboll, TX brought TransCanada’s
illegal practices to light, showing that they hadn’t received permission
from the county commissioner to build the pipeline through county land.

In addition to land and water concerns, the Keystone XL pipeline is a
classic case of environmental racism. In Houston, the low-income
neighborhoods near refineries, such as Manchester, whose residents are 90%
Latino, will have to breathe the noxious wastes of the tar sands refining
process.

“We’ve done everything we can to stop this pipeline: we’ve petitioned,
rallied and taken direct action. The historic resistance to this pipeline
shows how risky an investment this and other tar sands pipelines have
become,” said Alec Johnson, one of the office blockaders. “Tar sands oil
spilling into our waterways and millions of tons of carbon pollution
spilling into the atmosphere means that this industry’s days are numbered.”

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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. For
more information visit tarsandsblockade.org or follow us at @KXLBlockade.
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