Anti-Extraction Campaigner Glen Collins Sentenced to 60 Days for KXL Action

glen-texas-279x300From RAMPS:

Glen Collins is in Smith County Jail in Texas tonight after pleading guilty to charges of trespassing and illegal dumping stemming from his blockade of the Keystone XL pipeline last December.  In one of the most striking actions in the Tar Sands Blockade campaign, Glen locked himself with Matt Almonte to a concrete barrel inside the KXL pipeline.  He was sentenced to 60 days in jail – the longest sentence of the three activists arrested that day.  We are currently waiting to find out how the 3 weeks Glen spent in jail following his action will be counted against his sentence.  Due to the overwhelming weirdness of the Texas legal system, it’s uncertain how much time he has left to serve.

Glen has checked in from jail and is doing fine as far as jail goes.  We are supporting him in every way we can from up here in WV.  To help support Glen, please donate to the RAMPS general fund which we are using to pay for collect calls from jail, commissary and sending him books to help pass the time.

Glen took action in Texas as a part of our deep commitment to true solidarity, made of action, not words across all struggles against extraction.  As he said at the time, “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.  This fight in East Texas against tar sands exploitation is one and the same as our fight in the hollers of West Virginia. Dirty energy extraction doesn’t just threaten my home; it threatens the collective future of the planet.”

Blockader Encases Arm in Concrete and Shuts Down Work on Keystone XL Site in Oklahoma

Cross-posted from Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance

Lula, OK—Thursday, April 25, 7:30AM -A protester with the group Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance has stopped construction of the Keystone XL pipeline 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. This 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 has 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 cause 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, TX, 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.”

Today’s action comes just a few weeks after the devastating tar sands spill in Mayflower, Arkansas, which has left communities across Oklahoma and Texas terrified that they may be the next victims of reckless industry practices. Survivors of the spill in Mayflower have reported nausea, blurred vision, vomiting, and black outs caused by the same blend of raw tar and poisonous chemical solvents that will be transported through Keystone XL.

RTNA April Newsletter: Fossil Fuel Resistance Heating Up!

seattleFossil Fuel Resistance Heating Up!


May 17th-19th – Central Wisconsin Action Camp – Stevens Point, Wisconsin

The Central Wisconsin Action Camp will bring together organizers and activists from Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region to foster a culture of direct action that challenges false solutions to environmental and economic problems including upcoming regional infrastructure projects.

May 19th-27th – Mountain Justice Summer Action Camp – Damascus, VA

Join Mountain Justice this year near Damascus, VA. Mountain Justice has grown from a fast burning brush fire that helped push Mountaintop Removal to national awareness into a critical support network at the base of a growing, national anti-extractive industry movement for social and environmental justice.

May 26th-June 1st – Resist the Biotech Tree Conference – Asheville, North Carolina

Join activists from around the country to protest an international gathering of scientists and industry executives who are working to replace our native forests with genetically engineered tree farms.

June 15th-23rd – Wild Roots Feral Futures – Southwest Colorado

For the 5th year running, the Wild Roots Feral Futures (WRFF) eco-defense, direct action, and rewilding encampment will take place in the forests of Southwest Colorado this coming June, 2013.

July 23rd-29th – Trans and Womyn’s Actions Camp – Near Eugene, Oregon

TWAC is a movement to unite, support and inspire trans and women activists to take action against patriarchy, oppression and exploitation and in defense of our communities and ecosystems.


Oklahoma Grandmother Locks Herself to Keystone XL Heavy Machinery — Halts Construction

Last week Oklahoma grandmother Nancy Zorn, 79, from Warr Acres, has locked herself to a piece of heavy machinery effectively halting construction on TransCanada’s Keystone XL toxic tar sands pipeline. This action comes in the wake of the disastrous tar sands pipeline spill in Mayflower Arkansas, where an estimated 80,000 gallons of tar sands spilled into a residential neighborhood and local waterways.

Read more – Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance

Environmentalists Put Their Bodies on the Line to Protest Keystone Pipeline Profiteers

Last month in the nation’s capital, five members of DC Rising Tide participated in a peaceful act of civil disobedience against one of the corporations that stands to profit from the Keystone XL Pipeline. The five were arrested by DC metro police after a sit down peaceful protest in the lobby of 601 Pennsylvania Avenue, which is the DC corporate office of Valero Energy Corp. Valero owns oil refineries that are poised to receive at least 20% of the tar sands exported from Canada through the nation’s heartland to Texas.

Read more – Rising Tide North America

Global Day of Action against Chevron and the Pacific Trail Pipeline

Everywhere Chevron operates they exploit land and people for shareholder profit, often they use force and intimidation, very rarely do they take responsibility for the consequences. From the US to Nigeria, Australia to Equador, Brazil to Bangladesh, Chevron brings death and destruction. In Canada, Chevron’s Pacific Trail Pipeline threatens unceded indigenous land. Last month groups from around the world united and took action in solidarity with the Unist’ot’en and all frontline communities affected by Chevron, to clearly state, Chevron your time has come your days are numbered! Stop Fracking Chevron!

Read more – Unist’ot’en Camp




Two Lifelong Oklahomans Halt Construction of Keystone XL Work Site


Action in Oklahoma

Cross-Posted from Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance

BRYAN COUNTY, OK – Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 8:00AM – Two lifelong Oklahomans have effectively halted construction on an active work site for TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in Bennington, Oklahoma.

Eric Whelan, 26, who grew up in McLoud, Okla., has ascended 40 feet into the air in an aerial blockade that began at dawn this morning.

Gwen Ingram of Luther, Okla., 56, has locked herself to heavy machinery and shut down the construction site.

Today’s event marks the fourth act of civil disobedience by Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance and comes in the wake of the disastrous tar sands pipeline spill in Mayflower, Arkansas.  For the last three weeks, over 300,000 gallons of tar sands diluted bitumen have spilled into a residential neighborhood and local waterways.

“Keystone XL sounded like a bad idea from the beginning,” explained Whelan. “The Mayflower spill proves that we shouldn’t be trusting these multi-national corporations, like Exxon or TransCanada, because every spill further exposes their criminal incompetence. Now, TransCanada wants to build a toxic pipeline through the center of the country.

“I’m taking action to prevent a tragedy like that from happening in Oklahoma.”

The tar sands’ corrosive nature makes pipelines more prone to leaks than transporting crude oil, as evidenced by the Exxon’s Pegasus pipeline burst in Mayflower, Ark.

Luther resident Gwen Ingram before her direct action in Bennington, Oklahoma.

When spills inevitably do occur, the heavier diluted bitumen sinks in water and into the water table. Keystone XL’s proposed route cuts through the heartland of North America, crossing the Arbuckle Simpson and Edwards Trinity Aquifer in Oklahoma.

“The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would carry the dirtiest fuel on the planet from Canada to America’s Gulf Coast’s refineries and ports, and then overseas for export,” said Gwen Ingram, before locking herself to TransCanada’s heavy machinery.

“I simply won’t allow this pipeline to cross our precious rivers; the North and South Canadian, The Red River, The Cimmaron and threaten our drinking water.”