Forty Blockaders Walk Onto TransCanada Worksite Near Nacogdoches, Launch Ground & Aerial Blockades

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

Day of Action Sees Dozens Walk On to Work Site as the Nacogdoches Community Rallies with Affected Landowners at Lake Nacogdoches to Protect Fresh Water Supply from Toxic Tar Sands

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*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.

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. 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,” insisted Ron Seifert, a Tar Sands Blockade spokesperson.

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-decimated 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.
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Tar Sands Megaload Fight Moves West To Spokane

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 21, 2012

Contact:
Justin Ellenbecker, Occupy Spokane: ellenbecker22@yahoo.com, 509-599-4549
Helen Yost, Wild Idaho Rising Tide wild.idaho.rising.tide@gmail.com, 208-301-8039

Photo:See available Facebook photos here

*Washington/Idaho Megaload Resistance*

At about 11:30 pm on Sunday night, May 20, a dozen activists from Occupy
Spokane and Wild Idaho Rising Tide converged in Spokane, Washington, to
protest megaloads of oversized equipment bound for Alberta tar sands
operations from the Port of Pasco.  ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil has been using
Highway 395, Interstate 90, and city streets in Spokane and Spokane Valley
since mid-October to transport road damaging shipments weighing up to
400,000 pounds and stretching over 200 feet long.  Diverted in Idaho from
their originally intended Highway 12 route by court challenges and from
their alternative Highway 95 path by Moscow area protests, these pieces of
a tar sands/bitumen processing plant will expand Canadian carbon fuel
extraction, American dependence on oil, and continental greenhouse gas
emissions, while reaping hefty profits for one of the wealthiest
corporations on Earth.

From the pedestrian walkway over East Third Avenue near South Regal Street,
Spokane climate justice activists draped banners asserting “No Dirty
Energy,” “Occupy 99%,” “Climate Killers,” “Highway to Hell,” and other
statements (see photos).  While waiting for the megaload convoys’ arrival,
they observed flaggers and warning signs posted along Third Avenue, support
vehicles cruising the area, and up to six Spokane city police cars parked
near the demonstrators.  Between midnight and 1:00 am on Monday, four
megaloads traversed Third Avenue, narrowly fitting under the pedestrian
overpass and between parked cars and activists with protest signs lining
both sides of the street.  Convoys consisting of Washington state trooper
escorts, flagger vehicles, and pilot trucks displaying illuminated
“oversized load” signs accompanied a silver, cylindrical module, two large,
blue, trailer-like boxes, and a frame structure full of pipes and parts.  A
protester later saw another megaload among a cluster of vehicles similarly
leaving the interstate at the Altamont Street exit in Spokane and the
Barker Road off-ramp in Spokane Valley.

Recognizing the international impacts of these transports, citizens
throughout the Northwest will continue to coordinate and organize
demonstrations to oppose and impede tar sands megaload traffic, to prevent
increasing carbon emissions causing global climate change and to dissuade
investors in such dirty energy schemes.  The mostly foreign-owned
corporations who have mined only two or three percent of the Alberta tar
sands are advancing the second fastest rate of deforestation in the world,
as they consume more energy, mostly derived from natural gas, than tar
sands fuels ultimately yield.  Their largest industrial project on Earth
pollutes exorbitant volumes of fresh water and deposits heavy metals,
carcinogens, and oil across vast swaths of Canadian boreal forests and
wetlands.  Resident First Nations villages practicing subsistence
lifestyles suffer rare cancers and disproportionate deaths, as the single
greatest contributor of atmospheric carbon in North America bodes “game
over” for the Earth’s climate.

People interested in upcoming expressions of First Amendment rights through
anti-megaload assemblies in the Spokane area can contact Occupy Spokane
and/or Wild Idaho Rising Tide for more information about the time and
location of protests.

Tar Sands Action: Rising Tide Portland in Solidarity

Portland Rising Tide dropped an anti-tar sands banner today from the Burnside Bridge. The group is acting in solidarity with communities, organizations and individuals resisting tar sands development across North America.

Rising Tide’s action comes on the heels of the 2-week Tar Sands Action campaign in Washington DC. 1,253 American’s were arrested in an act of civil disobedience at the White House to send a message to President Obama, asking him to stand up to Big Oil and deny the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline permits.

 

The Keystone XL pipeline is required for Big Oil to profit off of the social and environmental disaster that is the Alberta tar sands. Current tar sands mining has brought increased cancer rates, polluted water, and mass die-offs of birds and fish in the largely First Nation communities of northern Alberta.

Tar Sands Action organizers have put a call out for activists to hold the date October 7th for further action. This is the final Congressional hearing on the Keystone XL pipeline. Regionally, people are encouraged to visit their local Obama 2012 headquarters and inform staffers that you will withhold your support in the upcoming presidential elections until the pipeline is stopped.

From St. Louis to DC and Beyond: Why Shouldn’t We Be Risking Arrest? Great new b…

From St. Louis to DC and Beyond: Why Shouldn’t We Be Risking Arrest? Great new blog by Arielle Klagsbrun, one of the Midwest Rising 15.


From Midwest Rising to the Tar Sands Action, Civil Disobedience as Tactic for Change « It’s Getting.
itsgettinghotinhere.org
Last Saturday, while listening to the “Why Direct Action?” panel at the Midwest Rising Convergence, I whispered to my close friend Todd sitting next to me, “I think I’m going to risk arrest on Monday.” He responded, “Why shouldn’t you?”