*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, email@example.com<https://fruiteater.riseup.net/sm/src/compose.php?send_to=kxlblockade%40gmail.com> Liveblog and photos: http://tarsandsblockade.org/houston-action-transcanada-offices * * *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.” #### 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.
From mine takeovers in West Virginia and occupations of the Montana State House to a spectacular tree blockade in East Texas, we’ve brought the heat against the worst earth destroyers in the business. Now we’re asking you to dig deep into your pockets and donate to Rising Tide North America, so we can do it again in 2013.
We’ll be doing bigger and more badass things next year, including:
- Fighting Tar Sands not only in Texas, but in New England, Idaho and up and down the Keystone XL pipeline route.
- Making a stink about Alaskan coal exploration and extraction.
- Hosting at Northwest Coal Exports Convergence.
- Standing with frontline communities wherever we’re needed.
There is a grassroots uprising against the fossil fuel industry and we’re out there organizing and leading it. Help us make it happen in 2013.
Thanks for all you do.
Solidarity, Rising Tide North America
P.S. Our friends and family at Rainforest Action Network (RAN) suffered a tragic loss this week when their executive director Becky Tarbotton died in a swimming accident last week in Mexico. Rising Tide will honor Becky by keeping her spirit, ferocity and dedication to making a better world in our hearts and ongoing work. Please visit Becky’s tribute page at ran.org/becky and leave a comment in her memory.
Our climate movement is fierce.
And we’re not afraid to stand up to the worst drilling and mining companies on the planet.
Over six years ago in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Rising Tide North America emerged as a radical force in the climate movements. Seeking to connect the dots between climate change and social justice, we have built a network throughout North America that has not only fought on the frontlines of climate justice, but challenged the root causes of climate change while there.
2012 has been a watershed year for the climate movements. Community led campaigns against fracking have sprouted up in OH, PA and NY. Appalachians occupied and shut down the largest strip mining site in West Virginia. Climate activists joined up with Texas landowners to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline.
At the center of each of these environmental mobilizations and campaigns have been Rising Tide chapters and activists. This year, we’ve:
- Started new chapters from Alaska to Santa Cruz, CA to Toronto to Vermont to the Florida Keys.
- Worked with the Tar Sands Blockade in a direct action campaign to stop the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline.
- Trained and organized activists for civil disobediences at the Mountain Mobilization in West Virginia, the Coal Exports Action in Helena, Montana and many other events.
- Coordinated with the “Summer of Solidarity” which included actions against fracking, mountaintop removal and tar sands.
Whether its $5, $50 or $500, we’ll take whatever you can give. We’re an all-volunteer network of activists and we don’t take money from large foundations or celebrity donors. We only have you.
Please donate and help us build this movement.
Check out our latest newsletter!
Climate Justice Activists Launch Hunger Strike With Blockade At Houston Refinery
Bob Lindsey Jr. and Diane Wilson began a sustained hunger strike to demand that Valero divest entirely from the Keystone XL pipeline and invest that money into the health and well-being of the people of the neighborhood of Manchester (next to the refinery.) Hunger strikers began their protest in the Harris County Jail after blockading the refinery for several hours.
Read More Here: http://tarsandsblockade.org/13th-action/
Raising Resistance: Action Across North America in Solidarity with Unist’ot’en
Allies of the Unist’ot’en Camp held solidarity actions across North America, and around the world, warning industry and government to end their trespass against sovereign Wet’suwet’en territory. The camp is working to stop several proposed pipelines and shale gas projects in the Peace River Region.
Read More Here: http://unistotencamp.wordpress.com/
Rising Tide Vermont Disrupts Shell Oil Exec
In solidarity with the Tar Sands Blockade, Rising Tide Vermont interrupted a presentation by a Shell Oil executive. After nine consecutive interruptions, during which members of RTVT read statements from the Ogoni and other people on the frontlines of Shell’s operations, the event was cancelled and police were called.
Read more here: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012311150032
Days of Action Against the Keystone XL Pipeline
Over 100 people in Nacogdoches, Texas rallied to defend their homes and protect their water from toxic tar sands. In solidarity, over 40 communities rallied across the country and the world against tar sands and deadly resource extraction everywhere.
Read More Here: http://tarsandsblockade.org/12th-action/
Keep Rising Tide North America Going in 2013
Climate action has rocked 2012. Rising Tide has been a central part of organizing it. Now we need you to join us and keep it going on 2013. Whether its $5, $50 or $500, please donate and help us build this movement.
- Two People Barricade Themselves Inside Keystone XL Pipe To Halt Construction
- Occupy Sandy Relief puts Occupy back into the spotlight
- Wild Idaho Rising Tide Takes Action on Next Round of Tar Sands Megaloads
- London activists erect pipeline from Canadian high commission to the US embassy
- SF Bay Area: RTNA Fundraiser with Activist-Authors scott crow & Rebecca Solnit, Dec. 10th
- Sacramento, CA: Rising Tide Monterey Bay Opposing Auction of the California Central Coast for Fracking, Dec. 12th
- Texas: Tar Sands Blockade Mass Action Camp, Jan. 3rd-8th
- St. Louis: RAMPS-MORE Winter Action Camp, Jan. 7th
- Fight For The Future: Keep the internet free and uncensored.