Letter from Supporters on Police Brutality

The following letter was written by our supporters from across the country in response to the horrible brutality that happened last Tuesday to Ben and Shannon. We share this letter with you because it is an important statement affirming that what we are doing is not outlandish, but rather a calculated risk amid desperate efforts to save ourselves from total climate catastrophe, for it is far riskier for us and for everyone else to sit idly by and do nothing at all. Love and solidarity,

– Tar Sands Blockaders

October 1, 2012

Statement on the Brutal Treatment of Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Protesters in Texas

Members of Texas Law Enforcement and TransCanada CEO Russ Girling:

We the under-signed U.S. and Canadian organizations and First Nations leaders have learned that while protesting the construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, two US citizens over the course of five hours were repeatedly tasered, pepper sprayed and subjected to prolonged stress positions by the Wood County, Texas sheriff’s office with TransCanada personnel also on hand.

We object in the most strenuous terms to this brutal treatment of peaceful protesters, who are trying to protect their land and families from a dangerous and unnecessary project.

Regardless of our policies on civil disobedience, there is not an inch of daylight between our views and those of the protesters on the dangers of this tar sands pipeline. Keystone XL threatens the health and livelihoods of families with tar sands oil spills and is part of an industry that threatens communities with extreme weather. Tar sands oil undermines our clean energy choices.

These protests are part of rising, legitimate public concern with tar sands and tar sands pipelines. People who are moved to peacefully express their opposition must not be subjected to abuse or any type of violence.

We are watching events in Texas closely and we expect humane and respectful treatment of any further protesters.



Burnaby Residents Opposed to Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE)

Center for Biological Diversity

Chesapeake Climate Action Network

Climate Action Network Canada

Council of Canadians

CREDO Action

Democracy for America

Dogwood Initiative


Energy Action Coalition


Friends of the Earth

Keepers of the Athabasca

Labor Network for Sustainability

League of Conservation Voters

Natural Resources Defense Council

Oil Change International

PIPE UP Network

Public Citizen

Sierra Club

Sierra Club of Canada

Tanker Free BC

Permanent link to this article: https://tarsandsblockade.org/letter-police-brutality/