Saturday, October 13 – After over four years of grassroots community organizing the story of landowners affected by Keystone XL’s destruction is beginning to reach a broad national stage. Today we appeared on the front page of the New York Times online edition! Here’s an excerpt:
Deep within the oak and pine forests that blanket this stretch of East Texas, the chug of machinery drones on late into the day, broken only by the sounds of a band of activists who have vowed to stop it.
Here, among the woods and farmland, what might be one of the last pitched battles over the Keystone XL oil pipeline has been unfolding for weeks now, since construction of the controversial project’s southern leg began in August.
As bulldozers and diggers churn up a 50-foot-wide path for the pipeline — this portion will run from Cushing, Okla., to the Gulf Coast — a small group of environmental activists have taken to the towering trees in its way.
And with the blessing of some landowners who live here, and whose property the pipeline will cross, the protesters have fashioned a web of tree houses, structures and pulleys in a last-ditch effort to keep the enormous project from rumbling forward.
“Initially, a lot of the environmental movement on a national scale had kind of written this fight off,” said Ron Seifert, a spokesman for the Tar Sands Blockade, a group of environmental activists who have gathered near Winnsboro and contend that the oil sands crude that the pipeline will carry is especially toxic.
“But we have awakened folks from that slumber,” he said. “I think now there is an understanding that people are not going to give this up.”
Read the full story here.
- Demonstrate your support for the Blockade with a generous contribution to help supply our brave blockaders living in the trees.
- Sign up to join an upcoming action and help defend rural Texas homes from toxic tar sands.
- Help spread the word by following our breaking updates on facebook and twitter.
We’re encouraged to see this article published despite TransCanada’s ongoing repression of free press access to our peaceful protest. Including the handcuffing and detainment of the Times reporter, Dan Frosch, who was reporting on this story while standing off of the pipeline easement on private property.
Overall we’re pleased with the coverage except for the following statement from TransCanada’s spokesperson Shawn Howard.
“We have always been up front about the materials that are going into the pipeline.”
Unfortunately this is a bald face lie. Should TransCanada ever choose to produce a Material Data Safety Sheet accounting for the chemical contents of its pipeline in compliance with Texas statutory law on “common carrier” status for eminent domain powers, we’ll happily post it on our website for all to see.
Right now there is a huge crowd at our Direct Action Training Camp in East Texas that erupted in applause at the announcement of the Times front page coverage. This is tremendous momentum for our grassroots campaign and we intend to continue to build a movement powerful enough to stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline for good.