UPDATE 7:00PM – FAIL. TransCanada Workers Flip Over Their Own Machinery
These are the people we’re entrusting to build a pipeline that will carry highly hazardous diluted bitumen slurry?! There has never been a pipeline that has been free of leaks. Ever. The Keystone I pipeline alone has leaked an astonishing 12 times in its first year in existence. To say that KXL is safe for our communities is disingenuous at best. We know the risks involved in a toxic tar sands spill and we’re willing to take risks to stop it — because the consequences of inaction is far riskier to our planet and our neighbors.
NOTE: The worker in the feller buncher was not hurt. It tipped over as they tried to clear cut more trees in the path of the Keystone XL. The blockade was not involved.
UPDATE: 6:00PM – Workers Have Stopped For the Day — Tree Blockade Day 1 Was A Success!
From the moment that eight people scaled trees this morning TransCanada’s heavy machinery has roared and ripped at the trees and landscape to clear-cut a pathway for their Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Despite the din the eight blockaders held strong all day — marking the first of what we hope to be many days of maintaining the tree blockade.
UPDATE: 4:00PM – VIDEO: Footage From Two Hours Ago of Heavy Machinery Approaching Tree-Sitters
Our fearless videographer stealthily shot this intense footage two hours ago. Watch as a feller buncher rips up trees as it cuts its way toward our eight brave blockaders defending a timber scaffolding as part of the tree blockade. Blockaders refuse to be intimidated by these heavy machines and pledge to remain in their aerial perches until Keystone XL construction has halted.
UPDATE: 3:00PM – Heavy Machines Are No Longer Advancing Toward Tree Blockade
The advancement of heavy machinery toward our tree village has slowed significantly. Clearing crews are now chopping up logs they have left in the wake of their feller buncher’s destruction. Our eight blockaders remain quietly patient in the trees 80 feet off the ground.
UPDATE: 12:00PM – Tree-Thrashing Machine Cutting its Way Toward Tree Blockade
Tree-thrashing heavy machinery is cutting its way toward our tree village. Eight people are on the tree platforms and have refused to come down until TransCanada stops construction on its dangerous Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
UPDATE: 11:45AM – TransCanada’s Surveying Crews Turned Away
After TransCanada’s surveying crews arrived at our 40 foot timber scaffolding occupied by three brave blockaders they turned away and left. You Shall Not Pass.
UPDATE: 11:25AM – TransCanada’s Surveying Crews Have Arrived at Our 40 Foot Tall Timber Scaffolding
TransCanada’s surveying crews have arrived at our 40 foot tall timber scaffolding that is currently being occupied by three brave blockaders intent on not coming down until they stop Keystone XL — permanently.
PHOTOS: See more photos in our flickr album.
UPDATE: 11AM – Heavy Machinery Has Arrived at the Construction Site Near the Tree Blockade
TransCanada workers have unloaded a heavy machine known as a feller buncher used for clear-cutting any trees in the path of the Keystone XL pipeline. On Saturday these machines leveled a “road” through thick East Texas forest to get closer to our tree village.
UPDATE 10AM – TransCanada Workers Begin Arriving to Construction Site
Three pickup trucks of TransCanada’s Keystone XL construction workers are arriving on Highway 2088 near the Blockade outside Winnsboro, Texas. Workers are currently less than a mile from the blockade site, but no sight of heavy machinery yet. Stay tuned.
WINNSBORO, TX – MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 8:00AM – Eight people climbed 80 feet into trees in the path of Keystone XL construction, and pledged not to come down until the pipeline is stopped for good. Construction cannot proceed until tree-sitters descend and TransCanada clear-cuts through hundreds of trees to make way for the toxic tar sands pipeline.
The blockade is carefully organized to ensure that everyone sitting in the trees can remain safe as long as TransCanada does not attempt to continue clear-cutting the trees. These ardent advocates of landowner’s rights and climate justice have the safety equipment and food supplies to last indefinitely. Help spread this breaking story on Facebook and Twitter.
“Today I climbed a tree in the path of Keystone XL to demand TransCanada stop construction of this dirty and dangerous pipeline. This pipeline is a disaster for everyone it touches, from the cancer tar sands extraction is causing indigenous communities, to the water poisoned by inevitable tar sands spills, to the landowners whose land has been seized, and to everyone that will be affected by climate change,” said Mary Washington, one of the Tar Sands Blockade members sitting in a tree.
Show your support for Mary and our seven other blockaders with a generous donation to help keep them supplied with food and water.
It’s not easy to see our friends disappear up a tree, exposed to the elements, and not know when we will see them again. But knowing what this pipeline is doing to our neighbors and the planet, we are more resolved than ever to keep fighting this pipeline by whatever means we can.
This blockade is a continuation of an unprecedented summer of actions against fossil fuel infrastructure across America, from Montana to Ohio to New York. As a record heat wave baked the country, Americans stood up in unheard of numbers to oppose fossil fuels that are contributing to climate change. Join this growing movement when you sign up now to join one of our upcoming actions. If you were thinking about coming to Texas, now is the time!
“Climate change killed half a billion trees in Texas last year–and if TransCanada cuts these down, than the dirty oil they send down the pipeline will trigger yet more out-of-control warming,” said climate activist Bill McKibben, who helped lead huge protests in Washington, DC against the pipeline last fall.
“Today’s bold action by these eight brave people demonstrates their resolve to stop this dirty and dangerous pipeline. They understand the severity of the threat and that taking action is less risky than doing nothing,” said Ron Seifert, a spokesperson with Tar Sands Blockade. “We are defending our homes, our communities clean drinking water, our land rights, and a stable, livable climate.”