On Monday, July 21, around 80 land defenders with Peaceful Uprising and Utah Tar Sands Resistance halted construction of the first US tar sands mine in Utah. 19 people were arrested at the site. Two more, including Tar Sands Blockade organizer Cindy Spoon, were arrested at Uintah County Jail when attempting to provide jail support for those already locked up (like figuring out what bail would be).
Reports from Utah are distressing to say the least. We are still awaiting more details from those on the ground, but it is clear many of our comrades have been arrested and are facing very serious charges. You can read more about the action on this Reuters article or in the Salt Lake Tribune.
Please help us get Cindy and all of our friends out of jail by donating to the legal fund set up by Rising Tide North America: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/donate-jail-support-for-the-utah-tar-sand-action
After a massive direct action protest today at the site of U.S. Oil Sands’ tar sands strip-mining site, a total of 21 were arrested and are currently awaiting charges at Uintah County Jail in Vernal, Utah. In addition to protestors, those acting as legal observers, independent media, and jail support were arrested, as well as several indigenous and trans individuals whose safety we are deeply concerned about.
Early this morning land defenders locked themselves to equipment being used to clear-cut and grade an area designated for the tar sands’ companies processing plant, as well as a fenced “cage” used to store the equipment. Others formed a physical blockade with their bodies to keep work from happening, and to protect those locked-down to the equipment. Banners were also hung off the cage that read: “You are trespassing on Ute land” and “Respect Existence or Expect Resistance.”
13 people were arrested for locking to equipment. An additional six people were arrested after sitting in the road to prevent the removal of those being taken away in two police vans. Two of the protesters arrested were injured. One was taken a nearby hospital to be treated, while the other is being treated at the Uintah County Jail. The nature of their injuries is not being disclosed by the county sheriffs.
Two additional people were arrested when they arrived at Uintah Country Jail to provide support to the land defenders inside. An estimated 10 armed deputies with police dogs were standing outside the jail wearing bullet proof vests. Those at the jail to provide support were told that the deputies were there to “deter” any supporters from actually coming to the jail.
Currently all 21 individuals are still being processed and held.
Support these brave land defenders who put their hearts and bodies on the line by donating to their legal fund.
Rising Tide North America is handling donations through The Action Network. Donate to the land defenders’ legal support fund using this secure link.