Posts Tagged ‘Civil Disobedience’

Eight Tar Sands blockaders just 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. TransCanada workers are starting to arrive on the scene. The tar sands blockade folks will be tweeting and live blogging as today’s action unfolds so check for live updates throughout coming days…weeks?!

You shall not pass!

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At 11 am this morning, after over 48 hours in the Franklin County jail, the 5 tar sands blockaders who were arrested on Wednesday were freed. They were being held on a $2,500 bail eachClick here to visit the Tar Sands Blockade blog to find out what is happening.

At 7AM Wednesday morning, September 5, 2012, three landowner advocates and climate justice organizers locked themselves to equipment used for clearing large trees in the path of the Keystone XL pipeline.  Shortly thereafter, seven trucks with 20-25 workers showed up at the site to meet their foreman only to be turned away. One truck with a ditch witch continued on to the easement. The trucks that brought the workers to the site all had out of state plates from Oklahoma,  Tennessee, and Pennsylvania.  The protesters didn’t know if any of the workers on those trucks were from Texas or not, but it begs the question about TransCanada’s claims that this will bring jobs to Texas.

This action halted work on a segment of TransCanada’s illegitimate pipeline outside of Saltillo, TX.  The organizers tell us that they are fulfilling their promise of their campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience pushing forward.

You can track what is happening at the site throughout the day at the Tar Sands Blockade blog – http://tarsandsblockade.org/.

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4 Tar Sands Blockaders are Locked to Truck Carrying Keystone XL Pipeline in Livingston, TX, bringing construction on the Keystone XL pipeline to a stop!!

Check out this video testimonial of four of today's blockaders!

Follow the action right now on the Tar Sands Blockade LIVE BLOG and tell the world about it.

Just minutes ago four landowner advocates and climate justice organizers locked themselves to the underside of a massive truck carrying 36″ pipe intended for Keystone XL construction. The truck is parked, idled at the entrance of the pipeyard, rendering construction activity impossible. Seven blockaders total are onsite risking arrest. The Tar Sands Blockade will be getting photos and video throughout the day.

This action comes in response to a recent court ruling giving TransCanada the green light to steal a piece of Texas landowner Julia Trigg Crawford’s home. Last week, Lamar County Judge Bill Harris insulted this  hardworking local farmer by sending a 15-word summary judgment to her from his iphone.  It’s an injustice they vow won’t be allowed to stand.

The blockaders tell us this is only the first of many actions coming down the pipeline, and that is how they intend to win—with passion, persistence and people power.

Arrests are expected, and these brave souls will need all the support that we can give them as they are jailed for justice.

TransCanada tried to keep the start of construction on this pipeline a secret, and the Tar Sands Blockade was there to expose it. They are letting them know how serious they are by shutting it down for as long as they can today.

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In December of 2008 (interestingly the same month as the TVA Kingston Coal-Ash Disaster) a 27-year-old Tim DeChristopher repeatedly bid up 12,000 acres of land intended for oil and gas exploration to a nice, winning number of $1.79 million. The problem? He didn’t have $1.79 million.

Tim is now on trial in Utah – facing up to 10 years in prison for… raising a bid paddle. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Hitchcock classic North By Northwest, where Cary Grant disrupts an auction specifically so that he would be arrested – getting placed in police custody to gain protection from the spies that were out to kill him. (more…)

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ed-abbeyEd Abbey would be proud.

At an auction held by the Bureau of Land Management for oil and gas leases on 149,000 acres of public land in Utah, a University of Utah student and environmental activist named Tim DeChristopher posed as a bidder and bought up 22,000 acres to keep it from industry clutches.  Much of this land was from the area right around Arches National Park, a beautiful swath immortalized in Ed Abbey’s book Desert Solitaire.  DeChristopher also drove up prices for oil and gas leases on other parcels to the tune of about half a million dollars.

Reports the Salt Lake Tribune:

He didn’t pour sugar into a bulldozer’s gas tank. He didn’t spike a tree or set a billboard on fire. But wielding only a bidder’s paddle, a University of Utah student just as surely monkey-wrenched a federal oil- and gas-lease sale Friday, ensuring that thousands of acres near two southern Utah national parks won’t be opened to drilling anytime soon.

Tim DeChristopher, 27, faces possible federal charges after winning bids totaling about $1.8 million on more than 10 lease parcels that he admits he has neither the intention nor the money to buy — and he’s not sorry.

“I decided I could be much more effective by an act of civil disobedience,” he said during an impromptu streetside news conference during an afternoon blizzard. “There comes a time to take a stand.”

The land was being auctioned off in another last-ditch effort by the Bush administration to win Big Industry some holiday goodies before Obama takes office in January.  The BLM didn’t have time to do adequate environmental impact statements, leave much time for public comment, or even take in input from other federal agencies such as the National Parks Service.  Apparently in BLM’s intial announcement of the auction, private property with houses on it and land the agency didn’t have rights to drill on was also included.  BLM won’t re-open the land DeChristopher’s won for auction until February, when the new administration will be in place.  They are also giving bidders who won parcels with inflated prices the chance to withdraw those bids within a ten-day period — but since the Obama administration is unlikely to offer the leases again, most bidders will probably hold on to the land they’ve won.

Watch Amy Goodman from Democracy Now! interview DeChristopher below:


And a final Ed Abbey parting shot:

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.

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