Despite summer being over, things continue to heat up in Texas for the Tar Sands Blockade as we enter day 3 of the tree-sit. On Monday, 8 people took to the trees to defend the land from clear-cutting that would allow for continued construction of the pipeline. And yesterday, two ground-dwelling allies locked themselves to a piece of construction machinery that was being used to build a road to the tree village, effectively halting TransCanada’s work for most of the day.
The police response to this action was predictable but nevertheless shocking. Under the encouragement of TransCanada supervisors, police used sustained chokeholds, violent arm-twisting, pepper spray, and multiple shocks from a Taser, all while the two blockaders were in handcuffs. Despite the torture, the two blockaders held strong for hours, and their perseverance has only further inspired blockaders to continue the protests. This morning, in response to the brutality inflicted on our comrades yesterday, another activist has ascended into the tree village to join the aerial blockade, bringing its total population to 9.
Benjamin Franklin, one of the tortured protesters, had this to say after being released from jail: “As someone who has a religious dedication to nonviolence, I have a duty to assist nonviolent tactics. This is a path to change that works. Despite everything that happened at the direction of TransCanada, I don’t regret my involvement at all. I encourage everybody to persevere in the face of this type of sheer brutality. To follow one’s moral compass in spite of extreme challenges is the way we move forward towards a more humane, tar sands-free planet.”
TransCanada has shown blatant disregard for the safety of peaceful people, local families, and our planet. Despite their claims to be concerned for safety, whether of protestors, landowners, or the planet, time and time again this has been shown to be patently false. From encouraging torture to defrauding and coercing people out of their land to cutting corners with safety measures for detecting and preventing spills, TransCanada’s only concern is abundantly clear – profit.
They can be stopped. Every day of delay costs them money and brings us a tiny bit closer to the goal of stopping the pipeline. The odds are low, but this is a winnable fight.
If you read the call to action or saw this awesome video, you know how devastating extracting and burning tar sands oil will be to the climate and how critical stopping this pipeline is. This action has the potential to be a huge turning point for the resistance movement against fossil fuels, but it needs your help to survive and succeed. If you can spare anything, make a donation here. If you want to do more, visit this page or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
For the wild!
– Tar Sands Blockader