FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
On Monday, May 6th, TransCanada filed a suit to prevent individuals from resisting the construction of the southern leg of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline which is being built to transport diluted bitumen from the Athabascan Tar Sands project in “Canada” to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
The suit was filed in Atoka County, OK, and named 21 individuals and Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance as defendants, seeking to prevent defendants from “trespassing or interfering with construction” as well as prohibit them from “organizing, communicating, encouraging or inciting resistance” to the Keystone XL. This lawsuit is a part of a broader corporate campaign of criminalizing dissent and delegitimizing opposition to this dangerous project, similar to Exxon’s deliberate exclusion of press which amounted to a media blackout at the site of the Pegasus pipeline rupture, which released 5,000 barrels of diluted bitumen into residential Mayflower, AK.
The judge refused to make a ruling on individuals who were not arrested in Atoka County, as well as the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, and dropped the prohibition on “organizing, communicating, encouraging, or inciting resistance.” The three remaining defendants in Atoka County currently have a temporary restraining order enjoining them from trespassing or interfering with construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance is a coalition actively resisting the construction of the Keystone XL in Oklahoma through direct action, as well as resisting corporate censorship, misinformation, and scare tactics. Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance stands in solidarity with communities who have fought to shed light on the effects that toxic extraction and byproducts of refining have on their daily existence, despite intense State, Corporate, and media repression.
Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance would like to echo the sentiment expressed by Michael Bishop in his resistance to TransCanada—“Fuck off, we’ll fight you.”