Fourth Generation Oklahoman, Founder of the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House, Locks Himself to KXL Construction Equipment

13 May

Cross Posted From Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance
Follow this developing story at GPTSR’s website
photo

Wewoka Oklahoma-Monday, May 13th, 7 am

Early this morning Bob Waldrop, 60,
fourth generation Oklahoman and prominent Oklahoma City community member
walked onto an active construction site for the Keystone XL pipeline in Seminole County and
locked himself to an Excavator, a piece of heavy machinery used in the
construction of the pipeline. Waldrop took a stand today in defense of the
land and the human and non-humans that depend upon it to survive.

Waldrop, as a founding member of the Oscar Romero Catholic Workers House,
is a part of Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, a growing coalition of
groups and individuals dedicated to stopping the expansion of Tar Sands
infrastructure throughout the Great Plains. His action follows an
escalating number of work-stopping actions, of which there were five in
April alone, in Oklahoma.

Raised on a farm in rural Oklahoma, Waldrop believes “All farmers know
that if you don’t take care of your land, your land can’t take care of
you. And I’m here today because this pipeline is an enormous attack on the
land. Here in Oklahoma and all the way up the Great Plains and into Canada
giant earthmoving machines are destroying ecosystems. They are uprooting
trees, murdering birds and destroying habitat, killing little critters.
They are trampling on the rights of Indigenous people of the area whose
treaties are being violated and abrogated by the greed of TransCanada and
its stockholders.”

“I’m here in part because of my religious faith. I’m a devout Roman
Catholic, and I’m following in the example of Jesus himself who took a
stand against every form of evil. Jesus set a model for all of us when he
took a whip and drove the moneychangers out of the temple. I’m sure that
was against the city ordinances of Jerusalem but he did not hesitate. I’m
here today to show TransCanada that they can’t just run over everybody and
the environment. There are people that are willing to stand up for their
rights and the rights of the planet.”

Lifelong Oklahomans and Texans with Tar Sands Blockade
(tarsandsblockade.org) and Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance
(gptarsandsresistance.org) have been constantly engaged in work stopping
direct actions against the inherently dangerous KXL since August. The
Keystone I, built in 2010, has spilt 17 times so far, including 12 in its
first year of operation. The 2010 Kalamazoo river spill that has cost
nearly a billion dollars in ongoing cleanup and the recent spill in
Mayflower, AR that has left evacuated residents unable to return home
nearly 6 weeks after the disaster show the dire consequences of inevitable
spills of heavier than water bitumen diluted with a toxic cocktail
including benzene.

There is staunch resistance to the expansion of Tar Sands mining and
infrastructure growing on the heartland, long considered a sacrifice zone
by the petro-chemical industry. The rise of Idle No More in defense of
indigenous sovereignty across Turtle Island is in large part to protect
lands and waters from toxic industries. Peoples of the Great Sioux Nation
and tribal governments in “South Dakota” have avowed opposition to the
Keystone XL, joining international treaties such as the Mother Earth
Accord and Protect the Sacred. The Unis’tot’en Camp in northern B.C has
entered the third year of their blockade of the Pacific Trails Pipeline,
and a growing grassroots coalition in Utah has avowed to stop the first
Tar Sands Mine in “The United States”. Many of these groups have banded
together to usher in a #Fearless Summer, a coordinated direct action
initiative against industrial extraction.

Follow the action live here, or on our facebook

Please consider a donation to our Wepay acount to support futher actions and legal defense!

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