UPDATE 11:00AM – Maggie has been released from jail on an outrageous $11,000 bail. Demonstrate your support for Maggie and the blockade with a generous donation to her bail fund.
48 hours ago lifelong Texan Maggie Gorry—whom we had previously called Mary Germanati to legally protect her identity—climbed a 40-foot timber pole in the pathway of the Keystone XL clear-cut to prevent TransCanada’s heavy machinery from operating dangerously close to her eight friends in the tree blockade. After her courageous stand that delayed further clear-cutting operations on the site for two entire days, Maggie descended from her perch early this morning and was arrested.
Maggie decided to take direct action in response to TransCanada’s audacious move on Monday, when they expanded their clear-cut outside the designated easement, deliberately endangering the safety of her friends in the blockade.
In the dark and early hours of Tuesday morning blockaders spontaneously erected a 40 foot timber pole and tied it securely upright with multiple support lines in the clear-cut pathway to prevent TransCanada’s reckless clear-cutting from continuing further. When the idea for the pole was first hastily hatched, blockaders peered around the circle of dimly lit faces looking for a volunteer. Without hesitation Maggie raised her hand, saying, “I’ll do it!”
They planned to have her only stay on the pole for 24 hours, but despite her limited food and water supplies Maggie resolved to stay up there for 48 hours and effectively delayed further Keystone XL clear-cutting operations on the site for two entire days. ”I’m going to stop them for the second day in a row!” Maggie could be heard shouting down from her 40-foot tall perch when her friends asked her if it was time for her to come down. Long after the batteries had died on her walkie-talkie and she was virtually isolated from supplies and communication with her friends in the tree blockade, Maggie remained determined to hold on for another day. She maintained her morale by vigorously charging up a hand-crank radio and signing along to her favorite artist, Lady Gaga, and whatever radio waves she could pick up in the East Texas backwoods.
Maggie is a 22-year-old sweet, soft-spoken dessert chef and north Texas resident. Her decision to climb up the pole was largely motivated by a visceral anger that had been building she climbed up the timber scaffolding to join the tree blockade nine days prior.
“I never thought I would be the one out here, that I had the strength to take action. Its scary being here and seeing these deadly machines destroying the forest right in front of me, and though I’m scared, I feel powerful knowing that I’m what’s standing between my friends and their destruction,” she previously shared. “Now that I’m here I know that anyone can do this if they want. Anyone can stop this pipeline.”
After Maggie climbed the pole she had a constant police presence stationed below. Police have tightened their perimeter around the tree blockade making it extremely difficult to get food, water and other essential supplies into our brave blockaders. By the second day her supplies were starting to run low. Our multiple calls to the Wood County Sheriffs Office to request that we be permitted to give Maggie food and water were met with hang-ups and the gruff reply, “We’re not commenting on the situation.”
Maggie has a passionate love for the world’s oceans and its diverse abundance of sea creatures. She was motivated to action in part by her appreciation for all living things and not wanting to see our world destroyed by extreme fossil fuel extraction, like the tar sands, and run-away climate change. Maggie has been involved in Tar Sands Blockade for months and has been a critical creative force behind many of the colorful banners you have seen at our actions.
We love you Maggie! Please consider a generous donation to her jail support. Thank you for helping defend our homes and our planet from this toxic tar sands pipeline.