UPDATE: Thanks to your generous donations all 11 of our brave blockaders have been released from jail!
After 120 people rallied for our largest mass action yet, TransCanada and the police responded with an unprecedented level of felony charges against our peaceful protestors that resulted in an outragously high bail.
Thanks to the outpouring of generosity from our supporters across the world we’ve raised $14,000 in less than 48 hours! Yesterday we put out the call that we had to raise $13,490 by Wednesday at 5:30 PM and the response has been tremendous.
Tuesday night our 11 heroes were released from Cherokee County Jail to a cheering crowd of dozens of fellow blockaders and Nacogdoches supporters. Tar Sands Blockade, NacSTOP (Stop Tar Sands Oil Permanently), and Stephen F. Austin State University student group Texas Environment Awareness Movement (TEAM) co-sponsored the solidarity rally .
After the initial jubilation we held a solemn candlelight vigil in support of those arrested for standing up to TransCanada’s threat to our fresh water supplies and property rights and for the abuse our friends sustained during their brave actions.
“The outrageous escalation of violence against and endangerment of the lives of peaceful protesters has appalled the greater Nacogdoches community. In response, we remain resolved to stopping construction of TransCanada’s toxic tar sands pipeline while continuing to support our friends and loved ones in Cherokee County Jail,” explained Kim Huynh, a Tar Sands Blockade spokesperson. “Standing up for private property rights and access to clean water, land, and air through peaceful protest does not warrant such violent repression. TransCanada’s continued transgressions against our friends and families only strengthens our resolve to be visible and prominent in our calls for justice. The pipeline must not be built.”
TransCanada is pushing hard for the escalated criminalization of civil disobedience and peaceful protest against its dangerous pipeline, but we refuse to be intimidated. We won’t stop until we stop this toxic pipeline!
UPDATE: 3:30 – We’ve already raised $2,500. Thank you! Keep the donations coming.
Yesterday was one of our biggest actions yet when over 120 people rallied from across the Nacogdoches community to help shut down two Keystone XL construction sites for the day.
Our Mass Action resulted in 11 arrests with 4 people who locked themselves to KXL machinery and 3 others who climbed trees in the path of this toxic pipeline. Their combined bail is set at $132,250, and we need to raise $13,490 by Wednesday at 5:30 PM to get them out or the bail will increase. These brave blockaders are facing unprecedented and trumped up felony charges. Clearly, TransCanada is pushing hard for the escalated criminalization of civil disobedience and peaceful protest against its dangerous pipeline. We need to push back. And we need to do it fast.
The focal point of the new tree blockade was 21-year-old Nacogdoches student Lizzy Alvarado. She took action to protect the land, water, and air of her community in solidarity with those who have already been bullied and intimidated by TransCanada. Lizzy and six other public advocates are being charged with two counts of trumped-up felony charges. Their real crime? Standing up to TransCanada and defending their community and water supply from some one of the most toxic substances on the planet.
Yesterday’s action was our twelfth in our sustained civil disobedience campaign, and it was an escalation in our movement to stop Keystone XL in both its size and how profoundly it deepened our roots in the greater East Texas community. Tar Sands Blockade’s campaign has emboldened local residents who were feeling much more isolated and unsupported previously to stand up against this multi-national corporate plunderer.
We know who the real criminals are. Its the multi-national corporations like TransCanada that barge into our community, scare our neighbors, and steal our land for their private profit and plans to poison our water without regard to those who happen to be in their way.
The effectiveness of our actions was met with serious, swift police repression. Our four friends who had locked themselves to the machinery sustained pepper spray and several were dragged across the pipeline easement before being taken to jail. Crowds of people, including many Nacogdoches locals, were indiscriminately pepper sprayed trying to defend the tree blockade from a dangerous cherry picker after belligerent TransCanada construction crews and police had threatened their lives throughout the day.
The survivors of this abuse include Jeanette, a 75-year-old Nacogdoches great-grandmother, who had just debuted the Nacogdoches Raging Grannies chapter in an inaugural concert at Lake Nacogdoches and Jordan Johnson, a 22-year-old Emory University Grad Student, who was born and bred in Nacogdoches.
Read more about a few of our 11 heroes:
- Lizzy, a 21 year old local third year cinematography major who wanted to defend her landowner friends from TransCanada’s bullying.
- Dakoda from Michigan who came to Texas after seeing the devastation the tar sands spill had on the Kalamazoo river that he played in as a kid.
- Lisa from Seattle who feels like these tactics are an important escalation for our climate justice movement.
- Eric from New York an environmental scientist who understands the urgency and mission of climate science took action after seeing the unfathomable impacts of Hurricane Sandy his home city.
This is one of those times when we ask everyone to dig deep into your heart and your pocket and contribute more than usual. We appreciate your ongoing support, and we recognize a contribution isn’t possible for everyone. If a contribution is within your means please consider a generous donation of $100, or even $10, because every little bit helps us reach our needed goal by Wednesday at 5:30PM.
TransCanada’s strategy is to use their deep pockets and corporate lawyers to intimidate, bankrupt, and bully us and everyone else who has ever stood up to them. We refuse to be intimidated, and we won’t stop until we stop this toxic pipeline! And we are growing.
Over the last week over 40 communities worldwide undertook solidarity actions with the Blockade to stand up to dirty energy extraction and call for climate justice now!