Diana Claitor, the Executive Director at the Texas Jail Project, has sent us a statement of solidarity.
Diane Wilson is a founding member of the Texas Jail Project. She, along with Bob Lindsey a US Navy Veteran and the San Antonio Bay Waterkeeper, are on the 12th day of a sustained Hunger Strike to demand that Valero divest from the Keystone XL Pipeline and vacate the community that they have been poisoning for decades.
The Texas Jail Project seeks to improve the conditions for approximately 65,000 people—mothers, fathers, brothers, sons, sisters, and daughters—who are incarcerated in Texas county jails. After a Tar Sands Blockade action on November 29th where Diane Wilson and Bob Lindsey locked their necks to industrial trucks outside the Valero refinery in the Manchester neighborhood of Houston causing major disruptions to Valero’s daily operations and backing up industrial trucks all the way up the nearby highway, both Diane and Bob spent time at the Harris County Jail. While there Diane was denied water for over 2 days. Bob and Diane endured torturous and inhumane conditions in a jail that has a 100% daily turnover rate, booking 350 people a day while releasing 350 people a day, with each inmate being held an average of 28 days.
Statement of Solidarity with the Tar Sands Blockade, Diane Wilson & Bob Lindsey
The Texas Jail Project stands in solidarity with the co-founder of our organization, Diane Wilson. On Thursday, November 29th, Diane locked her neck to an industry truck at a pumping station in front of the Valero refinery in the Houston neighborhood of Manchester in order to call attention to the effects that the Keystone XL Pipeline, and ultimately tar sands, will have upon communities along the Houston Shipping Channel, who are already being disproportionately exploited by the industry.
The Texas Jail Project also stands in solidarity with Bob Lindsay, 5th generation Texan, Navy Veteran and San Antonio Bay Waterkeeper, who simultaneously locked his neck to an industry truck in front of the large Valero smokestack. Bob was released after 2 days in the Harris County Jail, and Diane was released in the wee hours of Monday morning, December 6th. Both Diane and Bob are under the care of Tar Sands Blockaders as they continue their sustained Hunger Strike, vowing to drink only water until their demands are met. They demand that Valero, which has committed to buying 75% of the tar sands that are pumped through the Keystone XL Pipeline, divest entirely from the pipeline, and that the company vacates the neighborhood of Manchester that their plant has polluted for decades.
Diana Claitor – Executive Director, Texas Jail Project