UPDATE: 9:00PM – Today’s Texas Style Media Round-up
Despite TransCanada’s recent escalation in violence we remain dedicated to our nonviolent principles and held our tree blockade for the third day. We’re pleased to see that the outpouring of response from supporters and media across the country to stand with us as we defend our homes from this multi-national corporate bully. Here are just a few of the media hits we’re reading tonight.
Democracy Now! Activists Continue Tar Sands Blockade in Texas - Amy Goodman
Huffington Post: TransCanada Turns Sadistic in Texas: Keystone XL Protestors Tased and Pepper Sprayed - Bill McKibben
TruthOut: Texas Tar Sands Tree-Sit Launches to Halt Keystone XL Indefinitely - Candice Bernd
TreeHugger: These Two Texans Were Tasered, Choked and Pepper Sprayed for Protesting the Keystone XL - Brian Merchant
YES! Magazine: Pipeline Blockade Takes to the Trees – Candice Bernd
Common Dreams: Fighting the Tar Sands: Day 3 of Direct Action in Texas
FireDogLake: Keystone XL Body Blockaders Need Help - Jane Hamsher
UPDATE: 4:45PM – All Is Quiet Now – Day 3 Closes
Our nine brave blockaders have successfully held the tree village for a third day! Blockaders intend to hold their position as long as it takes to halt this dirty, dangerous pipeline. Today’s most terrifying moment was when TransCanada’s heavy machinery plowed through trees a mere 20 feet from climate justice organizers perched on timber scaffolding. Workers refused to turn off their engines in accordance with Federal safety regulations and demonstrated the disregard that TransCanada has for our friends and our homes. The blockaders persevered today despite the escalated violence that TransCanada encouraged against peaceful protestors yesterday.
UPDATE: 4:00PM – Workers On Foot Using Chain Saws 100 Yards From Tree Village
Now that the heavy machinery has turned away for the day TransCanada workers are cutting up the felled trees with chain saws. Nine tree sitters watch workers finish off whats left of a wide swath of Keystone XL destruction in front of them.
UPDATE: 3:40PM – Heavy Machinery and Police Have Retreated From Our Timber Scaffolding
Heavy machinery and high ranking law enforcement have retreated from our timber scaffolding and are working their way back to clear a bigger path of destruction for Keystone XL. Our tree village is safe for now.
UPDATE: 3:20PM – TransCanada Workers Refusing to Turn Off Machinery
Despite the demands of peaceful blockaders 20 feet away on timber scaffolding TransCanada workers refuse to turn off their machines and leave. Federal safety regulations require that heavy machinery be turned off when in proximity to unauthorized personnel. TransCanada continues to flaunt its disregard for the safety of our homes and families by plowing ahead with its dangerous pipeline.
UPDATE: 3:05PM – TransCanada Supervisors Seen Directing Police
TransCanada supervisors are familiar with directing local police to take on peaceful protesters. Yesterday TransCanada actively encouraged the use of torture tactics to be brutally applied to non-violent protesters. They stood by and watched police use sustained chokeholds, violent arm-twisting, pepper spray, and repeated tasering. This corporation clearly has no regard for our homes, our families, and the safety of our communities.
UPDATE: 2:45PM – Tree Cutting Machinery 20 Feet Away!
With the news that their friends had been tortured with TransCanada’s approval, the eight original tree sitters were bravely joined by another, expanding the tree blockade further as TransCanada’s clear-cutting heavy machinery rapidly approaches. All refuse to come down until TransCanada halts its dangerous pipeline project. Help defend our homes and join an upcoming action – we need you now!
UPDATE: 2:15PM – Tree Sitters Watching Trees Falling In Front of Them
Nine people sitting in a tree village in the path of the Keystone XL pipeline are watching as TransCanada’s heavy machinery slices through trees just 200 yards from their timber scaffolding defenses. Our brave blockaders are holding defiantly strong against this dirty, dangerous pipeline despite the torture tactics encouraged yesterday by TransCanada.
UPDATE: 2:00PM – Heavy Machinery Still Cutting – Surveyors Have Arrived
UPDATE: 1:30PM – Heavy Machinery Quickly Cutting Its Way Toward Tree Village with Three Police
The air is tense with the sound of heavy machinery encroaching on the tree blockade. Support our nine brave folks in the trees with basic supplies like food and water so they can continue their sustained blockade as long as it takes to stop the dirty, dangerous Keystone XL pipeline.
UPDATE: 12:00PM – Three TransCanada Workers Arrive and Photograph Timber Scaffolding
I don’t know how their photos turned out but we’re willing to wager that ours are much more stunning.
UPDATE: 11:45AM – TransCanada Helicopter Circles Low Over Tree Village
In a further attempt to intimidate peaceful protesters TransCanada is circling their corporate helicopter low over the tree tops where nine blockaders are holding strong.
WINNSBORO, TEXAS – Wednesday, September 26, 2012 – Nine people sitting 80 feet above ground in tree platforms, and a forty-foot timber scaffolding spanning the path of TransCanada’s Keystone XL construction enter their third day of sustained action to stop the toxic tar sands pipeline. The sitters are undeterred by TransCanada’s role in the torture of their fellow blockaders.
Tuesday, Shannon Beebe and Benjamin Franklin delayed construction for most of the day when they locked arms around construction machinery, intent on protecting East Texas homes. The two were subjected to torture tactics by police only after TransCanada’s senior supervisors huddled with law enforcement to actively encourage the use of extreme pain compliance techniques on the peaceful protesters. Following the arrests TransCanada began moving heavy machinery toward the tree village but where forced to turn away by a team of blockaders. In their stand-off a TransCanada machinery operator attempted to drop a tree our peaceful blockaders.
“TransCanada has frequently claimed its interest in protecting the safety of workers and protesters but now we can see that’s all a lie,” said Ron Seifert a spokesperson with Tar Sands Blockade. “Now that they have actively encouraged the torture of peaceful protestors its clear that this multinational corporation assigns no value to the basic humanity that all Texans and people everywhere deserve.”
With the news that their friends had been tortured with TransCanada’s approval, the eight original tree sitters were bravely joined by another, expanding the tree blockade further as TransCanada’s clear-cutting heavy machinery rapidly approaches. Construction is roughly 300 yards away from the tree blockade. All refuse to come down until TransCanada halts its dangerous pipeline project.
“I climbed this tree three days ago in the path of Keystone XL to demonstrate the dangers of this toxic pipeline and to let TransCanada know that we will continue to non-violently resist their brutal tactics,” said Justin Jacobs, an aerial blockader. “I’m here to defend this land from a multinational corporation who has blatant disregard for the safety of peaceful people, families, and our planet.“