Demonstrate your support with a generous donation to the bail fund for these courageous blockaders.
WINONA, TX – MONDAY, DECEMBER3, 2012 7:30 AM –* Several protesters with Tar Sands Blockade sealed themselves inside a section of pipe destined for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline to stop construction of the dangerous project. Using a blockading technique never implemented before, Matt Almonte and Glen Collins locked themselves between two barrels of concrete weighing over six hundred pounds each. Located twenty-five feet into a pipe segment waiting to be laid in the ground, the outer barrel is barricading the pipe’s opening and neither barrel can be moved without risking serious injury to the blockaders.
The barricaded section of the pipeline passes through a residential
neighborhood in Winona, TX. If TransCanada moves ahead with the trenching
and burying of this particular section of pipe, it would run less than a
hundred feet from neighboring homes. Tar sands pipelines threaten East
Texas communities with their highly toxic contents, which pose a greater
risk to human health than conventional crude oil. TransCanada’s existing
tar sands pipeline, Keystone XL’s predecessor, has an atrocious safety
record, leaking twelve times in its first year of operation.
“TransCanada didn’t bother to ask the people of this neighborhood if they
wanted to have millions of gallons of poisonous tar sands pumped through
their backyards,” said Almonte, one of the protesters now inside the
pipeline. “This multinational corporation has bullied landowners and
expropriated homes to fatten its bottom line.”
Recently, over 40 communities worldwide planned actions with Tar Sands
Blockade during a week of resistance against extreme energy extraction and
its direct connection to the climate crisis. A growing global movement is
rising up against the abuses of the fossil fuel industry and its
increasingly desperate pursuit of dangerous extraction methods.
“I’m barricading this pipe with Tar Sands Blockade today to say loud and
clear to the extraction industry that our communities and the resources we
depend on for survival are not collateral damage,” said Collins, another
blockader inside the pipe and an organizer with Radical Action for Mountain
Peoples Survival (RAMPS) and Mountain Justice, grassroots campaigns in
Appalachia working to stop mountaintop removal coal mining.
“This fight in East Texas against tar sands exploitation is one and the
same as our fight in the hollers of West Virginia. Dirty energy extraction
doesn’t just threaten my home; it threatens the collective future of the
“At this late stage, doing nothing is a greater danger than the risks of
taking direct action to stop destructive projects like Keystone XL,” said
Ron Seifert, a spokesperson for Tar Sands Blockade. “That’s why folks
working with groups like RAMPS, the Unist’ot’en Camp fighting a natural gas
pipeline in British Columbia and Tar Sands Blockade are willing to use
everything including their own hands and feet to ensure we all have a safe
climate and healthy, thriving communities.”
Today also marks day 5 of the Houston Hunger Strike in which Gulf Coast
activists with Tar Sands Blockade are going without food to demand that
Valero divest entirely from the Keystone XL pipeline and invest in the
health and wellbeing of the communities it’s poisoning.
For more info and picture go to Tar Sands Blockade