Seven Tar Sands Blockade activists were arrested Tuesday after chaining themselves to a pipeline truck in south Texas to protest the Keystone XL pipeline, the group said.
“Because authorities were forced to dismantle the truck to make arrests, we shut down construction on this leg of the Keystone XL pipeline for the whole day!”
The protest, described as an “act of peaceful civil disobedience,” comes after a Texas judge sided with the Canada-based pipeline developer in an eminent domain dispute with landowner Julia Trigg Crawford.
“It was heartbreaking to hear a generational family farm like the Crawford’s can be taken away by a multinational corporation,” said protest Audrey Steiner, a linguistic anthropologist from Austin. “I’m here to change the direction our country is taking.”
Tar Sands Blockade announced its presence earlier this month when organizers hosted events in Cushing, Dallas and Houston, but the group has removed a statement from its website indicating it planned to block construction of the 485-mile pipeline between Cushing and the Gulf Coast, a spokesman said Tuesday. That statement is no longer on the group’s website.
“We’re risking arrest in a sustained nonviolent direct action and force them to recognize the demands of the people. We don’t make the decision lightly. The fact is, other tactics – lobbying, petitioning, and packing public hearings – have failed to halt the pipeline. State authorities have bent to every TransCanada desire, and they show no signs of stopping now,” according to the site.
The group promises to post further updates on Tuesday’s protest on its website.