Two environmental activists were arrested Tuesday morning after locking themselves to concrete-filled barrels at a Keystone XL construction site in Hughes County.
The women, who are members of Cross Timbers Earth First!, were arrested about 9 a.m. Tuesday, two hours after authorities arrived on site, according to organizers.
Organizers decried the “dangerous” methods firefighters and sheriff's deputies used to remove the pair, who were identified only as Holly and Bailey. Authorities used a sledgehammer and jackhammer on one of the pair's lockdown devices, according to the environmental group's website.
Authorities identified the women as Holly Pierce, 21, and Moriah Bailey Stephenson, 26. They were jailed on trespassing complaints.
“While people are free to have their own opinion about a project, they are not free to break the law or to risk the health and safety of others,” project spokesman Jim Prescott said. “Trespassing on private property is illegal and it is serious — and the people who do it are not above the law.
“When these people make a conscious decision to break the law, they divert scarce law enforcement resources and put our workers, the police officers and themselves at risk.”
The women are the latest people arrested in Oklahoma while protesting construction of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline.
The 485-mile line between the oil storage hub at Cushing and refineries along the Gulf Coast is nearing completion.