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Direct Action Continues: Tar Sands Activists Thwart Pipeline Progress
Second day of nonviolent direct action by Tar Sands Blockade in Texas brings TransCanada's work to a stand-still
UPDATE: The two activists, Shannon Bebe and Benjamin Franklin, that had chained themselves to TransCanada's equipment to halt the destruction have been arrested.
Activists in Texas with Tar Sands Blockade have continued their second day of nonviolent resistance to TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline by chaining themselves to the company's equipment.
8 activists continue their tree sit-in begun Monday near Winnsboro,Texas to stop TransCanada's massive tree cutting machinery from bulldozing a path for the tar sands pipeline and are prepared to stay as long as necessary to stop the pipeline, they say.
Two more activists, Texas-born Shannon Bebe, 26, and Houston-native and small business owner Benjamin Franklin, 34, have joined the action by chaining themselves to TransCanada's equipment to protect the 8 activists in the trees and further thwart the deforestation and, ultimately, the tar sands pipeline.
“The theft and destruction of people’s homes, the contamination that’s likely to occur once the pipeline is completed, and the release of the carbon bomb that is the Athabascan tar sands formation make the need for action now unignorable,” said Franklin.
“The risk of inaction is far greater than the risk of taking action – even risky action like this,” adds Ron Seifert, a Tar Sands Blockade spokesperson. “We are committed to undertaking a campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience to stop construction of Keystone XL, and Tar Sands Blockade will continue to protect the Winnsboro tree village. It is a symbol of all the homes and families crudely threatened by this tar sands pipeline. Sometimes, one must simply stand one’s ground in the face of eminent threats like those posed by this dangerous pipeline in order protect the health and safety of their families, loved ones, and that of their neighbors.”
The Wood County Sheriff and three other officers are at the scene, where the destruction has been successfully halted by the activists.