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'You Shall Not Pass': Activists Take to the Trees to Stop Tar Sands Pipeline

Tar sands protesters thwart forest clear cutting for pipeline

Common Dreams staff

Eight people are engaged in a direct action on Monday to thwart the construction of the tar sands-carrying Keystone XL pipeline in Texas.

The activists with Tar Sands Blockade have scaled trees in an attempt to stop TransCanada, the company behind the pipeline, from clear cutting an area near Winnsboro, Texas to make way for the pipeline.

TransCanada crew has begun clear cutting toward the activists, but so far there has not been a confrontation.

“Today I climbed a tree in the path of Keystone XL to demand TransCanada stop construction of this dirty and dangerous pipeline. This pipeline is a disaster for everyone it touches, from the cancer tar sands extraction is causing indigenous communities, to the water poisoned by inevitable tar sands spills, to the landowners whose land has been seized, and to everyone that will be affected by climate change,” said Mary Washington, one of the Tar Sands Blockade members sitting in a tree.

“Today’s bold action by these eight brave people demonstrates their resolve to stop this dirty and dangerous pipeline. They understand the severity of the threat and that taking action is less risky than doing nothing,” said Ron Seifert, a spokesperson with Tar Sands Blockade. “We are defending our homes, our communities clean drinking water, our land rights, and a stable, livable climate.”

As of 3PM, the 8 activists remain 80 feet high in the trees, watching as TransCanada crew and equipment continue to rip up the forest for the pathway of tar sands.

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