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Tar Sands Blockade: Along with Landowner, Actress Daryl Hannah Arrested

Great grandmother, Eleanor Fairchild, and film actress both arrested after blocking machinery

Common Dreams staff

Eleanor Fairchild and Daryl Hannah were dragged from their positions in front of an excavator to keep it from tearing up Eleanor’s land. TransCanada’s machinery operator refuses to turn off engine despite peaceful protestors a few feet in front of them. (Photo:

Film actress Daryl Hanna was arrested in Texas on Thursday along with 78-year-old and great-grandmother Eleanor Fairchild after they put their bodies in front of heavy logging machinery and refused to move.

The arrest took place on Fairchild's own property, where Canadian pipeline company TransCanada is clearcutting forests to make a path for the southern portion of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, designed to bring tar sands oil from Alberta to Texas refineries.

Daryl’s involvement in the Fairchild Farms story brought a cascade of media attention to the Tar Sands Blockade which has been ongoing for nearly two weeks in east Texas.

"How can you be arrested for “trespassing” on your own land?" asked members from Tar Sands Blockade in a statement. "Well, anything can happen when a multi-national corporation comes in and expropriates your farm for their profit."

On Thursday afternoon, Hannah marched across Fairchild’s property with the ranch owner to block construction crews who have cleared large swaths of land along the controversial tar sands pipeline’s route. Keystone XL will permanently bisect Fairchild’s 300 acre ranch, which includes undeveloped wetland areas and natural springs producing more than 400 gallons of fresh water per minute from her property. Hannah, whose outspoken anti-Keystone position dates back many years, expressed pride to be able to stand with Fairchild who is watching her home and its delicate ecosystems destroyed in front of her eyes.

“I am standing in solidarity with the farmers, ranchers and landowners who have been bullied, coerced and threatened by TransCanada. Texans do not want this toxic export pipeline coming through and compromising their land and water,” said Fairchild. “Texas has already experienced a tragic and epic drought. We cannot afford to compromise our water supply for a multinational corporation’s profits.”

“I couldn’t be prouder to take a stand with my new inspiration, Eleanor,” Hannah said. “We’re rising up to defend homes here and now, because if a multinational corporation like TransCanada can come in and steal private property from Texans, then they’ll do it to anyone.”

“Tar sands is the dirtiest fuel on the planet, and I want the world to know that Texans do not want this pipeline forced through their homes,” Fairchild said, pushing back against the argument that her stance was solely about protecting her own property and water supply. “From the White House to my house, I don’t want this pipe threatening anyone’s house anywhere in the world!”

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UPDATE 6:30PM - Photos and video of the action are coming soon. Follow us on twitter and facebook to be the first to see them.

UPDATE 4:30PM - TransCanada has arrested Eleanor for “trespassing” on her own land.

UPDATE 3:40PM – Daryl has been arrested for helping Eleanor defend her farm from toxic tar sands. Eleanor defiantly standing her ground with arms raised to halt TransCanada’s machinery.

UPDATE 3:35PM – Police officer trying to push Daryl and Eleanor out of the way! Yes, we got it on video.

UPDATE 3:30PM – Eleanor and Daryl defiantly step out in front of an excavator, a large piece of heavy machinery, to keep it from tearing up Eleanor’s land. TransCanada’s machinery operator refuses to turn off engine despite peaceful protestors a few feet in front of them.

Daryl brave’s fire and Keystone XL machinery to defend Eleanor’s farm.

UPDATE 3:15PM – Eleanor and Daryl march from Eleanor’s home down to the Keystone XL path of destruction that cuts through her 300 acre beloved farm and wetlands.

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