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Tar Sands Activists Barricade Themselves Inside Keystone XL

Another act in Tar Sands Blockade's ceaseless fight against TransCanada's pipeline

Common Dreams staff

Activists in Texas were arrested on Monday after taking their fight to stop the tar sands directly to the belly of the beast Monday morning -- by sealing themselves inside of a section of pipe that will be part of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The direct action by two activists with Tar Sands Blockade, Matt Almonte and Glen Collins, is part of an ongoing series of actions aimed at stopping the construction of the TransCanada's tar sands-carrying Keystone XL pipeline.

"I’m barricading this pipe with Tar Sands Blockade today to say loud and clear to the extraction industry that our communities and the resources we depend on for survival are not collateral damage," said Collins.

Collins, who is also an organizer with Radical Action for Mountain Peoples Survival (RAMPS) and Mountain Justice, groups fighting mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia, adds: "This fight in East Texas against tar sands exploitation is one and the same as our fight in the hollers of West Virginia. Dirty energy extraction doesn’t just threaten my home; it threatens the collective future of the planet."

Tar Sands Blockade reports that the action has successfully brought construction to a halt Monday and also brought police to the scene, who threatened to use tear gas on Collins and Almonte.

Almonte says will the pipeline will bring big profits to TransCanada while the communities that live near the pipeline will suffer.

"TransCanada didn’t bother to ask the people of this neighborhood if they wanted to have millions of gallons of poisonous tar sands pumped through their backyards," said Almonte. "This multinational corporation has bullied landowners and expropriated homes to fatten its bottom line."

On Monday afternoon Almonte and Collins were forcibly removed from the pipe by police and arrested. The police also arrested a third activist, Isabel Indigo Brooks, who was assisting Almonte and Collins inside the pipe, Tar Sands Blockade reports. The group says the three were were charged with misdemeanors of resisting arrest, criminal trespassing and illegal dumping.

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