From Green Right Now Reports
Tar Sands Blockade, a coalition of landowners and environmentalists opposed to the tar sands pipeline, reported that police have arrested 12 protesters in East Texas for trying to stop the construction of the intercontinental pipeline.
The clashes between police and protesters involved a police action that removed a protester from a tree platform in the path of the pipeline work. Authorities employed a cherry picker, a truck with an extension ladder, to remove the young woman who was staging an aerial sit-in, which has become a hallmark of the protesters. The equipment driver maneuvered into position despite being blocked by protesters on the ground, to remove tree sitter Lizzy Alvarado, a 21-year-old cinematography student at Stephen F. Austin University.
Tar Sands Blockade group has forced work stoppages along the pipeline’s construction path through Texas several times over the past two months, typically by members chaining themselves to forest-clearing equipment and also by building tree houses in the pipeline’s path. Others walked to the scene in a show of solidarity at least 30 strong, according to Tar Sands Blockade.
Today’s arrests by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s officers came after some protesters had latched onto work equipment while others formed a human chain to stop the path of the clearing equipment. Three others set up a new tree blockage at the crossing of the Angelina River by suspending themselves from pine trees with life lines attached to heavy machinery “effectively blocking the entirety of Keystone XL’s path,” the group reported.
The protesters oppose the 1,700-mile pipeline — set to run from Alberta to Houston area refineries — because it will carry oil from tar sands, a particularly destructive form of oil that is corrosive and requires the destruction of vast landscapes to expose deposits. Tar sands mining is also water and energy intensive, making it among the least efficient forms of energy. Many environmentalists say it will ratchet up carbon emissions to dangerous levels world wide.
Over the weekend, hundreds of people protested the pipeline in Washington D.C., as part of the “Do the Math” tour. Organizer Bill McKibben says the math for allowing tar sands oil doesn’t add up, because it will contribute to raising the global temperate two degrees above normal, forcing unrecoverable changes in Earth’s atmosphere, ocean levels and weather patterns.
Read more about the East Texas protests here.