Not content to protest from the trees, anti-Keystone activists mobilized on Monday at two different offices of pipeline builder TransCanada.
Nearly 100 activists took over the lobby of TransCanada’s Houston office to dance, chant, prance with puppets, die-in, and then be kicked out by police.
At one point a blockader dropped to his knees and pleaded with a line of police holding batons: “Help! There are eco-terrorists upstairs! They’re killing me!” Officers arrested two of the activists once they’d been ushered from the lobby.
Police, who were probably having a bad day, also did this:
— Tar Sands Blockade (@KXLBlockade) January 7, 2013
Just as the action in Houston died down, eight college students and recent grads were chaining and gluing themselves inside TransCanada’s corporate office in Westborough, Mass. They were promptly unchained and arrested, because that’s how much TransCanada cares about your Harvard degrees, kids.
These weren’t huge actions nor were they sustained blockades, but they mark another escalation in tactics that protesters are using to fight the Keystone XL pipeline. Activists in the Northeast are gearing up for protests on Jan. 23 and 26 against tar-sands transport through New England. And a Feb. 17 anti-Keystone rally in front of the White House could attract 20,000 people, 350.org says.
Meanwhile, TransCanada twirled its mustache and released this statement Monday afternoon:
TransCanada has the legal authority to construct the Gulf Coast Project, and this is another example of the protestors’ attempt to stop a project that is currently providing thousands of jobs to American workers. This project is also a key component of the ‘all of the above’ strategy to enhance American energy security — especially refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Then executives laughed manically over their tiny model of the Keystone XL pipeline, and wondered if it was broken or something, because it just keeps leaking. Weird.