Yesterday was another intense day of direct environmental action and resulting pepper spray in East Texas.
More than 100 activists intent on shutting down construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline again gathered in the small East Texas town of Nacogdoches, again constructed treesits, again chained themselves to TransCanada’s equipment, and again were brutalized and arrested for their efforts. (We reported on a previous day of action last month.)
“Everyone who took action today knew the risks inolved and for many of them it was an act of conscience. They understand that the risks of this toxic pipeline far outweigh the cost of inaction,” the group wrote on its website. “Despite brutal police repression, we will not be intimidated and continue to resist TransCanada’s bullying of our friends and neighbors.”
According to the blockaders, 12 were arrested, seven of whom are facing felony charges. Their report:
Cherokee County Sheriffs brought in a cherry picker to try and extract the three tree blockaders. In response, a couple dozen ground supporters stood in front of the truck with the cherry picker and pushed up against it in an attempt to stop it. The truck driver refused to stop until they hit one of the supporters and almost dragged him underneath the vehicle. In an effort to disperse the crowd, police began indiscriminately spraying people in the face with pepper spray, including a 21 year old woman from Nacogdoches and a 75 year old woman with a heart condition.
(To be fair, that 75-year-old is also the founder of a local outpost of the badass Raging Grannies network.)
This was the 12th major action for the blockaders, who are nearly two months into their East Texas campaign against the pipeline. They show no signs of vacating the trees.