It’s day 38 of the Keystone XL pipeline blockade in East Texas, and that means more treetop activists, more scuffles with police, and more arrests — including that of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.
Today was what blockaders are calling their 11th action — the construction of a new pair of tree perches more than 100 miles south of Winnsboro, where the main protests have taken place.
Meanwhile, in Winnsboro, Jill Stein and others successfully delivered supplies to activists who may or may not actually be delaying the pipeline’s construction. From the Tar Sands Blockade:
Jill Stein was joined by seven others, including three blockaders and four members of the press. They were delivering fresh fruits and vegetables, canned proteins, trail mix, and Halloween candy. They were not warned of imminent arrests; and the arresting officers did not self-identify as police. Instead, the impression the officers gave was that they were private security working for the Canadian oil corporation, TransCanada.
TransCanada has routinely hired off-duty sheriffs to guard their easement in Winnsboro, and those sheriffs have reportedly arrested and assaulted activists over the last several weeks. Along with Stein, one of the freelance reporters was also detained by police but then released. While awaiting processing, Stein had a statement ready to go:
I’m here to connect the dots between super storm Sandy and the record heat, drought, and fire we’ve seen this year – and this Tar Sands pipeline, which will make all of these problems much worse. And I’m here to connect the dots between climate devastation and pipeline politicians – both Obama and Romney – who are competing, as we saw in the debates, for the role of Puppet In Chief for the fossil fuel industry. Both deserve that title. Obama’s record of “drill baby drill” has gone beyond the harm done by George Bush. Mitt Romney promises more of the same … Hurricane Sandy is just a taste of what’s to come under the climate destroying policies of Romney and Obama. We must stand up now and call for climate solutions and green prosperity. The blockaders are heroes. They are on the front line of stopping even worse climate storms in the future.
That sentiment and her trouble might have won Stein some new sympathetic votes from the eco-minded left.
— Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola) October 31, 2012
This is Stein’s second arrest this month (the first garnered a similar wave of support and pledged votes). According to her campaign, the Green Party candidate had never been arrested until she began her campaign for president.
We’ll check in with the blockaders again soon, hopefully before another famous person is tossed in jail.