Since the 24th of September, the courageous activists of Tar Sands Blockade have been physically blocking construction of the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline in Texas, where construction of the southern leg has already started. Treesits, protesters locking themselves to heavy equipment, and even an incident where a Houston resident locked himself to an underground capsule have blocked the route and prevented Transcanada from clearutting trees in that area. Transcanada is attempting to bypass the blockade by clearcutting a path around the blockade, in areas not on the plans and for which they have no permits to cut anything. In addition, Transcanada has egged on sickening police violence and endangered protesters with their own actions.
In two incidents on the First of October, a Transcanada employee attempt to forcibly remove tree sitters by either trying to drop a tree on them or swinging a felled tree at the supports of their platform. Both incidents involved the same operator of the same feller-buncher, a heavy machine that cuts and stacks trees.
Just five hours before that incident, Sherrif's Deputies resorted to outright torture in an attempt to force Shannon Beebe and Benjamin Franklin to unlock themselves from heavy equipment. With TransCanada employees watching, these pigs twisted Shannon and Ben’s arms, put Ben in a choke hold and blasted both of them with pepper spray. Then, after discussion with the TransCanada goons, the cops proceeded to use a taser to shock Shannon and Ben multiple times.The electrical jolts from a Taser and sparks from the probes can set a person on fire if their clothing has been soaked with pepper spray.
Afterwards, John, the senior TransCanada supervisor, openly congratulated the Sheriff's Department Lieutenant on a "job well done," to which he responded, "If this happens again we'll just skip to using pepper spray and tasing in the first 10 minutes."
Here's why people are risking being tortured or even killed to physically obstruct the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline:
(tape-blockaders speak on their reasons for participating, from Youtube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZYj_e4zBsw )