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Tar Sands Blockader Retroactively Charged, Arrested, for a Felony

What the Tar Sands Blockaders are experiencing isn’t new — the apparent influence of corporate desires on law enforcement; the use of “non-lethal,” or as it’s also referred to, “less lethal,” law enforcement tactics; the confiscation of cameras and phones of those trying to document what’s happening. All of that was / is a part of responses to, for the most obvious and recent examples, Occupy actions, political national convention protests, and Walmart strikers.

Relatively speaking, the Tar Sands Blockade is small, but that only makes their efforts, and those of law enforcement, that much more significant. One take-away from the East Texas blockaders: no action challenging the Corporate State is too small to yet be a powerful voice.

From Tar Sands Blockade:

Insult to Injury: Shannon Retroactively Arrested for a Felony

In response to the use of torture tactics used on our friends Benjamin and Shannon at the behest of TransCanada supervisors, there has been an outpouring of response from across the country. With the help of our national allies hundreds of people called TransCanada’s Headquarters, signed petitions to demand they denounce the unconscionable tactics. Over 20 national and grassroots organizations even signed onto a statement condemning the tactics. To this day TransCanada has yet to deny or condemn any of the allegations levied against its agents and their actions.

There is also a new and outrageous development in the story. Our brave friend Shannon Beebe is now being charged retro-actively with felonies for using a device to lock arms with Benjamin around a piece of Keystone XL construction machinery as part of a peaceful protest. This is an archaic charge (use of a ‘criminal instrument’) that has literally no case history in the last 30 years. This adds ‘insult to injury’ with slapping additional FELONY charges against our friend. Yesterday, Shannon was pulled over and arrested because of this new, outstanding warrant for a retro-active felony charge. She’s currently in jail on a $7,500 bail. It’s clear that the industry is pursuing a strategy to utilize their deep pockets and corporate lawyers to drain the limited grassroots resources we’ve managed to raise. …

Shannon isn’t the only one facing these trumped up charges and outrageous bail amounts. To date three blockaders have received this charge: Shannon Beebe, Alejandro de la Torre, and Maggie Gorry. Alejandro, arrested on Monday, was given a $10,000 bail for defending a family farm from Keystone XL’s destruction. Then Maggie was given an $11,000 bail on Wednesday for sitting atop a 40-foot high timber pole, a courageous action that forestalled Keystone XL clear-cutting operations around the epic tree blockade for two entire days. Since when did a tree become a ‘criminal instrument?’

For more related to Shannon’s arrest, see A Firsthand Account of Shannon’s Retroactive Arrest.

(Tar Sands Blockade Logo / Shannon Portrait via Tar Sands Blockade)

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9 Responses to Tar Sands Blockader Retroactively Charged, Arrested, for a Felony

  1. ladywalker68 October 6, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    What is shocking is that this whole story isn’t getting more press. I read the article about Darryl Hannah’s grandmother’s farm and this should terrify the be-Jesus out of any “land-owning” American.

    If you think this can’t happen to you, think again. The eminent domain laws in this country mean exactly what is happening with this pipeline: Your land is NOT your land.

    The corporations and current and future administrations are so in bed together, the everybody else be damned.

    Is there a link somewhere so I can contribute to a defense fund for Shannon?

  2. Joyce Arnold October 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    Click on the Tar Sand Blockade link in the post. They have options to help there.

    And you are absolutely right: this should be getting more attention.

    • ladywalker68 October 6, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

      Thanks so much for keeping on top of this. I wonder, is there any way we could get this into an upcoming debate as a topic?

      I would LOVE to see both Romney and Obama weigh in on this, how a multinational corporation comes in and bullies a community and torches their land.

      Only God and make a tree and it takes decades for one to grow to maturity. Got to hand it to men…they can destroy hundreds of trees in 24 hours….

      • Joyce Arnold October 6, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

        I think it helps that we do what we can to spread the word about what’s happening. Nonviolent direct action isn’t for everyone, but these people could certainly use whatever kind of support we can provide.

        Obama okay’d this southern end of the Keystone pipeline. Put that with the emails and FB posts I’ve seen directed at “my friends in Texas and Oklahoma,” telling me the fact that petroleum exploration and drilling have expanded under Obama is a reason I should excitedly cast my vote for him, and I can’t see any great swell of support from the WH or Dems in general for the Blockaders. I’ll freely acknowledge my frustation and disgust …

        • Uh-oh October 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm #


          • ladywalker68 October 6, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

            Agree too!


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