From Tar Sands Blockade:
Several protestors with Tar Sands Blockade sealed themselves inside a section of pipe destined for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline to stop construction of the dangerous project. Using a blockading technique never implemented before, Matt Almonte and Glen Collins locked themselves between two barrels of concrete weighing over six hundred pounds each. Located twenty-five feet into a pipe segment waiting to be laid in the ground, the outer barrel is barricading the pipe’s opening and neither barrel can be moved without risking serious injury to the blockaders.
The barricaded section of the pipeline passes through a residential neighborhood in Winona, TX. If TransCanada moves ahead with the trenching and burying of this particular section of pipe, it would run less than a hundred feet from neighboring homes. Tar sands pipelines threaten East Texas communities with their highly toxic contents, which pose a greater risk to human health than conventional crude oil. TransCanada’s existing tar sands pipeline, Keystone XL’s predecessor, has an atrocious safety record, leaking twelve times in its first year of operation. …
Today also marks day 5 of the Houston Hunger Strike in which Gulf Coast activists with Tar Sands Blockade are going without food to demand that Valero divest entirely from the Keystone XL pipeline and invest in the health and wellbeing of the communities it’s poisoning.
At 12:45 PM, Central, both Matt and Glen were arrested. As of 1:30, a third Blockader, Isabel Indigo Brooks, who was inside the pipe, and providing assistance for Glen and Matt, was removed and arrested.
A few earlier “updates”:
“9:20 am — Police threaten to use tear gas on peaceful protesters.”
“9:50 am — Officers are threatening to send a police dog into the pipe.”
“10:40 am — Police threaten to lift pipe and dump out Glen and Matt.”
“10:55 am — Crowd gathers to support blockaders inside Keystone XL pipeline
People driving by the scene are showing their support by honking and stopping to talk to protesters about the dangers of toxic tar sands. Despite threats of violence, spirits are high; the crowd and Glen and Matt are singing together.”
“11:20 am — Police attempting to block view of pipe and move supporters further from scene.”
“12:30 pm — Blockaders forcibly extracted from pipe
Police brought an ambulance to the scene and then began pulling on one of the barrels. The crowd surged onto the easement to protect Glen and Matt from this dangerous extraction, but they were chased away by the police. Both barrels and the two blockaders have been removed from the pipe.”