Early morning on the 3ed of January, tar sands blockade treesitters in Texas set up a new kind of aerial barricade to stop construction of the southern leg of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.The two platforms, called "dump platforms" are a high stakes game of chicken in the trees. Any disturbance to the 100 foot plus web of blockading ropes would dump the protesters 60 feet to the ground and kill them. The adverse press dead protesters would stir up would be ruinous for TransCanada, builder of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
Speaking of Canada, the entire protest was done in solidarity with the Idle No More movement of Native American people in Canada against both the tar sands mining and bill C-45 to sell off Native lands and unprotect waterways with no input from the victimized people. It would be little surprise if the real purpose of Canadian bill C-45 is to grease the skids for transferring Native lands to the tar sands mining project. The waterway provisions, therefore, must be to prevent the Canadian government or it's corporate masters from being held responsible when Native children die from the poisons Transcanada and other resource extraction companies are dumping in the water.
Here is the timeline of the blockade using dump platforms, beginning when opposition showed up after the treesits were in place:
9:15 am – Blockaders speak with state trooper working at nearby truck weigh station. Trooper didn’t seem to care, wishes blockaders luck.
9:35 am – Workers and county sheriffs on site. Sheriffs are walking around site and reading warning signs attached to life-lines.
9:45 am – Six workers showed up at blockade, and all promptly left. One is going home to learn more about toxic tar sands on our website!
10:30 am – Plainclothes officers have chased ground support away from tree blockade.
11 am – Police and workers getting dangerously close to life-lines of eastern platform.
11:50 am – Police detaining supporters standing on side of highway; one direct supporter arrested
12:15 pm – Two more direct supporters arrested
12:45 pm – Audrey demands to speak with county commissioners about stopping Keystone XL
2:20 pm – Escalated police harassment of supporters along public highway continues
As this is being recorded, the blockade has been in place for 6 hours and police so far have not been able to defeat the dump platforms!