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Green Party Presidential Candidate Resupplies Texas Tree Village as 2nd Tree Blockade Comes Online

Dr. Jill Stein

My friends at smartMeme often talk about “psychic breaks.” A “psychic break” is where what the power holders tell us doesn’t really add up with reality on the ground. In this election cycle, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have hardly mentioned climate change and during the debates they actually argued over who was more pro-coal, pro-gas and pro-drilling. Now as super storm “Hurricane Sandy” has devastated the Atlantic seaboard from the Caribbean to New England, we see what they are saying just isn’t adding up.

In Texas, things quit adding up a while back and the Tar Sands Blockade sprung into action. This morning, as Presidential candidate Jill Stein was arrested resupplying their tree blockade (which she did successfully), while two young women also from New England started another tree sit further south, we see these “psychic breaks” coming faster and faster.

Climate is not just the issue of our time, it’s the issue of our existence as a species on this planet. We can either stand with Mother Earth, or with those that would devour her for short term profit.

In this debate, I think Mama Earth has my vote.

Here’s the press release:

Green Party Presidential Candidate Resupplies Tree Village as 2nd Tree Blockade Comes Online

Trio of New England women risk arrest to highlight Keystone XL’s link to extreme weather, Hurricane Sandy

WINNSBORO and SACUL, TEXAS – As Hurricane Sandy pushes further inland to devastate Appalachia and Canada, three women from New England, including Green Party Presidential Candidate Dr. Jill Stein, are risking arrest to highlight the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline’s connection to extreme weather events and climate change. Dr. Stein, a Massachusetts resident, is resupplying tree sitters in Winnsboro, Texas as two women from New England launch a new tree blockade a few hours to the south near Sacul, Texas. The Winnsboro tree blockade has sustained resistance to the Keystone XL pipeline for 38 days.

“The climate is taking this election by storm, breaking the silence of the Obama and Romney campaigns that have been bought and paid for by the oil, coal and gas companies,” said Dr. Stein. “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.”

Now blocking the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline from two new tree platforms in Sacul, Texas to the northwest of Nacogdoches are a 24 year old duo of lifelong New England residents, Pika from Vermont and Lauren from New Hampshire. Their platforms are suspended in trees on either side of a Keystone XL highway crossing and are tied to heavy equipment, effectively immobilizing the equipment to the north and south of the crossing. Both were driven to participate with Tar Sands Blockade after witnessing the extraordinary hardship of extreme weather on their communities and extended families. Continue reading ‘Green Party Presidential Candidate Resupplies Texas Tree Village as 2nd Tree Blockade Comes Online’

The True Cost Of Coal & The Fight For Climate Justice

Beehive Collective presentation of “The True Cost of Coal” at the Coal Exports Action in the Montana Statehouse in Helena.

This November, Rising Tide North America and the Beehive Collective are joining forces to travel on a roadshow through the American Southwest sharing the “True Cost of Coal” poster and telling stories of resistance to fossil fuel extraction.

From Appalachia to the Tar Sands Blockade in Texas to fighting western coal exports and hydro-fracking in the Northeast, a movement of movements is building to challenge Big Oil, Big Coal and Big Gas.

With the “True Cost of Coal” mural and an engaging story of resistance, we’ll be making the connections between mountaintop removal, fossil fuel extraction, climate change and the fight for climate justice.

It’ll be a powerful tour and the first of many. If you are nearby, please check it out.

If you want one in your town, let us know.

Tour dates include:

Monday Nov 5th: Colorado College Morreale Carriage House @ 4pm,  Coloardo Springs, CO
Tuesday Nov 6th: Deer Pile @ 5pm, Denver, CO
Wednesday Nov 7th: The Bean Cycle @ 7pm, Fort Collins, CO
Thursday Nov 8th: The Rad-ish Collective @ 7pm, Boulder, CO
Friday Nov 9th: Peaceful Uprising Warehouse @ 7pm, Salt Lake City, UT
Saturday, Nov 10th: Center for Independence at 3pm, Grand Junction, CO
Sunday, Nov 11th: Moab Arts and Recreation Center @ 6pm, Moab, UT
Monday Nov 12th:  space and time TBA, Flagstaff, AZ
Tuesday Nov 13th: Prescott College Crossroads Center, @ 6pm, Prescott, AZ  (also daytime presentations at Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy)
Wednesday Nov 14th: Rusty Spoke Bike Collective @ 7pm, Phoenix
ThursdayNov 15th: Small Engine Gallery @ 6pm,  Albuquerque, NM
Friday Nov 16th: Santa Fe University of Art & Design at 7pm, Santa Fe, NM
Friday Nov 16th:  United World College @ 7pm Montezuma, NM***
Saturday Nov 17thDiscovery Museum, 1333 Camino del Rio @ 3pm, Durango, CO

Promo Poster

“I Ain’t Collateral Damage. I Am Somebody”

“I Ain’t Collateral Damage. I Am Somebody.”

Honoring Larry Gibson With More Action Against Extraction

Cross-posted from Counterpunch

This past weekend I went to West Virginia to say goodbye to my friend Larry Gibson.

He passed away on September 9th on his home on Kayford Mountain, West Virginia. Hundreds turned out to Charleston’s civic arena to pay homage to this simple man who had 25 years ago decided to take a stand against one of the biggest most insidious industries in the history of the United States—Big Coal.

My first visit to West Virginia in 2006 ended up on Larry’s home on Kayford where he walked me around the property. The most devastating views were at Hell’s Gate. Hell’s Gate was the property line from where you could literally look down on massive mountaintop removal operations. It was stunning. I’ve seen clear cut forests, oil spills and an industry polluted lake near Butte, Montana, but nothing prepares you for mountaintop removal. It changed me. At that point, I wanted to do everything I could to stop it.

Back in May, he and I both attended the Bank of America shareholder’s meeting in Charlotte, NC. He joined other shareholder activists inside to speak some truth to CEO Brian Moynihan’s power. That day Larry was especially fired up and fed up. His house on Kayford had just been burglarized by the opposition. He wasn’t in any mood to back down from any bankers’ double-talk on their support of the hate and violence in Appalachia. He didn’t. During that week, he told us: “They tell us we’re collateral damage. Well, I ain’t collateral damage. I am somebody. My name is Larry Gibson.”

Larry was a fighter. He wasn’t always an activist and didn’t want to be. But when faced with mountaintop removal coal mining, he embraced these movements and fought with them shoulder to shoulder every day until he passed away. Larry realized that much of Kayford was lost to strip-mining of companies like Massey Energy and Arch Coal; he continued to work to prevent other environmental crimes in other communities in Appalachia and beyond.

Larry continuously called for building bigger inclusive cross-issue movements. He’d talked about how everything needed to “get bigger.” He participated in last year’s Tar Sands Action in front of the White House. Last year, he joined US Uncut in a Bank of America branch in San Francisco. In his final days, he was outraged by Patriot Coal’s robbing of union retirees of their pensions and medical benefits and urged others to take action.

When Goldman winner and longtime mountain justice activist Judy Bond passed away last year, her parting words to us were “fight harder,” but Larry’s was “fight together.” Continue reading ‘“I Ain’t Collateral Damage. I Am Somebody”’

We Stand With the ACFN to Stop Pipelines At the Source

ImageAny fight against the pipelines and tanker projects in BC must be rooted at stopping them at the source—the Alberta Tar Sands. On Tuesday, October 23rd we will be standing with the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) as they challenge Shell’s proposed expansion of the Jackpine Mine.

They have filed a constitutional challenge, “citing lack of adequate or meaningful consultation and that the application would have adverse impact on their treaty rights” says a press release put out by the ACFN. It continues to explain that, “the application calls for the mining out of 21 km of the Muskeg river, a river of cultural and traditional significance to both the people and wildlife in the area.” 

This challenge is even more significant given that just yesterday the Conservatives rolled out a new version of the budget bill, Bill C-45, which further undermines Treaty rights and environmental legislation in Canada. In particular, the bill would weaken the Navigable Waters Protection Act, consequently weakening protection of the Muskeg river and making it easier for the expansion to be approved.

The ACFN are hosting a rally and a pipe ceremony on the first day of the constitutional challenge and are  asking supporters to join them in Fort McMurray, Alberta. To learn more about how to get there from Edmonton, email Council of Canadians will be there to support all of the day’s events. For more information on what is planned, check out Stop Shell Now’s event page, here.

Following these projects, Council will continue on its six-day No Pipelines, No Tankers Speaking Tour, stopping in communities on or near the routes of the Pacific Trails, Enbridge Northern Gateway, and Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipelines.

“The idea is to build solidarity between the different pipeline campaigns,” says Harjap Grewal, Pacific Regional Organizer of the Council of Canadians. This includes campaigns to stop the pipelines at their source—in the Alberta Tar Sands and Fracking region in northeastern BC. Pipelines planning to bring fossil fuels to BC’s coast for international markets are being fought as individual projects, when they are all part of a larger agenda to secure profits for corporations and oil- and gas-friendly governments.

“If these and other pipelines are allowed to be built, there will be no incentive in the foreseeable future to cut back on the production of fossil fuels and convert to the clean energy future we and the planet need. These pipelines are not only the arteries carrying the dirtiest oil on Earth, they become the drivers of an expanded industry as there will be relentless pressure to keep them full. We must and will stop these pipelines,” says Maude Barlow.

The lineup of speakers include Maude Barlow, Bill McKibbon, Caleb Behn, Rueben George, and many others who will be speaking in numerous cities beginning on Tuesday, October 23rd.

For full information on speakers, locations, and times, please visit the No Pipelines, No Tankers Solidarity Speaking Tour site.


Making History with Divestment

Posted on behalf of Alli Welton and Ben Thompson.

In the 1980s, apartheid was an injustice too terrible to be ignored. Today, global warming is the tremendous injustice that demands our generation to unite and take action. Hampshire College made history last Monday when it was revealed to students that its endowment is currently free of fossil fuels after an earlier responsible investment shift, just as it made history thirty- five years ago as the first of many schools to divest from companies that supported apartheid in South Africa. Now the rest of us must join together on our campuses and across the country to fight for divestment from fossil fuels so we can take down the climate crisis as students before us took down apartheid.

Students are already calling for divestment from coal, oil, and natural gas companies at roughly thirty schools, from Lewis & Clark to Cornell. Unfortunately, the administration at many of these schools have not yet followed Hampshire’s example of bold ethical leadership. At Harvard University, for instance, President Faust declared that she would not use the endowment to fight climate change. At Boston University, President Brown all but refused to even meet with students to discuss the proposal.

We see that fossil fuel divestment will not be an easy battle, but it will be worth the effort. Higher education endowments represent $400 billion across the United

States, a substantial sum of money to withhold from oil, gas, and coal companies. Our institutions can send a powerful message to the financial community and the world, signaling to investors that fossil fuels are a dying industry they should divest from quickly because our generation will not stand for a world powered by deadly energy.

Furthermore, divestment campaigns are a labor of love for our communities. Fossil fuel companies are inherently risky investments that higher education institutions would be wise to avoid. As Bill McKibben made clear this summer in his article in Rolling Stone, we can only burn 565 gigatons more carbon before going over the UN-sanctioned 2 degree upper limit for warming, but the share prices of fossil fuel companies reflect the 2795 gigatons stored in their reserves underground. That carbon cannot be burnt– the facade will fall away eventually, society will realize that those gigatons must remain underground, and fossil fuel stocks will tank. Universities lost up to 30% of their endowments when the housing bubble burst in 2008 and stocks crashed, resulting in budget constraints, job slashing, and painful cuts to financial aid. Our schools cannot afford to suffer similar losses a second time when the carbon bubble bursts.

Divestment has the potential to unite us across our campuses and create a national student movement. We are all tired of trying to work within the political system where far too many politicians are the lapdogs of Big Coal and Big Oil rather than the guardians of the public interest. We are all sick of wasting hours negotiating with our administrations to win funding for energy-saving light bulbs only to turn around and see our planet still hurtling over the edge. It is time to directly attack the corporations responsible for the climate crisis. Through divestment, we can start to take away some of the wealth and thus the power of the corporate fossil fuel tyrants. And by uniting students across the country in this fight, we will create a national student movement so powerful that politicians will not be able to ignore us when it comes time to take on Washington.

This will be the chapter in the climate movement’s history when we finally start to win. Join us.

Alli Welton is an undergraduate student at Harvard College and Ben Thompson is a graduate student at Boston University. Both are members of Students for a Just and Stable Future, a student-led organization partnering with Better Future Project and on university divestment campaigns. Join our national day of action for fossil fuel divestment on October 24th or learn more about starting a divestment campaign at your school at or by contacting

Over 50 Enter Tar Sands Tree Blockade in Defiance of Police and Legal Repression to Defend Tree-Sitters

The fight against the Keystone XL pipeline isn’t going anywhere. This morning in defiance of TransCanada paid police and lawsuits, over 50 people marched onto the easement to resupply the tree blockade with fresh food and water.

Follow for updates at

Here’s the press release:

Over 50 Enter Tar Sands Blockade Tree Village in Defiance of Police and Legal Repression to Defend Tree-Sitters

Risking arrest, lawsuits protesters rally for massive tree blockade after expansion of TransCanada’s overreaching SLAPP suit

WINNSBORO, TEXAS – MONDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2012 – Following a weekend of nonviolent civil disobedience training in North Texas by Tar Sands Blockade, many dozens of protesters and supporters are rallying today at the site of the largest and longest tree sit in Texas history to stage the largest walk-on site protest and civil disobedience in the history of Keystone XL pipeline construction. Several individuals are defending the tree sitters and the trees by locking themselves to construction equipment being used in proximity to the forest blockade. Solidarity actions are also taking place in Washington DC, Boston, Austin and New York City.

Altogether more than 50 blockaders are risking arrest to stop Keystone XL construction and bring attention to TransCanada’s repression of journalists attempting to cover the blockaders’ side of the story. They are joined by dozens of supporters who are rallying on public property with colorful banners and signs alongside the easement’s closest highway crossing. A massive media team is in tow to document the day of action and any possible police repression. Continue reading ‘Over 50 Enter Tar Sands Tree Blockade in Defiance of Police and Legal Repression to Defend Tree-Sitters’

Thirty National & International Groups Call For Support Of the Tar Sands Blockade

I’m very excited to have been able to have worked on getting this letter of support the Tar Sands Blockade together.

They are the flagship of what is going on in the climate movement today. It’s so important that the rest of us that can’t be there have their backs and support their non-violent direct campaign in whatever way we can. Right now, police and prosecutors respond to blockaders with violence and trumped up charges and TransCanada responds with reckless disregard for the safety of protestors as well as lawsuits.

Right now, we need to respond with “a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

An Open Letter In Support Of the Tar Sands Blockade

Dear Friends,

As we write, our friends with the Tar Sands Blockade are blocking construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline in the woods of Texas. For the past six months they have built a movement of climate activists, rural landowners, Texans, Oklahomans and people from all over the country to fiercely resist it. For two weeks, they have captured the imagination of the world with a daring tree- sit and bold ground actions near Winnsboro, TX that have delayed TransCanada’s operations.

TransCanada has responded by allowing its employees to operate their heavy machines with reckless disregard for the safety of protestors and tree-sitters. Police have responded with brutal means such as pepper-spray and Tasers against peaceful protestors. Prosecutors have responded with elevated charges.

It is clear what is at stake. NASA’s leading climate scientist Dr. James Hansen has called the Keystone XL pipeline, “a fuse to the largest carbon bomb on the planet.” If all the carbon stored in the Canadian tar sands is released into the earth’s atmosphere it will mean “game over” for the planet.

In 2011, we saw the Tar Sands Action galvanize environmental and social justice communities in an unprecedented show of unity during the sit-ins in front of the White House. Every day members of Indigenous communities, faith communities, labor communities, anti-mountaintop removal movements, anti-fracking movements and many more stepped forward and put their bodies on the line in solidarity. In the year since, we have witnessed people from the Lakota nation in South Dakota and from Moscow, Idaho putting their bodies in roads and highways blocking large transport trucks carrying oil refining equipment to develop further tar sands extraction. Now, the Tar Sands Blockade has taken the next logical step confronting climate change.

If we are determined to prevent the pursuit of extreme energy from destroying our communities, natural systems and climate, then peaceful, yet confrontational, protests like the Tar Sands Blockade are necessary actions for change. Continue reading ‘Thirty National & International Groups Call For Support Of the Tar Sands Blockade’

Love and Rebellion in the East Texas Woods

This is a post from an activist working in the back country of East Texas in support of the Tar Sands Blockade.

UPDATE: Late last night, the Tar Sands Blockade erected a 30-foot free standing pole with lifelong Texan Mary Germanati sitting atop it to stop TransCanada’s heavy machinery who have been THREATENING the safety of the tree-sitters for days now. As of this writing, Mary still sits atop this free standing blockade.

Originally posted in the Earth First Newswire

I’m writing to ya’ll from a safe space nearby the Tar Sands Blockade in rural east Texas.  Early this week, heeding the call of friends and comrades already on site, we assembled a crew of Earth First!ers from the Northeast US and made the 30+ hour drive to the site to provide crucial reinforcement.  The tree village set up on site is one of the most fantastic things we’ve ever seen, and the emerging pictures on the internet do it no justice. Down below the pods, hideous monsters in the form of massive feller bunchers and dozers fill the air with the heinous sounds of corporate ecocide: mechanical whirs, sawing, and worst of the all the sound of beautiful trees hundreds of years old falling to their death, driving wildlife from their homes.

Yesterday a feller buncher began clearing through a section of the forest, rapidly advancing towards one of the tree sitters.  Clearly printed in large letters on the side of the death machine read a warning to stay back at least 500 feet.  A roving team on the ground that I was part of began cat-and-mousing the feller buncher, trying to keep our comrade in the tree safe.  On the ground two TransCanada workers and one local sheriff operating as an armed mercenary of the corporation oversaw the operations, trying to move through the felled trees to push back our crew from the clear cut site.  We continued to advance, determined not only to protect our comrade above in the canopy but to push them back and show them that we are not scared and that we will RESIST.  At one point as we had just watched the feller buncher take down an 80 foot water oak not 40 feet away from the sitter and we heard our friend screaming from above pleading for the safety of their life, I ran towards the machine about 25 feet away making eye contact with the driver who continued to operate the machine and yelling to TransCanada and their bought and paid sheriff that we would not stay back, that they were going to kill our friend if they continued to advance and they were required by law to stop the machine.  The sheriff approached saying that “they” (speaking as if they were actually part of TC) weren’t coming any further at that point and they turned the machine around to continue clear cutting.  A crew of 7 of us held our ground and remained in defense of the sitter on the opposite side of a creek where we were forced to watch tree after tree fall. A dense part of the forest was instantly turned in to a morose tree morgue.

Overcome with emotions, having never seen a clearcut myself and certainly having never faced down a massive feller buncher, I moved back through the clearcut, across the creek where our friend sat above us in a tree.  Feeling the energy coming from the mercilessly mauled fresh tree stumps, I lay over a large one crying uncontrollably as I watched the remaining few trees off in the distance be cut and wrestled out of place. I angrily contemplated the enormity of the corporate state, the cancer that is capitalism, and the injustice of the entire situation. Comrades were there to comfort me and together we all walked away from the horrible scene feeling renewed in our fight and certain in our decision to come to Texas to fight this madness and call attention to this scene.

As I write this now I’m receiving word from the site that they’re cutting in from the south side, only 20 feet away from the sitter we spent yesterday protecting.  North from there at the wall that y’all have seen photos of earlier this week, several of our friends’ lives are at risk and trees are being cut dangerously close. TC is now clearing from the west side of the site, attempting to box our site in and presumably make way for cherry pickers and other extraction devices.

One of the locals who is currently resisting the Keystone XL pipeline in solidarity with several local landowners shared stories with a few of us.  It is absolutely clear that TransCanada is paying off local law enforcement officers.  In addition TC is relentlessly trying to serve people with lawsuits, putting gag orders on landowners who had previously been strong allies, and buying off others.  Yesterday one of our key allies awoke to TC in their yard with a big feller buncher.  TC had promised them multiple times both verbally and in formally written depositions that they would give “fair” notice before beginning to destroy their land.  It seems like TC knew that this area is quickly receiving an influx of resisters and gave this landowner no warning, knowing that we’d have certainly acted at that site.

Despite the situation we are keeping spirits high.  Last night I came out of the woods with three comrades to head to a safe space to write this communique to y’all.  We were excited to find that many new friends and many familiar faces had arrived to reinforce the site.  We’re here for the long haul and are asking y’all to come down to help defend our friends in the trees and stand up to TransCanada and their dirty pipeline.  What we’re doing is not enough, but there is strength in numbers and with the aid of more friends we can turn up the heat on TC.  There are many opportunities to plug in in various ways here and the pipeline is going in all across this region.  There are many allies and a supportive campaign.  We sit here anxiously waiting to re-join our comrades and worried for their safety, and eager to return to the woods and keep up the fight.  We hope to see you in the woods.

In Solidarity & For the Wild,

Your Anonymous Comrade

UPDATE: TSB is having an ACTION CAMP Oct 12-14 in the East Texas Woods! Email TSB for more info.

VIDEO: TransCanada Machine Operator Attempts to Drop Tree on Peaceful Blockader

Disturbing events from the Tar Sands Blockade.

Today TransCanada machine operators were caught on video attempting to drop trees on blockaders.

From the Tar Sands Blockade’s website down in Texas:

TransCanada has only continued to jeopardize the safety of our friends as we move forward on the fourth day of our sustained tree-sit. A worker operating a feller buncher, a heavy machinery used for clear-cutting forests, attempted to drop a felled tree on a peaceful blockader late Tuesday.

After Tuesday’s incident in which blockader’s witnessed TransCanada supervisors actively encouraging the torture of two peaceful blockaders, they immediately turned their heavy machinery back on and continued to plow toward nine people in a tree blockade. Before they could get close enough to the 80-foot-high tree village, a team of four nonviolent blockaders intent on protecting the safety of their friends, and stopping TransCanada’s reckless clear-cutting machinery intercepted them.

When approached in plain sight by the members of Tar Sands Blockade the TransCanada operator refused to turn off his machine in accordance with Federal safety regulations. He continued to recklessly clear-cut trees in full view of TransCanada supervisors who simply watched with video cameras. The feller buncher operator made eye contact with blockaders, and proceeded to drop a tree near enough to them that blockader J.G Jenson had to jump out of the way to avoid being slammed by the branches.

“It felt like he was aiming a loaded gun at me and would pull the trigger any second,” says J.G. Jenson who had to leap out of the way to avoid being struck by the falling tree. “TransCanada has abandoned all safety protocols to plow this toxic pipeline through our homes at any cost.”

“We are here on the front lines of the fight to stop tar sands extraction, and we need more people to join us here because they are trying plow right through us.” Continue reading ‘VIDEO: TransCanada Machine Operator Attempts to Drop Tree on Peaceful Blockader’

TransCanada Actively Encouraged Torture Tactics to be Used on Peaceful Protestors

This is outrageous! TransCanada sits by and tells police to torture peaceful protestors handcuffed.

TransCanada Actively Encouraged Torture Tactics to be Used on Peaceful Protestors

Yesterday two Texans, Shannon Bebe and Benjamin Franklin, were subjected to torture tactics at the hands of police under the active encouragement of TransCanada senior supervisors. Bebe and Franklin were exercising their constitutional rights to nonviolent protest when they locked themselves to Keystone XL construction machinery outside Winnsboro, Texas and delayed construction for most of the day. Police began using aggressive pain compliance tactics when a senior TransCanada supervisor named John arrived and actively encouraged it. Torture tactics included; sustained chokeholds, violent arm-twisting, pepper spray, and multiple uses of Tasers, all while blockaders where in handcuffs.

Immediately following TransCanada’s consultation, law enforcement handcuffed the protesters’ free hands to the heavy machinery in stress positions and then subjected to repeated torture tactics by four police officers while TransCanada employees stood by and watched.

With the news that their friends had been tortured with TransCanada’s approval, the eight original tree sitters were bravely joined by another, expanding the tree blockade further as TransCanada’s clear-cutting heavy machinery rapidly approaches. Construction is roughly 300 yards away from the tree blockade. All refuse to come down until TransCanada halts its dangerous pipeline project.

Extraordinarily, despite their torture, the two endured for over five hours, affirming their courageous stance that taking action now is less of a risk than doing nothing. Watch the coverage on Democracy Now!

“As someone who has a religious dedication to nonviolence, I have a duty to assist nonviolent tactics. This is a path to change that works. Despite everything that happened at the direction of TransCanada, I don’t regret my involvement at all. I encourage everyone to persevere in the face of this type of sheer brutality. To follow one’s moral compass in spite of extreme challenges is the way we move forward towards a more humane, tar sands-free planet,” Franklin said after he was tortured Tuesday.

A plain-clothes police officer was among the aggressive officers to implement torture tactics. He put Franklin in a chokehold cutting off his breathing, and bent him over backwards in an attempt to make him pass out. Franklin reports difficulty swallowing because of bruises sustained to his esophagus.

The most physically aggressive was the ranking officer, a Lieutenant with the Wood County Sheriff Department under the observation of TransCanada employees. He twisted and contorted the tube that Bebe and Franklin had locked their arms into, cutting off circulation to their hands and cutting abrasions into their hands and forearms. Continue reading ‘TransCanada Actively Encouraged Torture Tactics to be Used on Peaceful Protestors’

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