I’m currently part of a team of awesome friends roving through the woods of east Texas as part of the Tar Sands Blockade (TSB). This is an epic fight to defend Texans’ homes and land against the clearcutting and pollution caused by the building of the massive Keystone XL pipeline.
The media team for TSB are doing an awesome job of updating our website as TransCanada (TC) and their hired goons advance toward our blockade with heavy equipment and repeatedly endanger our people in some scary ways. A friend and I thought that allies of the TSB might appreciate an on-the-ground perspective, and so before I go back to defending our blockade I thought I’d update y’all.
The forest of east Texas is totally beautiful. Water oak, sweet gum and slash pine trees define the canopy, and green briar, muscadine grapes and beautyberry bushes cover the ground. This forest is home to great blue herons, turkey vultures, whippoorwills, lots of deer, rattlers and other snakes, armadillos, and even occasional black bears. All of these are our natural allies and have been incredibly disturbed by the clear cutting of their home.
At the beginning of this week the bad guys were operating a feller buncher and clear cutting a vast swath of forest aimed directly at our blockade. On Tuesday morning we temporarily stopped them by placing ourselves directly in the path of their machines. As a backhoe was placing timbers over a gully so that other more destructive stuff like feller-bunchers could advance toward our blockade, two of our team locked down to the backhoe and stopped it in its tracks while the rest of us provided cover. The lockdowners were then tortured by local police with TC supervisors watching and laughing. After they were extracted from the backhoe, the timber bridge got built and the feller buncher started rapidly destroying trees advancing toward our blockade.