ETX protestors camping out 'indefinitely' above ground in trees - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

ETX protestors camping out 'indefinitely' above ground in trees


A few East Texans are calling themselves "defenders of the land" as they camp out almost 40 feet high in trees.

The group, called the Tar Sands Blockade, are defending the land in protest of the Keystone XL Pipeline construction.

Three campsites are set up in the air, along with a few on the ground off County Road 4591, which is just South of Winnsboro in Wood County.

"People need to know resistance is possible, and we're going to show them that. People think there's nothing they can do, they think they just have to roll over," said one of the pipeline protestors.

"If they want to get through here, they're going to have to take us down, and if they have to hurt us to do that, then that's what they have to do, but we're not going to move," said another protestor.

You can call it an elaborate setup, but these defenders of the land say they are willing to do anything to stop the pipeline construction, even if it takes camping in the trees for weeks or even months.

"We're not here to compromise with TransCanada. We're here to stop the pipeline and unless they're willing to cancel it and offer a better solution to the people who live here, then we're going to stay here," said a protestor.

These land defenders say TransCanada's Keystone XL Pipeline, which is set to run from Canada to the Gulf Coast, will be dangerous to homeowners, and the surrounding communities.

"These are folks that are dedicated to protecting the land, dedicated to protecting our future and keeping this toxic pipeline from destroying our waters, and destroying our land," said the Tar Sands Blockade spokesperson, Ron Seifert.

David Dodson with TransCanada said this multi-billion dollar project is perfectly safe.

"This is going to be the safest pipeline ever built; we went through the permitting process with the Department of State. We agreed to 57 additional construction measures, most of them for safety and protection of the environment," said David Dodson with TransCanada.

TransCanada says the protesters are on land signed over as an easement on their property back in 2008, giving the company right to be on the property.

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