Matt Almonte (Photo Courtesy Smith County Sheriff's Office)
Isabel Brooks (Photo Courtesy Smith County Sheriff's Office)
Glen Collins (Photo Courtesy Smith County Sheriff's Office)
SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -
The Tar Sands Blockade is continuing its protest of the TransCanada Pipeline in Smith County.
The group has moved to the intersection of County Roads 357 and 363 in northern Smith County.
This time they tried to seal themselves into the pipe itself.
The Tar Sands Blockade was making their feelings known today in Smith County. Two protestors climbed inside the pipe and placed two concrete-filled barrels between them and the way out.
The Smith County Sheriff's Department was called in to have them removed.
Ron Seifert, spokesperson for the Tar Sands Blockade said, "The land owners here feel like their homes have been taken illegally, that TransCanada has bullied people all over Texas into signing contracts. That it's using its pipeline for private profits, not for any public use or public good, so these blockaders feel very justified in doing whatever it takes to advocate for these landowners and to protect our collective future, out water and our resources from the deadliest form of energy that we have on the planet right now: these dirty tar sands."
Shortly after noon the pipe-squatting protesters' barrels were removed, and then the protestors themselves.
Isabel Brooks, Matt Almonte, and Glen Collins were all arrested at the scene. All three were charged with criminal trespassing, resisting arrest and illegal dumping.
"Today's blockaders are also acting in concert with other Tar Sands participants down in Houston who are on hunger strike outside the Valero refinery where tar sands fuel is expected to be received and refined through this pipeline," Seifert added.
TransCanada sent us a response saying, "It is unfortunate these protestors are trying to keep thousands of Americans from the jobs they depend on to provide for their families. This project is important, not only to thousands of workers, but also to Americans in general."
Representatives of the Tar Sands Blockade say they will continue protesting the pipeline.
The Smith County District Attorney's office is investigating to see if more charges will be filed. The Sheriff's Department says they did not use pepper spray.
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