What: Tar Sands Blockade protesters take over TransCanada Keystone XL offices in Houston. 2 Blockaders currently locked to front doors of the office, demanding accountability for abuses by TransCanada
Where: 2700 Post Oak Blvd, Suite 400, Houston TX 77056 (next to the Houston Galleria)
When: Underway now!
Who: 100+ protesters gathered to confront pipeline company over land abuses, toxic legacy and climate change connected to TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline.
The Tar Sands Blockade is a group of environmentalists and landowners working to stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline through direct action.
Why: This action kicks off a new phase of the Tar Sands Blockade targeting the corporate and financial infrastructure behind the Keystone XL pipeline. TransCanada’s pipeline uses seized land to transport toxic tar sands oil through Texas and Oklahoma communities, in order to export it from Houston ports. These dangerous business practices and the backlash from communities across the country make this pipeline a toxic investment for our state and TransCanada’s corporate lenders.
The Tar Sands Blockade is asking that people call TransCanada:
Can you call TransCanada’s Keystone XL headquarters now to tell them you stand with your fellow Blockaders inside and outside their office today?
Here are the numbers to call: Jeremy Capuccio 405-379-9350, Don Davis 903-533-0201, Lisa Chavers 409-287-4400
And here’s a suggestion for what you can say when you call:
Hi, my name is NAME, from CITY or STATE, with whom am I speaking? Thanks — I’m calling because I’m fed up with TransCanada’s abuse of landowners, community members and the planet. I stand with the Tar Sands Blockade, and we won’t stop until you do.
1:35pm: Chris Faraone reports that 8 activists are “chained and glued” into a sit-in inside the TransCanada offices in Westborough, Mass. Follow him on Twitter (@Fara1) and the #NoKXL hashtag for live updates.
12:45pm: Another photo, via the @KXLBlockade. Here, an activist with a sword and #IdleNoMore shield slays the Evil Pipe Dragon:
12:30pm: Action has wrapped for lunch. The livestream has been replaced with an archived video of much of the action. It is still believed there were 2 arrests.
Solidarity rallies or actions are planned for many cities today, including in Austin (5pm at the Texas State Capitol south gates).
Thanks to Ben Franklin (@BFSCR), @OccupyHouston, @KXLBlockade, Corey (@iamed_nc) and the @AnarchoAnon team for their live street journalism at today’s action.
12:10pm: Action seems to be wrapping up for now. Corey reports that the entire TransCanada office building attached to Houston’s Galleria Mall is on lockdown.
11:48am: The protester reported arrested earlier by @OccupyHouston appeared on the livestream and said he “talked his way out of arrest.” This means 2 confirmed arrests based on the livestream.
11:44am: Though protesters remain on a public sidewalk, more police arrived including mounted officers. Corey the livestreamer reports that one mounted officer is riding a horse while holding a Starbucks cup in one hand. Over 40 officers now present.
11:37am: The protesters outside TransCanada offices are engaging in street theater, including a giant evil “pipe dragon,” photograhed here by @OccupyHouston:
11:27am: Protesters are sitting in the trees and gathered on the sidewalk outside TransCanada offices.
11:16am: According to Austin livestreamer Corey, all protesters have been removed from the building. From @RisingTideNA, here is a dramatic photo of the earlier die-in inside the TransCanada lobby:
11:07am: Protesters still gathered on sidewalk with police blocking TransCanada’s offices. Some police have their badge numbers covered, which in the past HPD has claimed is allowed at protests “for officer safety.” Badge numbers were covered with jackets or duct tape at the Houston Port Shutdown.
11:00am: The bulk of protesters have been pushed out of the TransCanada offices and onto the public sidewalk outside.
10:57am: More police arrived with batons out and shoved protesters off of the TransCanada offices. 2 more arrests reported.
10:50am: Ben Franklin, who still wears scars from his brutal tasering at another Tar Sands action is present in the lobby with at least 50 other activists.
10:45am: Livestreamer Corey reports that no dispersal order has been given, but reports are that a paddy wagon is on site.
10:35am: Protesters have taken over the TransCanada lobby and are reportedly “at heir front door” upstairs from the lobby. Occupy Houston reports that one arrest has taken place outside — police reportedly arrested a protester after rear-ending their motorcycle.
You can call TransCanada at 877-290-2772. You can call the Houston Police Department (and its chief Charles McClellan) and remind them the Whole World is Watching at 713-308-1600.
At 10:30am, a large group of protesters has spread biohazard tape and taken the office lobby. Twitter reports police with batons out, and at least two protesters handcuffed to the front doors. A sit-in/die-in has begun.