December 3, 2012;
Special Smith County Edition
A section of the welded KXL pipeline in Smith County, just outside of Winona, became part the latest creative attempt to stall TransCanada's efforts to ship tar sands crude through East Texas. Sometime early on that Monday morning a trio of modern, American patriots allegedly climbed into the 36-inch diameter pipe and blockaded themselves inside. They supposedly used concrete-filled barrels to close themselves inside the pipe with supplies to last a few days. They possibly weren't certain how long they might be trapped inside, or if this untested tactic would even work, but they were seemingly dedicated to peventing toxic, diluted, tar sands bitumen from taking their places in the pipe.
As the morning unfolded, responding law enforcement numbers increased. They were seen discussing the situation amongst themselves and with TransCanada officials before proceeding with their extraction plans. Once again, as at previous displays of civil disobedience against the KXL pipeline, and despite what certain newspaper reports might suggest, the appearance of collusion between TransCanada and local law enforcement was in evidence.
What should not be overlooked in the efforts of the pipe-sitters is the impact of this pipeline, and of TransCanada, on members of the community through which it runs. Aside from the constant threat from toxic dilbit moving through the pipe, there are reports of prior travesties having been inflicted on community members, as well. Whether it is the alleged low balling in easement contracts, theft of timber off of those same parcels of land, or splitting of grazing land that prevents ready access to livestock, TransCanada has already appeared to negatively impact the community.
- Not if, but when.
- Too close...
- Protect our water!
- Fissure at roadway underbore.
- Across the road: burying pipeline before pressure testing?
- First view of the pipe occupier site.
- Deputy and liason speak with pipers.
- This Deputy's mind was allegedly changed by the Tar Sands Blockade message. He is said to have been heard rhyming, "all TransCanada's fables reek."
- Peaceably protesting Tar Sands.
- Watching the scene from the county road right-of-way.
- Liasons and Legal Observer waiting for further response by Sheriff's Deputies.
- Sheriff and additional Deputies arrive and confer with TransCanada employee.
- Please, just go away.
- Further discussions, and additional law enforcement.
- Protestors are told to leave roadway right-of-way. ...because?
- Somebody doesn't want them to see what's being planned.
- More law enforcement.
- The plan is spelled out...
- Someone is unhappy about the liasons being "too close" to the planned TransCanada/law enforcement response.
- Protesters get chased back across road after they moved in to see if the pipers were being hurt by the law enforcement's extraction techniques.
- First piper is pulled out and cuffed.
- Last piper is carried to waiting police van.
Photos by Steven DaSilva, firstname.lastname@example.org, all rights reserved.