Native News Network
HOUSTON – In the midst of recent national controversy surrounding government surveillance of the public, a recent Freedom of Information Act request to the Nebraska State Patrol has exposed evidence that TransCanada provided trainings to federal agents and local Nebraska police to suppress nonviolent activists protesting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline by arresting them on “anti-terrorism statutes.”
Keystone XL Pipeline protests have maintained strict commitments to nonviolence.
The presentation slides, obtained by grassroots landowner advocacy group Bold Nebraska, target Tar Sands Blockade activists by name.
The Keystone XL pipeline is opposed by many American Indians across Indian county.
“This is clear evidence of the collusion between TransCanada and the federal government assisting local police to unlawfully monitor and harass political protestors,”
said Lauren Regan, legal coordinator for Tar Sands Blockade and executive director of the Civil Liberties Defense Center.
“These documents expose the truth that the government is giving the nod to unlawful corporate spying. By slinging false allegations against peaceful activists in this presentation, TransCanada puts them at risk of unwarranted prosecution.”
Although TransCanada’s presentation to authorities contains information about property destruction, sabotage, and booby traps, police in Texas and Oklahoma have never alleged, accused, or charged Tar Sands Blockade activists of any such behaviors.
Since August 2012, Tar Sands Blockade has carried out dozens of successful nonviolent direct actions to physically halt construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in Texas and Oklahoma. All of these acts, as well as every pipeline protest in Nebraska, have maintained strict commitments to nonviolence.
“Try as TransCanada might to slander Tar Sands Blockade and our growing grassroots movement, we know who the real criminals are.”
said Ron Seifert, a spokesperson with Tar Sands Blockade who was pictured in the slideshow.
“The real criminals are those profiting from this deadly tar sands pipeline by endangering families living along the route and pumping illegal levels of air toxins into fence-line communities.”
“If anything, this shows the effectiveness of campaigns to stop the Keystone XL pipeline and fossil fuel extraction as a whole,”
said Scott Parkin, an organizer with Rising Tide North America.