On September 3rd, the 10 folks who were arrested at the June 24th action went before the judge in Seminole County for their charges. In case you don’t remember, 8 folks locked down to construction equipment, to each other on top of office trailers and on the ground, successfully shutting down work at a KXL pump station construction site. In addition to these folks who locked down, police arrested an additional activist for stepping back onto the site to do direct support after the fuzz forbade it, as well as the police liaison after they requested his presence on the TransCanada’s easement. Originally charged with trespassing and obstruction charges—the obstructing charges carrying up to a year jail sentence—their lawyer was able to secure a plea deal for anyone who wanted it wherein the obstruction charge will be dropped, and folks can plead guilty to the trespassing, and agree to pay a fine, court costs, and $100 restitution to the Seminole County fire department for the extraction process.
The police liaison’s charges were dropped entirely, and 8 other individuals agreed to the plea deal. One individual chose to fight it out in court. Folks who took the plea owe Seminole County over $700, and need your help ASAP! You can donate here:Donate
We appreciate all your help, and look forward to stepping up the fight against the Flanagan South Pipeline, one of the many pipelines that rivals the Keystone XL. Sign up to TAKE ACTION against Enbridge and their dangerous expansion to tar sands infrastructure on this continent: www.gptarsandsresistance.org/flanagan-sout
Here are some testimonies from after the court case:
From James Peterson:
On June 24th 2013, I participated in a direct action against the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline in Seminole County Oklahoma in an effort to halt construction for as long as possible and to try and spread awareness of this struggle. I thought that if I put my myself in harms way, folks I know might take more interest due to the personal connection. It seems to have worked in that respect. Much love and respect to the GPTSR Organizers. Court having just wrapped up, I am looking back on an experience that I am very proud of. Let’s do it again, sometime!.
From Martin Mackeral:
On June 24th, 2013, I and several other people engaged in a non-violent direct action in which we temporarily halted construction of a Keystone XL pumping station in Seminole County, OK. If completed, the Keystone XL pipeline would allow increased exploitation of tar sands, a particularly dirty fossil fuel.
Yesterday, September 3rd, I chose to take a plea deal and pleaded guilty to “trespassing after being forbidden” related to that action. I do not regret my actions, and I hope that in the months and years to come more and more people choose to engage in such direct actions and protests of all kinds in order to prevent construction of more fossil fuel infrastructure. We must act now to prevent further pollution of land, air, and water and limit the risk of climate catastrophe. Such actions are not without their costs, but inaction is the most costly path of all.