Lifelong Oklahoman and Youth Pastor, suspended and locked to KXL Equipment!
BREAKING: Lifelong Oklahoman Youth Pastor suspended from KXL Construction
Equipment, locked to machinery.
Earlier this morning, Stefan Warner, a youth pastor who was born and
raised in Harrah, OK, locked himself to machinery being used to build the
toxic Keystone XL tar sands pipeline through Creek land by treaty near
Schoolton, OK. Warner is taking action to protect the North Canadian River
the health of the towns and land it runs through from being irreversibly
damaged by diluted bitumen (tar sands) leaks and spills, as well as to
send a clear message that the current day colonialism and disregard for
the health and sovereignty of indigenous peoples in Alberta and along
the pipeline is unacceptable—from a Christian perspective, as well as a
Tar sands pipelines have a horrendous track record: the existing
Keystone 1 pipeline leaked twelve times in its first year, and at least
thirty times to date. In 2010, the added dangers of tar sands pipelines
were demonstrated by Enbridge's Line 6B pipeline spill of over a million
gallons of diluted bitumen into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. The
Kalamazoo Tar Sands spill is the costliest inland spill in United States
history, draining the oil spill coffers and placing the $800 million and
rising price tag onto the backs of local and federal taxpayers. But it
is not the monetary burden that weighs heaviest; the toll on human life,
health and local ecosystems is immeasurable, and in the immediate, the
toxicity of the diluted bitumen and undisclosed proprietary chemicals
has proven devastating.
In addition to the immense dangers posed by the Keystone XL, TransCanada
has been misrepresenting the economic effects of the pipeline. The
majority of construction jobs are temporary and have been filled by
Wisconsin-based contractor Michel's, not Oklahomans and Texans. Despite
TransCanada and the State Department's rhetoric of energy independence,
the diluted bitumen transported by the Keystone XL is destined for
export to foreign markets after being refined in Gulf Coast refineries,
and the National Resources Defense Council asserts that the KXL will
increase domestic gas prices.
“I grew up in a town where the North Canadian River runs right through,
and we can't let the North Canadian become another Kalamazoo ,” said
Oklahoman youth pastor Stefan Warner. “I figure folks have to take action to
stop our beautiful Oklahoma from being marred by a foreign corporation,
and stand up to fight big corporations who think that poisoning people
and stealing land is acceptable so long as they make a profit.”
Warner is acting with Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, a coalition of
Oklahomans and allies fighting to prevent construction of the Keystone
XL which will bring dangerous and toxic diluted bitumen from the
biome-consuming Tar Sands gigaproject to refinery communities in the
Gulf. This action comes in the wake of dozens of similar actions which
have actively fought construction of the Keystone XL in Oklahoma and
Texas. In light of reports of shoddy welding by TransCanada
whistleblower Evan Vokes and the recent release of photographs depicting
holes in the weld of a pipe buried in Texas, the struggle to keep the
Keystone XL from being completed is even more urgent.
UPDATE: 8:00AM: Direct Support for Stefan has been arrested without warning and placed in police car. Six other people on site being detained currently.
- 8:00AM: Direct Support for Stefan has been arrested without warning.
UPDATE 9:00AM: All Six people detained now arrested. Seven police vehicles on scene. Workers have lowered side-boom in disregard of Stefan’s safety and OSHA regulations, Stefan still locked to machinery but lying painfully face-down on the lowered arm. Police obscuring Stefan from view and not allowing anyone within photographing distance.
UPDATE 9:15AM: Another individual arrested. This person was not initially detained but was prevented from accessing her vehicle since 8am. Stefan still holding strong. It also appears that this action is also blockading an active frack site!
UPDATE 1:00PM Earlier today, Stefan was extracted. To our knowledge, Stefan sustained no serious injuries and seems to be alright. We’ll keep everyone updated as we get more information about the arresstees’ charges, bail, and health.
UPDATE 6:00PM All 8 individuals are released from jail.
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