Two members of the Keystone XL blockade who were physically blocking construction of the TransCanada pipeline were tortured yesterday at the request of TransCanada, according to Tarsands Blockade spokesperson Ramsey Sprague.
I spoke with Sprague today about the use of physical force against two protesters, Shannon Bebe and Benjamin Franklin, who handcuffed themselves to equipment being used to cut down trees so that the southern leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline could be built. According to Sprague, Bebe and Franklin began their peaceful protest yesterday at 10:30 am, along with several observers. Sprague indicated that the group’s interactions with the police had been amicable and peaceful until TransCanada representatives showed up and encouraged the police to “run off” the observers.
Once there were no cameras in sight, Sprague says that TransCanada officials huddled with police. Shortly thereafter, the police commenced putting Bebe and Franklin in stress positions by bending their free arms backwards as far as possible and twisting their handcuffed hands backwards, and holding them there for 10 minutes. [...]
Also, Democracy Now (Video – 9:43 – 10:10): Activists Continue Tar Sands Blockade in Texas
Two environmental activists were arrested in East Texas Tuesday as protesters there continue their push to block construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Activists with the Tar Sands Blockade are claiming to have thwarted construction efforts outside Winnsboro, Texas, for most of the day after two people locked themselves to a backhoe. The pair were reportedly pepper-sprayed, tasered and put in chokeholds by police before being arrested. Meanwhile, eight other activists remain aloft in a “tree village” in a bid to block tree-clearing equipment that’s making way for the pipeline’s southern leg.