March 06, 2012

Protesters block trucks on Pine Ridge

Native Americans threaten to confiscate Keystone Pipeline trucks

By David EdwardsAt least five Native Americans were arrested in South Dakota on Monday after a six-hour standoff that temporarily blockaded trucks from moving equipment thought to be destined for the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Lakota activist Olowan Martinez told Raw Story that members of the tribe were working to obtain a restraining order that would allow them to confiscate any future shipments coming across Pine Ridge Indian land. The group opposes the pipeline because of health and environmental concerns.

“They arrested people for prohibiting the trucks from going through,” Martinez explained. “Five were arrested for disorderly conduct. They were let out on TR bond, which is just a temporary release. You know, it probably sent a chill down the spines of the XL transport people because they can’t just freely come through the territories unnoticed anymore.”

She said that activists expected the trucks to be accompanied by armed security the next time they came through.
And:Activist Debra White Plume, who was arrested on Monday, told Censored News that the State of South Dakota had worked with the corporation’s office in Canada to create a route across the Pine Ridge Reservation in order to skirt weigh stations on the Interstate Highway System, which could have cost $50,000 for each of the two trucks.

“The truckers told us the corporation office from Calgary, Alberta, Canada and the State of South Dakota made a deal to save the truckers $50,000 per truck, there were two trucks, from having to pay $100,000,” Plume said. “They each carried a ‘treater vessel’ which is used to separate gas and oil and other elements. Each weighs 229,155 pounds, and is valued at $1,259,593, according to the papers we got from the truck drivers.”
Five Lakota Arrested for Forming Blockade on Pine Ridge Reservation

Protesters block trucks on Pine Ridge Indian ReservationA spokesman for the Canadian company seeking to build an oil pipeline across the United States to the Texas Gulf Coast says company trucks were not involved with a protest on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Opponents of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline say they were arrested for disorderly conduct after they blocked two large trucks for six hours Monday in Wanblee.

Debra White Plume was among those arrested.

She says the truckers told the group they were heading to a Canadian oil field with empty containers for drinking water and were driving through the reservation to save money.
Trucks stopped in Wanblee not for pipeline, company says

By Ruth MoonTwo large trucks stopped by Native American protesters earlier this week in Wanblee had permits to drive through South Dakota and were not related to the Keystone XL pipeline project, according to the company that owns the trucks.

A group of protesters in Wanblee stopped the trucks for more than six hours Monday as they were passing through the Pine Ridge reservation. About 40 protesters were in the group, according to Tom Poor Bear, vice president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, who was at the protest as well.

Several protesters, including Poor Bear, said they believed the trucks were related to the Keystone XL project. The pipeline expansion is part of an oil pipeline project being developed by TransCanada, a Canada-based energy supply company. The $13 billion project would connect Hardisty, Alberta, with Houston and run across South Dakota from the northwest corner to the south-central part of the state, according to maps on the TransCanada website.

The project, which has not been approved by the Obama Administration, has been opposed by environmentalists, Native Americans and some property owners along the route.
Comment:  Despite the company's denial, the trucks' status isn't clear. Were they carrying "treater vessels" to separate oil and gas or empty water containers?

Gotta say the cargo looks more like giant pipes than "empty containers for drinking water." Unless the so-called containers are huge water tanks, I suppose. The company needs to explain itself better if it expects anyone to buy its story.

For more on the Keystone XL pipeline, see Chief Predicts "Aboriginal Uprising" and Obama Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline.

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