August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Daryl Hannah arrested with elderly landowner in Texas tarsands blockade

Actress Daryl Hannah Arrested With East Texas Great-Grandmother for “Trespassing” on Her Own Farm

Actress and activist Daryl Hannah was arrested today alongside East Texas farmer, Eleanor Fairchild while defending her farm from Keystone XL’s destruction.
Daryl’s involvement in Fairchild Farms story brought a lot of attention when the duo peacefully stood in front of TransCanada’s heavy machinery, which was burning piles of once-majestic trees from Eleanor’s beloved farm and delicate wetlands. Eleanor is a feisty 78-year-old great-grandmother who was arrested for “trespassing” on her own land after being inspired by Tar Sands Blockade.

UPDATE 6:30PM - Photos and video of the action are coming soon. Follow us on twitter and facebook to be the first to see them.
UPDATE 4:30PM - TransCanada has arrested Eleanor for “trespassing” on her own land.

UPDATE 3:40PM – Daryl has been arrested for helping Eleanor defend her farm from toxic tar sands. Eleanor defiantly standing her ground with arms raised to halt TransCanada’s machinery.
UPDATE 3:35PM – Police officer trying to push Daryl and Eleanor out of the way! Yes, we got it on video.

UPDATE 3:30PM – Eleanor and Daryl defiantly step out in front of an excavator, a large piece of heavy machinery, to keep it from tearing up Eleanor’s land. TransCanada’s machinery operator refuses to turn off engine despite peaceful protestors a few feet in front of them.

Daryl brave’s fire and Keystone XL machinery to defend Eleanor’s farm.

UPDATE 3:15PM – Eleanor and Daryl march from Eleanor’s home down to the Keystone XL path of destruction that cuts through her 300 acre beloved farm and wetlands.

Daryl Hannah Risking Arrest Protesting Keystone XL at the White House. Photo Credit: Ben Powless
How can you be arrested for “trespassing” on your own land? Well, anything can happen when a multinational corporation comes in and expropriates your farm for their profit.
That’s why actress and activist Daryl Hannah has joined forces with East Texas ranch owner Eleanor Fairchild, 78, to stage a protest against Keystone XL construction on Mrs. Fairchild’s farm. The actress is intent on defending Mrs. Fairchild’s home and business, Fairchild Farms, a portion of which has been expropriated by TransCanada, for its toxic tar sands pipeline. The duo claim their action is inspired by our ongoing tree blockade happening on a neighboring property.
On Thursday afternoon, Hannah marched across Fairchild Farms with the ranch owner to block bulldozers from continuing to clear large swaths of Mrs. Fairchild’s land along the toxic tar sands pipeline’s route. Keystone XL will permanently bisect Mrs. Fairchild’s 300 acre ranch, which includes undeveloped wetland areas and natural springs producing over 400 gallons of fresh water per minute from her property. Hannah, whose outspoken anti-Tar Sands position dates back many years, expressed pride to be able to stand with Mrs. Fairchild who is watching her home and its delicate ecosystems be destroyed in front of her eyes.

Eleanor Fairchild, East Texas Farmer & Great-Grandmother
“I am standing in solidarity with the farmers, ranchers, and landowners who have been bullied, coerced, and threatened by TransCanada. Texans do not want this toxic export pipeline coming through and compromising their land and water,” she shared. “Texas has already experienced a tragic and epic drought. We cannot afford to compromise our water supply for a multinational corporation’s profits.”
Mrs. Fairchild, a great-grandmother, has been staunchly opposed to TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline project since she was first informed that it was to cross her land many years ago. She never signed a contract with the Canadian pipeline company, who, in turn, proceeded to expropriate her ranch through Texas’ lax eminent domain legal proceedings. Violated by TransCanada, all but abandoned by elected officials, and legally unrepresented, Mrs. Fairchild took action by other means during last year’s Tar Sands Action protests at the White House, which resulted in 1253 arrests during the two week long civil disobedience.
Unwilling to take further action since then, she found herself inspired yet again due to the bravery exhibited on a neighboring property by the tree blockade. Mrs. Fairchild explains, “We’re all neighbors here and everyone knows everyone’s business, really, so I knew the group was up to something at the tree blockade, but hearing about the young girl, Maggie, on the 40-foot tall pole all alone the other day, I knew I had to do something myself. I can’t climb a pole like her, but if I can raise hell by sitting down, I’m going to! What this foreign corporation’s doing just isn’t right.”

“I couldn’t be prouder to take a stand with my new inspiration, Eleanor,” Hannah said. “We’re rising up to defend homes here and now, because if a multinational corporation like TransCanada can come in and steal private property from Texans, then they’ll do it to anyone.”
TransCanada is currently embroiled in several lawsuits from landowners challenging the legality of their use of eminent domain to take land for the tar sands pipeline project. Property owners who initially signed contracts but who have since come to unequivocally oppose the fraudulent nature of the dangerous project have been silenced through ruthless legal threats. Fairchild, however, is undeterred.
“Tar sands is the dirtiest fuel on the planet, and I want the world to know that Texans do not want this pipeline forced through their homes.” She continued, “From the White House to my house, I don’t want this pipe threatening anyone’s house anywhere in the world!”
Come learn how to take a stand against Keystone XL with East Texas landowners at our Direct Action Training Camp, October 12-14th and a public action on the Monday the 15th.
The photo below is just the beginning of the destruction on Eleanor’s land. See more photos in our flickr set.

Keystone XL's Destruction Through Eleanor's Land

'She Speaks' Indigenous Women Speak Out Against Tarsands

AAMJIWNAANG: October 4, 2012, 6:30pm
1972 Virgil Avenue: Maawn Doosh Gumig Community and Youth Centre
BRANTFORD: October 5, 2012, 6:30pm
50 Market Street: Odeon Building Room 205
Indigenous communities are taking the lead to stop the largest industrial project on Earth and Northern Alberta is ground zero with over 20 corporations operating in the tar sands sacrifice zone, with expanded developments being planned. The cultural heritage, land, ecosystems and health of Indigenous communities including those in the Athabasca, Peace River and Cold Lake regions of Alberta are being sacrificed for oil money in what has been termed a “slow industrial genocide”. Infrastructure projects linked to the tar sands expansion such as the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, Kinder Morgan pipeline, Enbridge Line 9 reversal, and the Keystone XL pipeline threaten Indigenous communities across Turtle Island particularly Aamjiwnaang First Nation and the Haudenausaunee Confederacy here in Southern Ontario.

To build ties of solidarity and resistance, and to create a broad base on informed support, a speakers’ series is being organized in Coast Salish Territories (Vancouver) and in Ontario.


CRYSTAL LAMEMAN is a Beaver Lake Cree First Nation activist and the Peace River tar sands campaigner for the Indigenous Environmental Network in Alberta. Crystal is committed to restoring Native treaty rights and stopping the exploitation of the tar sands.

MELISSA ELLIOTT is co-founder of Young Onkwehonwe United, and a youth activist from the Haudenosaunee Territory of Six Nations. Known to most as Missy, she has organized to defend Kanonhstaton (the former Douglas Creek Estates), and to stop development projects on Six Nations territory being pushed through without their consent such as the Line 9 reversal project.

VANESSA GRAY is a youth organizer from Aamjiwnaang First Nation, a community that has been named the most polluted place in North America by the National Geographic Society. She founded Green Teens, a environmental justice organization of Native youth to resist the impact of the 63 petrochemical refineries in her hometown and is an active campaigner for the rights of Indigenous people across these lands.

SUZANNE DHALIWAL is the co-founder of the UK Tar Sands Network, which works in solidarity with the Indigenous Environmental network to campaign against UK corporations and financial institutions invested in the Alberta Tar Sands.

Moderated by Heather Milton-Lightning from the Pasqua First Nation, Ruckus Society and the Indigenous Environmental Network.

This event is organized by the Indigenous Environmental Network. IEN is an alliance of grassroots Indigenous Peoples whose mission is to protect the sacredness of Mother Earth from contamination and exploitation by strengthening, maintaining, and respecting traditional teachings and natural laws.

Toronto- October 3rd
Brantford- October 5th

Meet 'Mary' treesitter who held off the tarsands bulldozers

Treesitter 'Mary' is actually Maggie Gorry
and she's been arrested
after holding off the Keystone
pipeline tarsands destroyers.
Reposted from Tarsands Blockade

Tree Blockade Is Under Siege (Day 11)

TransCanada and law enforcement authorities have sealed off a perimeter to the tree blockade and have besieged the blockade. Getting essential food and water supplies in has become extremely difficult as they continue to tighten their grip on our peaceful blockaders.
Early this morning Maggie Gorry came down from her perch atop a 40 foot pole and was promptly arrested. after she delayed clear-cutting operations for two entire days. Maggie’s stand was the remaining obstacle to prevent TransCanada from cutting outside the designated easement and around the tree blockade.
Blockaders in the trees are holding strong and doing everything they can to hold off this toxic pipeline as long as possible.
Heavy machinery scrapping the earth at the doorstep of the tree blockade
Dangling 40 feet above the ground from the timber scaffolding

TransCanada surveillance guys are lurking everyone in the surrounding woods
We will continue to defend our homes from the Keystone XL pipeline

Maggie Has Been Arrested After Sitting On a 40 Foot Pole to Delay Keystone XL Clear-Cutting for Two Entire Days

UPDATE 11:00AM – Maggie has been released from jail on an outrageous $11,000 bail. Demonstrate your support for Maggie and the blockade with a generous donation to her bail fund.
48 hours ago lifelong Texan Maggie Gorry—whom we had previously called Mary Germanati to legally protect her identity—climbed a 40-foot timber pole in the pathway of the Keystone XL clear-cut to prevent TransCanada’s heavy machinery from operating dangerously close to her eight friends in the tree blockade. After her courageous stand that delayed further clear-cutting operations on the site for two entire days, Maggie descended from her perch early this morning and was arrested.
Maggie decided to take direct action in response to TransCanada’s audacious move on Monday, when they expanded their clear-cut outside the designated easement, deliberately endangering the safety of her friends in the blockade.
In the dark and early hours of Tuesday morning blockaders spontaneously erected a 40 foot timber pole and tied it securely upright with multiple support lines in the clear-cut pathway to prevent TransCanada’s reckless clear-cutting from continuing further. When the idea for the pole was first hastily hatched, blockaders peered around the circle of dimly lit faces looking for a volunteer. Without hesitation Maggie raised her hand, saying, “I’ll do it!”
They planned to have her only stay on the pole for 24 hours, but despite her limited food and water supplies Maggie resolved to stay up there for 48 hours and effectively delayed further Keystone XL clear-cutting operations on the site for two entire days. ”I’m going to stop them for the second day in a row!” Maggie could be heard shouting down from her 40-foot tall perch when her friends asked her if it was time for her to come down. Long after the batteries had died on her walkie-talkie and she was virtually isolated from supplies and communication with her friends in the tree blockade, Maggie remained determined to hold on for another day. She maintained her morale by vigorously charging up a hand-crank radio and signing along to her favorite artist, Lady Gaga, and whatever radio waves she could pick up in the East Texas backwoods.
Maggie is a 22-year-old sweet, soft-spoken dessert chef and north Texas resident. Her decision to climb up the pole was largely motivated by a visceral anger that had been building she climbed up the timber scaffolding to join the tree blockade nine days prior.
“I never thought I would be the one out here, that I had the strength to take action. Its scary being here and seeing these deadly machines destroying the forest right in front of me, and though I’m scared, I feel powerful knowing that I’m what’s standing between my friends and their destruction,” she previously shared. “Now that I’m here I know that anyone can do this if they want. Anyone can stop this pipeline.”
After Maggie climbed the pole she had a constant police presence stationed below. Police have tightened their perimeter around the tree blockade making it extremely difficult to get food, water and other essential supplies into our brave blockaders. By the second day her supplies were starting to run low. Our multiple calls to the Wood County Sheriffs Office to request that we be permitted to give Maggie food and water were met with hang-ups and the gruff reply, “We’re not commenting on the situation.”
Maggie has a passionate love for the world’s oceans and its diverse abundance of sea creatures. She was motivated to action in part by her appreciation for all living things and not wanting to see our world destroyed by extreme fossil fuel extraction, like the tar sands, and run-away climate change. Maggie has been involved in Tar Sands Blockade for months and has been a critical creative force behind many of the colorful banners you have seen at our actions.
We love you Maggie! Please consider a generous donation to her jail support. Thank you for helping defend our homes and our planet from this toxic tar sands pipeline.

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