On Thursday, December 27th, in Houston, TX, residents of Manchester gathered with allies to issue new demands on Valero. “We demand to know what you are forcing us to breathe! ¡Exigimos saber lo que nos están obligando a respirar!”
The community came together in a celebration of unity and strength. Manchester is populated almost completely by Latin@s, and surrounded on all sides by industry.
A massive Valero refinery looms over the community’s only park and its smokestacks poison the people who live there 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Manchester is plagued by a long list of diseases and ailments including asthma, respiratory disease and inflammation, infertility, birth defects, and a myriad of deadly cancers. The National Disease Clusters Alliance reports (pg. 2) that children living within two miles of the Houston Ship Channel have a 56% higher likelihood of developing leukemia than those who live more than ten miles away. Continue reading Houston Community fights #TarSands Criminals→
Currently enduring their fifth day of incarceration after barricading themselves inside the Keystone XL pipeline. Help get them out with a donation to their legal fund.
WINONA, TX – MONDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2012 7:30 AM – Several protestors with Tar Sands Blockade sealed themselves inside a section of pipe destined for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline to stop construction of the dangerous project. Using a blockading technique never implemented before, Matt Almonte and Glen Collins locked themselves between two barrels of concrete weighing over six hundred pounds each, aided by Isabel Indigo Brooks who went in with them .
Located twenty-five feet into a pipe segment waiting to be laid in the ground, the outer barrel is barricading the pihttp://tarsandsblockade.org/pe’s opening and neither barrel can be moved without risking serious injury to the blockaders.
The barricaded section of the pipeline passes through a residential neighborhood in Winona, TX. If TransCanada moves ahead with the trenching and burying of this particular section of pipe, it would run less than a hundred feet from neighboring homes.
Tar sands pipelines threaten East Texas communities with their highly toxic contents, which pose a greater risk to human health than conventional crude oil. TransCanada’s existing tar sands pipeline, Keystone XL’s predecessor, has an atrocious safety record, leaking twelve times in its first year of operation.
“TransCanada didn’t bother to ask the people of this neighborhood if they wanted to have millions of gallons of poisonous tar sands pumped through their backyards,” said Almonte, one of the protesters now inside the pipeline. “This multinational corporation has bullied landowners and expropriated homes to fatten its bottom line.”
Recently, over 40 communities worldwide planned actions with Tar Sands Blockade during a week of resistance against extreme energy extraction and its direct connection to the climate crisis. A growing global movement is rising up against the abuses of the fossil fuel industry and its increasingly desperate pursuit of dangerous extraction methods.
“I’m barricading this pipe with Tar Sands Blockade today to say loud and clear to the extraction industry that our communities and the resources we depend on for survival are not collateral damage,” said Collins, another blockader inside the pipe and an organizer with Radical Action for Mountain Peoples Survival (RAMPS) and Mountain Justice, grassroots campaigns in Appalachia working to stop mountaintop removal coal mining.
“This fight in East Texas against tar sands exploitation is one and the same as our fight in the hollers of West Virginia. Dirty energy extraction doesn’t just threaten my home; it threatens the collective future of the planet.”
“At this late stage, doing nothing is a greater danger than the risks of taking direct action to stop destructive projects like Keystone XL,” said Ron Seifert, a spokesperson for Tar Sands Blockade. “That’s why folks working with groups like RAMPS, the Unist’ot’en Camp fighting a natural gas pipeline in British Columbia and Tar Sands Blockade are willing to use everything including their own hands and feet to ensure we all have a safe climate and healthy, thriving communities.”
HUNGER STRIKE CONTINUES
Today also marks day 5 of the Houston Hunger Strike in which Gulf Coast activists with Tar Sands Blockade are going without food to demand that Valero divest entirely from the Keystone XL pipeline and invest in the health and wellbeing of the communities it’s poisoning.
Diane Wilson and Bob Lindsey are undertaking a sustained hunger strike in solidarity with the Manchester community in Houston. Their hunger strike began with an act of civil disobedience on November, 29th when they locked their necks to tanker trucks attempting to enter the Valero refinery in Manchester. They refuse to eat until the following demands are met:
1. Velero completely divest from Keystone XL and all forms of tar sands exploitation
2. Velero invest in the health and well being of the Manchester community
3. Valero refinery shut down and vacate the Manchester community
UPDATES HERE:::BAIL MONEY STILL NEEDED:::WRITE TO PRISONERS:::NEW ACTIONS:::
The Loiterers Resistance Movement, a collective of urban explorers “loite
ring with intent to make Manchester wonderful”, is probably Manchester’s only local history and walking group watched over by the Greek goddess of chaos, Eris, and influenced by the flâneur, a dandy-esque Victorian figure who wandered the city as a detached observer.Founder Morag Rose complains “modern society is so rigid”. Chaos, on the other hand, “can be a creative force”.Morag explains, “chaos is thought of as scary, but it can be beautiful”.
In a manifesto-esque statement of intent on the internet, The LRM lists its likes and dislikes: “plants growing out of the side of buildings” are good, “gentrification” is bad. The LRM celebrates the “colourful and diverse”. Continue reading Loiterers Resistance Movement,→