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Wednesday, Oct 31, 2012, 10:16 am

Jill Stein Arrested After Aiding Keystone XL Blockade

By Rebecca Burns

UPDATE: According to Tar Sands Blockade, Stein was released this afternoon on a Class B Misdemeanor Criminal Trespass charge. Meanwhile, the two New England women who secured themselves to trees this morning have successfully immobilized TransCanada construction machinery, activists say. The second blockade is located several hours south of the first, in Nacogdoches County.

Last week, I reported on the pipeline blockade in East Texas that has been underway for more than a month. Though a group of tree-top occupiers is holding fast in the path of the Keystone XL's construction, a TransCanada spokesperson confirmed that the company is preparing to build around the existing blockade.

This morning, according to Tar Sands Blockade, Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein and two other women successfully resupplied the tree-sitters in Winnsboro, Texas. Stein and a freelance journalist were subsequently detained by TransCanada security, and Stein has now been arrested and taken to Wood County Jail.

Stein released the following statement on the connections between Hurricane Sandy and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline:

I’m here to connect the dots between super storm Sandy and the record heat, drought, and fire we’ve seen this year – and this Tar Sands pipeline, which will make all of these problems much worse. And I’m here to connect the dots between climate devastation and pipeline politicians – both Obama and Romney – who are competing, as we saw in the debates, for the role of Puppet In Chief for the fossil fuel industry. Both deserve that title. Obama’s record of “drill baby drill” has gone beyond the harm done by George Bush. Mitt Romney promises more of the same.

Meanwhile, a new blockade has been erected today by two activists in Sacul, Texas.

Rebecca Burns, In These Times Assistant Editor, holds an M.A. from the University of Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, where her research focused on global land and housing rights. A former editorial intern at the magazine, Burns also works as a research assistant for a project examining violence against humanitarian aid workers.

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