Saturday, September 29, 2012

Police Brutalize, Arrest TransCanada Pipeline Protesters

Pipe this crud across US+Texas...
What could possibly go wrong?
Kevin Gosztola at Firedoglake's The Dissenter and Current TV 's Films for Action (essentially crossposts) has details about Texas police (what level? not mentioned) using handcuffed stress positions while pepper spraying and tasering demonstrators who obstructed the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline being constructed by TransCanada, all while TransCanada officials stood by and made no attempt to halt the brutalization.

Here's a bit of background on tar sands by Edward Burtynsky at TreeHugger (love the site name!) for those unfamiliar (note: "oil sands" is just a sanitized name for "tar sands"):
  • Oil sands mining is licensed to use twice the amount of fresh water that the entire city of Calgary uses in a year.
  • At least 90% of the fresh water used in the oil sands ends up in ends up in tailing ponds so toxic that propane cannons are used to keep ducks from landing.
  • Processing the oil sands uses enough natural gas in a day to heat 3 million homes.
  • The toxic tailing ponds are considered one of the largest human-made structures in the world.
  • The ponds span 50 square kilometers and can be seen from space.
  • Producing a barrel of oil from the oil sands produces three times more greenhouse gas emissions than a barrel of conventional oil.
In other words, tar sands are an idea whose time is long past. Poisoning water much needed for other purposes to produce a fossil fuel whose burning pollutes our air might have been acceptable in the 19th century, before far cleaner energy sources were available. It is not acceptable today.

As for suppressing protesters' peaceful demonstrations by brutalizing them... shades of the late 1960s and early 1970s! Does nothing ever change for the better?

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