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Campaign Update - USA: Lakota Tribal Members Form Blockade to Halt Keystone Equipment

Late Monday afternoon five Lakota tribal members were arrested when they formed a blockade to prevent trucks carrying equipment for the Keystone pipeline across the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota Reservation.  Some 75 members of the Lakota tribe arrived to the town of Wanbli, South Dakota, responding to a call to action from KILI Radio, a community radio station of Pine Ridge Reservation. The five detained activists were charged with disorderly conduct and taken to the jail in Kyle, South Dakota, where they were later released. 

Blockaders demanded the trucks turn around and go back via the state highway:
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Debra White Plume, one of the five arrested, reported to Indigenous Environmental Network:
"Two trucks were hauling equipment called "treater vessels" from Houston, Texas to Alberta Canada. The treater vessel is used to separate gas and oil and other elements, and are used to provide intense heat. Our Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council and the Oglala Sioux Tribe have both passed legislation against the Keystone XL oil pipeline, and have adopted the Mother Earth Accord which calls for a moratorium on the tar sands oil mine as destructive to water, Mother Earth, all animals and human beings. Whatever these treater vessels are, where ever they were going, they are too huge and too heavy, too hazardous, to be on our roads."

Native News reported that the convoy of trucks were following a route through Pine Ridge Reservation planned by Totran Transportation Services, Inc., a Canadian company who apparently wanted to avoid paying the state of South Dakota $50,000 per truck or $100,000 to use its state highways. The transportation of this heavy equipment from the Alberta Tar Sands to a processing plant in the Gulf Coast of Texas is the beginning stages of construction on the southern leg of the Keystone pipeline, despite a federal law that prevents the launch of such projects before they receive approval.

Take Action:

1) Friends of the Earth has created an action to urge President Obama to stay true to his original rejection of the pipeline:

Dear President Obama,
Don't expedite the approval of the southern portion of the Keystone XL
pipeline or cut any corners on the review process. We call on you to stand
firm on your rejection of this dirty and dangerous pipeline and to promote
real, lasting climate solutions. Please put our health and shared climate
first.   Click here to send this email to Obama.

2) On Wednesday, March 7th, at noon, is staging a Rally to Remind the Senate in Washington D.C. to protest a the passing of a Transportation bill in the Senate that would try to sneak approval once more for the Texas-Alberta pipeline.