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Apr 5, 18

Lock Down Halts Bayou Bridge Pipeline Construction, As State Tries to Ram Through Anti-Protest Bill

Today the L’eau Est La Vie Camp successfully shut down again construction on the Bayou Bridge pipeline. The action comes at a time when the State is attempting to pass an anti-protest bill that would further criminalize anti-pipeline organizing in Louisiana. To hear our podcast interview with L’eau Est La Vie Camp, go here. 

The Bayou Bridge pipeline, the tail end of the Dakota Access pipeline, which threatens land, water, and livelihoods of millions of residents, plants, and animals in Louisiana, has been the ongoing target of a grassroots resistance campaign. At the center of the campaign is the L’eau Est La Vie Camp, which in the last several weeks has launched a slew of actions against the pipeline project. On the morning of April 5th, the group launched a blockade of a key supply yard. They wrote on social media:

Early this morning two Louisiana school teachers carried out a “Crawfish Boil” lock-down action that shut down a key supply yard for the Bayou Bridge Pipeline.

The lock-down lasted for several hours and blocked the entrance of a site that stores the equipment which Energy Transfer Partners needs to carry out construction on wetlands. It was during this action that Cherri Foytlin was targeted and arrested while live streaming. Police then arrested another water protector who was on the scene. All four people have been released, but their legal battle will continue.

In another statement, the two teachers detailed why the took part in the blockade:

“What worries me is the fate of Louisiana children. If we allow the Bayou Bridge pipeline to threaten our food and culture, we will have to question why we are willing to deprive our kids of what has sustained us. Will we really allow an out of state company, Energy Transfer Partners, to drill and splinter away at a crawfish habitat?”

– Sue Prevost

“There are many reasons that the Bayou Bridge Pipeline shouldn’t be built. Destroying our supply of crawfish is one of them. As a local and an educator, I’m aware of the growing decimation of our land and water by the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. I’ve seen it in the basin and it’s a nightmare. Are we really going to allow Energy Transfer Partners to drill and splinter away our fragile ecosystems? Are we really willing to lose our great crawfish population– the center of our food legacy and culture to an out-of-town company when the benefits will go to pad the pockets of out-of-town greed? I thought our governor would have stopped this havoc by now. We can’t afford the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. We can’t afford to lose our crawfish or to be susceptible to the recent catastrophic spillages like the ones in Pennsylvania and in Ohio. We deserve more– especially our kids.”

– Renate Heurich

LIVE from Calcasieu Parish where Water Protectors are blocking the movement of construction materials. Two teachers are locked down.#DAPL #NoBBPL #KelcyWarren #BayouBridge #ETP #Fractivists #louisiana

Louisiana Bucket Brigade 发布于 2018年4月5日周四

One of those targeted for arrest today was Cherri Foytlin, one of the camp’s indigenous elder’s and leaders. Cherri was simply livestreaming at the time of her arrest, and was clearly targeted (along with three other water protectors) by the police for her role in ongoing organizing against the pipeline. Video of her arrest can be seen below:

Foytlin’s arrest comes hot on the heels of the introduction of LA HB727 into the Louisiana House of Representatives. If passed, the bill could further criminalize protesters with ‘conspiring’ to enter onto pipeline construction sites. As with similar proposed laws targeting Black Lives Matter protesters for blocking freeways, this bill attempts to make things that are already crimes even harsher. As Allen Brown and Will Parish wrote in The Intercept:

Louisiana House of Representatives introduced new legislation aimed at criminalizing the activities of groups protesting the extraction, burning, and transport of oil and gas. The bill is similar to a model created by the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council. Indeed, in the wake of the massive protest movement at Standing Rock, which attempted to prevent completion of the Dakota Access pipeline, at least seven states have introduced or passed “critical infrastructure” legislation. Louisiana’s version comes as opponents of the Bayou Bridge pipeline have ramped up protest activities in the state, staging occupations and blockades aimed at halting construction of the project.

The legislation creates new crimes that would punish groups for “conspiring” to trespass on critical infrastructure sites and prescribes particularly harsh penalties for those whose ideas, if carried out, would disrupt the operations of such infrastructure. The definition of the term critical infrastructure would be amended to include pipelines and pipeline construction sites. The language of the bill reaches far beyond cases of property destruction, and stands to net individuals who do not participate in or condone such activities.

The Louisiana bill, unlike the ALEC model, does not require that any disruption to a facility’s functioning take place for penalties to apply — an individual could face huge fines or prison time without ever having set foot on the property.

Those convicted of “conspiring” to trespass on a pipeline site would be imprisoned for a maximum of five years, fined a maximum of $10,000, or both. If the conspirators’ plan involved disrupting the pipeline’s construction, they would be imprisoned for between six and 20 years, fined a maximum of $250,000, or both.

In the face of this growing repression, support, funds, and solidarity is needed now more than ever. The L’eau Est La Vie Camp has released the following list of ways to help:

– if you haven’t yet, please consider donating to support our resistance:
– apply to join our Camp:
– pledge to take action to resist the Bayou Bridge pipeline:
– find a solidarity target and take action:

Follow the battle against the Bayou Bridge pipeline here and here.

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It’s Going Down is a digital community center from anarchist, anti-fascist, autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements. Our mission is to provide a resilient platform to publicize and promote revolutionary theory and action.

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