Since the 2016 Dakota Access Pipeline protests, dozens of bills and executive orders have been introduced in at least 31 states to clamp down on protests. Water protectors say the bills are part of a concerted campaign by energy companies and government to suppress these protests by increasing criminal penalties for minor violations, and in some cases, trying to use anti-terrorism laws against activists.
Last month activist kayakers on navigable waters near the Bayou Bridge Pipeline route in Louisiana were hemmed in by pipeline workers on fan boats, then arrested by off-duty officers with the state Department of Public Safety and Corrections who were armed and in uniform, but at the time were working for a private security firm hired by the pipeline developer. These arrests test a new law that went into effect in Louisiana August 1, creating a felony charge with up to five years in prison for anyone who trespasses on a pipeline easement.
However, there is good news. On September 10, a Louisiana court granted an injunction against Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), shutting down illegal construction of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline in part of the Atachafalaya Basin.
The following is a statement posted to the Facebook page L’eau Est La Vie Camp-No Bayou Bridge:
“We have been tased, pepper sprayed, put into choke holds and beaten with batons to stop this illegal construction that ETP was carrying out despite not having an easement for the land. Now a court has validated our claims and has banned all ETP employees and workers from the site and banned any form of construction activities. While this is a major victory, construction of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline continues in other parts of the Atchafalaya Basin. We won’t stop until the Bayou Bridge Pipeline is completely shut down.
“DONATE to support our resistance: gofundme.com/nobbp
“JOIN US on the frontlines. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, phone number, why you want to come to camp, when you will be arriving and how long you plan on staying. We will respond with the directions to camp and what to bring.”
#NoBayouBridge #StopETP #Resist