This is a report provided by a friend/contact, who is involved in the resistance to stop the Sabal Trail Transmission Pipeline.
Photo of Manatee by Jill Yelverton
The pipeline broke ground the first week of September 2016 and according to some accounts is 90 to 95% completed. Some articles make it sound like they just began construction. The plans for this pipeline were implemented in 2013 to transport fracked gas/methane from various areas up north. We were talking to citizens back then but few heard us and there were almost no stories in the mainstream media. In many places right now, the pipe is already installed and covered with soil. The product from this pipeline is going for export. It will not do anything to help Americans in the way of jobs or lowering energy costs.
A Spectra employee told one of our legal people that once the pipe is installed, anything can be run through it. Tar sands, bitumen, crude oil, etc. This pipe infrastructure can be used to steal our water, though few have thought of that possibility. There are 44 pipelines being planned or built in North America right now. They are all connected in some manner. This is an infrastructure that the powers that be will be able to do almost anything with. I am sure that eventually they will be stealing our water and that the fracking industry is waiting to gain a foothold in this state. The US has become the latest sacrifice zone. The robbing of natural resources in foreign lands has come home to the US. As Russell Means, indigenous leader and activist said before he passed, “…we are ALL living on the reservation now.”
People have been affected everywhere. Property owners in the path of the pipeline have become victims of eminent domain. And other property owners NEAR or CONTIGUOUS to the pipeline path are in just as much danger. They can’t even sell their properties for $1. They have to walk away from them. Communities of color have either no idea what the pipeline is for, how damaging it is or possess the resources to fight legally.
The impact to flora, fauna, our soil and water and even the human impact cannot be measured. The danger from explosions which are a common occurrence anywhere there is a pipeline is rarely mentioned. We have sinkholes here, the pipelines can shift under the ground; there is no way to keep them stable. And our governor has proposed transporting this product via passenger rail. The processing centers are being planned next to nuclear facilities and our shipping ports. What could possibly go wrong?
As evidenced by #StandingRock and other pipeline fights across the country, it is no longer safe to resist or actively resist. Bodily injury, legal implications resulting in financial costs, losing employment and having a criminal record takes a toll on grassroots activists. The need for financial backing to continue to resist has been made a priority and sometimes results in scams. Even environmental groups have taken payouts by the polluters. Sincere activists have no idea who or what group or individual activist to support.
With a police shooting at the pipeline on February 26th that resulted in a death, activists are asking themselves if their current methods of dissent are working or if new strategies to resist are needed. Of further concern now are the attempts to quash resistance and opposition organizing online. There is a blatant disregard of those laws that are supposed to maintain our personal sovereignty, allow for us to be truly free people and guarantee an open and free press as evidenced by the following document:
ACLU CHALLENGES WARRANT TO SEARCH DATA OF FACEBOOK PAGE FOR GROUP PROTESTING DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE
Projected date for completion of the Sabal Trail Pipeline is June 1, 2017. The fight is on to #stopsabaltrail. Are we too late?
PLEASE HELP US FIGHT THIS PIPELINE THROUGH ART! Read about it: http://www.gofundme.com/bluedtrees