Friday, June 14, 2013

Police Trained to Treat Keystone XL Protesters as 'Terrorists'

From:  AlterNet 

By Alyssa Figueroa

Peaceful environmental protesters framed as criminals? Guess who’s scared of people power…

Photo Credit: Schild
June 13, 2013 -   It’s often difficult to gauge just how much fear activists instill in the powers that be. But on Wednesday, environmental activists protesting the Keystone XL pipeline saw firsthand how much TransCanada, the corporation in charge of the pipeline, is shaking in its boots. 

Bold Nebraska, a grassroots landowner advocacy group, obtained TransCanada's presentation slides (below) via a Freedom of Information Act request to the Nebraska State Patrol. These slides revealed that TransCanada provided training to both federal and local police forces on how to crack down on environmental activists, even going so far as to train them to arrest the activists under anti-terrorism statutes. 

Lauren Regan, legal coordinator for Tar Sands Blockade and executive director of the Civil Liberties Defense Center said, “This is clear evidence of the collusion between TransCanada and the federal government assisting local police to unlawfully monitor and harass political protestors.” 

According to a press release the slides were presented last month in Nebraska, although they date back to December, 2012. They specifically call out Occupy Pipe, Occupy Houston, STOP, Rainforest Action Network and Tar Sands Blockade in their presentations, which create an overall narrative that the activists are criminals and terrorists who need to be stopped. 

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