On the eleventh day of action against TransCanada’s demolition of forest, land and family farm property in East Texas, actress Daryl Hannah joined Eleanor Fairchild to defend her farm from the heavy machinery TransCanada is using to prepare the environment for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The two ran out and put their hands up in front of the machinery.
Fairchild, who the Tar Sands Blockade describes as a “feisty 78-year-old great-grandmother,” put her hands up in the air, along with Hannah, to say, “Stop!” While standing in the way of an excavator there to clear trees, she declared:
…Get off my land, period. And, I don’t want tar sands anywhere in the United States.
I am mad. This land is my land and it’s been our land since ’83. Our home is on it. They’re going to destroy the woods and also they could destroy the springs.
It is just devastating but it is also not good to have that tar sands anywhere in the United States. This is not just about my land. It’s about all of our country.
It needs to be stopped…
The two were arrested. Fairchild was charged with “trespassing” on her own land. Hannah was arrested for “trespassing” on Fairchild’s land. And the machinery continued into the night, clearing away trees and destroying the land for TransCanada’s tar sands pipeline.
According to an Environmental News Service report, Fairchild bought her property “when her husband retired as an oil industry geologist.” The pipeline “will permanently bisect the 300 acre ranch, which includes undeveloped wetland areas and natural springs producing over 400 gallons of fresh water per minute from her property.” So, Fairchild has not been in favor of the pipeline since she became aware of TransCanada’s plans years ago.
Fairchild has not signed a contract. The multinational corporation “expropriated her ranch through Texas eminent domain legal proceedings. She turned down the one-time settlement offered by the company.” TransCanada has also threatened land owners, who have changed their mind about turning over property to TransCanada for construction. The corporation faces multiple lawsuits for doing this to land owners.
Maggie, a young girl who had been sitting atop a 40-foot-pole, inspired Fairchild, who had participated in Tar Sands Action protests at the White House last year. She decided she may not be able to climb a pole but, if she could “raise hell by sitting down,” she was going to because “what this foreign corporation is doing just isn’t right.”
Hannah told KLTV she was there to peacefully protest the “unwanted advances of TransCanada on Eleanor Fairchild’s land.” She has “stated very clearly that she doesn’t want them there and they insist on bullying her and taking away her land through eminent domain.” They stood together in front of the excavator, held their hands up and then were arrested. A “private security guard hired by TransCanada” injured her wrist during the arrest.
The actress shared how she had traveled up and down the path, where TransCanada intends to build the pipeline. She has met a “lot of the farmers, ranchers and landowners who are fighting this battle.” She even “did a horseback ride with four chiefs of the Lacoda Rosebud in different Native American nations in North Dakota” and hopes that her action will have some impact on how Americans’ perceive the construction of this toxic pipeline.
*For more, go to the Tar Sands Blockade’s website here.