Photographers and activists are being compared to terrorists in a recent report published by Nebraska’s Homeland Security fusion center regarding the controversial Keystone Pipeline project.
Instead, the report highlights the arrests of several activists whom were arrested on trespassing and resisting arrest charges when they either locked arms or chained themselves to machinery to prevent further construction of the pipeline.
But despite what the government would like us to believe, civil disobedience misdemeanor charges don’t come close to acts of terror. And neither does photography.
The fact is, the April 25, 2013 report drafted by the Nebraska Information Analysis Center highlights the shameless marriage between corporations and government officials where police act in the interest of big money to crack down on the First Amendment rights of citizens.
The report was obtained last week in a Freedom of Information Act request by Bold Nebraska,which is striving to change the political landscape in Nebraska.
Nebraskans who oppose the pipeline say that they would welcome meetings with police to detail occurrences of trespassing by TransCanada officials, and to show that their opposition to the pipeline is both peaceful and lawful.“We have a right to organize and make our voices heard. No foreign corporation should be coming into our state to try and hire and turn our police against us,” said Susan Luebbe, a rancher in the Sandhills of Nebraska.
Stretching from Canada to the Gulf Coast and owned by TransCanada, the Keystone Pipeline is operational but still has additional phases under construction to further the transport of crude oil.
It has come under fire from environmental groups, politicians and citizens for its potential to wreak havoc on the environment.
According to Wikipedia:
A concern is that a pipeline spill would pollute air and critical water supplies and harm migratory birds and other wildlife. Its original route plan crossed the Sandhills, the large wetland ecosystem in Nebraska, and the Ogallala Aquifer, one of the largest reserves of fresh water in the world. The Ogallala Aquifer spans eight states, provides drinking water for two million people, and supports $20 billion in agriculture. Critics say that a major leak could ruin drinking water and devastate the mid-western U.S. economy. After opposition for laying the pipeline in this area, TransCanada agreed to change the route and skip the Sand Hills.
Portions of the pipeline will also cross an active seismic zone that had a 4.3 magnitude earthquake as recently as 2002. Opponents claim that TransCanada applied to the U.S. government to use thinner steel and pump at higher pressures than normal. In October 2011, The New York Times questioned the impartiality of the environmental analysis of the pipeline done by Cardno Entrix, an environmental contractor based in Houston. The study found that the pipeline would have limited adverse environmental impacts, but was authored by a firm that had “previously worked on projects with TransCanada and describes the pipeline company as a ‘major client’ in its marketing materials.”
The report states that as of April 24, 2013, more than 59,000 people had signed the Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance.
We can probably assume those 59,000 people are currently being monitored by the National Security Agency.