Water Protectors Block Bayou Bridge Pipeline Construction near Bayou Lafourche
Dozens risk arrest in the first act of peaceful civil disobedience on the pipeline route
(Belle Rose, LA)
On Monday, February 26, two dozen water protectors temporarily blocked construction activities of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, risking arrest as the first act of civil disobedience along the project’s route.
After walking onto the easement, participants in the action brought pipeline workers a note and doughnuts. “We think the oil industry should hire thousands more people to fix broken and leaking pipelines, abandoned oil wells, rusty refineries and all the other infrastructure that’s falling apart,” the note reads. “There are lots of jobs that do not require new pipelines and more destruction of Louisiana.”
Anne Rolfes, Founding Director of Louisiana Bucket Brigade, added “Governor Edwards needs to stop listening to an out of state oil company and start listening to the people of Louisiana. We have said loud and clear that we don’t want this pipeline, and since he won’t lead on this issue, we will. As today’s action shows, we will do everything in our power to peacefully prevent construction. We will not let this dangerous and incompetent company destroy our state. The Bayou Bridge Pipeline will not be built.”
Just last week, US District Court Judge Shelly Dick granted environmental groups and crawfishers an injunction, halting pipeline construction to “prevent further irreparable harm” in the ecologically sensitive and economically vital Atchafalaya Basin. Despite the lack of a full environmental impact statement for the pipeline project, construction continues along other segments of the route, including in Belle Rose. Today’s action highlighted threats to the United Houma Nation’s drinking water supply, as the pipeline crosses Bayou Lafourche in Belle Rose.
“We have lived and thrived in the swamps of Terrebonne and Lafourche Parish for over 200 years” said Rae-Lynn Cazelot of the United Houma Nation and the L’eau Est La Vie Camp. “But now our land is disappearing out from under us and our homes and way of life are being threatened yet again. Companies just like ETP have come in, exploited our land, poisoned our waters and displaced our people – making billions then retreating to safety while we’re left with the effects. So why should we believe that ETP, of all companies, would do the right thing after what they did to our brothers and sisters of the Sioux in North Dakota? We already know how little regard they give to Native lives. We will not allow this pipeline to be built without a fight.”
“We believe in the power of the people to stand up peacefully and prayerfully against a government and a company that have proven themselves unwilling to and incapable of protecting our greatest treasures: our water, our air, our land, and our people,” said Meg Logue on behalf of 350 New Orleans, who risked arrest on Monday. “We are a gentle people, and today we rise to protect what we love.”
Photos are available here.
Anne Rolfes, firstname.lastname@example.org (504) 452-4909
Rae-Lynn Cazelot | (334) 462-4484