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The fight to stop the Dakota Access pipeline continues—in the bayous of Louisiana
Author: Anya Kamenetz, The Nation, Published on: 6 September 2018
L’Eau Est La Vie (Water is Life) see this fight [against the Bayou Bridge pipeline] as the continuation of the struggle that began at Standing Rock... the Bayou Bridge Pipeline is part of the same network of pipes as those that make up the Dakota Access Pipeline. It is meant to ferry crude oil that comes all the way from the fracking sites in North Dakota. The destination: refineries in the predominantly African-American town of St. James, known for decades as Cancer Alley for the toxic impact of that process. Part of this fight is to get a safe evacuation route secured for that town in the event of a spill or other accident... L’Eau Est La Vie activists have kept up a constant drumbeat of resistance... [- they] have blockaded construction sites in kayaks, conducted tree sits, and chained themselves to equipment... “Our construction activities have been and will continue to adhere to the stipulations of our permits,” Alexis Daniel, a spokesperson for Energy Transfer Partners [said] via e-mail. “Bayou Bridge believes that it has the necessary rights to move forward with construction.”
... In recent weeks, the stakes for the activists have risen, thanks to new state legislation criminalizing protest. This legislation draws on a sample bill drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council... [and] makes trespassing near “critical infrastructure” a felony carrying several years in prison, rather than a misdemeanor... Versions of this felony protest bill have been introduced in Iowa, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Virginia, New York, Ohio, Minnesota, Colorado and Washington.