U.S.: Keystone Protesters lock on in TD Bank branch Washington DC
Three protesters have occupied the pre-lobby of a branch of the TD Bank in Washington DC this morning in protest against the Keystone XL pipeline. TD Bank is the primary financier of TransCanada's Keystone XL tar sands pipeline to move the tar sands oil across the US to Texas.
Related Reports: DC Indymedia: Tar Sands protesters lock to concrete-filled trash can at TB Bank | Photos on Flickr | Cool Revolution: Activists barricade TD Bank in Washington, DC to protest funding of Keystone XL Pipeline
One person used a D lock to lock onto the front door with two other people locked together inside with banners and posters.
There is a large police presence, including a mobile control unit and an ambulance. For three locked on protesters.
Police have moved the police line back to prevent media from close observation. Sheets are being held up so that media observers can't observe police measures to saw through the chain on the door.
Police have broken through into the lobby, but are holding up a sheet in front of the windows to prevent media observation.
The person who was chained at the front has now been released. Police continue to push the police line way back, much further than any distance required to operate safely. Police do not want media observation. An entire block or more has been blocked off. A frozen zone.
Police have brought in a gas powered saw to attempt to cut through the concrete that is being utilised in the lock-on. The two protestors are locked on inside the lobby of the bank using dragonsleeve PVC pipe in a trash can with the trashcan full of concrete. Usually it is the Fire Brigade that do this sort of work according to the reporter on site. The Fire Department were sent away. Two power saws and ta drill have come out of the bank.
Police threatened the locked on people with felony charges including burglary, breaking and entering and criminal trespass. The intimidation worked and the protesters decided to unlock. They have been released with no charges.
"Our attempt was to shut the bank down for the day" said Jason, one of the people who locked on inside.
The Keystone Pipeline has been called a 'climate game changer' by NASA climatologist James Hansen if it goes ahead, unleashing a huge amount of carbon emissions. "If the tar sands are thrown into the mix it is essentially game over," Hansen, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration climatologist, explained about reclaiming a stable climate in a 2011 Reuters report. "The principal requirement is that coal emissions must be phased out by 2030 and unconventional fossil fuels, such as tar sands, must be left in the ground."