About 80 climate justice land defenders enforced a full-day work stoppage
at a tar sands mine in the Book Cliffs of Utah July 21, 2014. Multiple
technical and non-technical blockades were deployed to keep the peace and
prevent further destruction by construction crews.
The proposed tar sands mine area--PR Springs on the East Tavaputs
Plateau--was stolen from the Utes last century. Recently US EPA has
demanded information from the tar sands company regarding certain toxic
waste dangers that will be an inevitable result of the project's progress,
threatening a vital water source to Ute people. The pollution from this
project will pose a special threat to the very people from whom the land
was stolen. It has recently come to light that the mine is located on land still controlled for the Utes. This battle will continue to be fought both in the courts and on the land.
Tensions with police were high for several hours throughout they day as
cops sought to break a series of blockades and restore the violent land
scraping and development. Twenty-one people were arrested and several were
Undeterred by aggressive and repeatedly violent acts by the Uintah County
Sheriff's Department and the School Institutional Trust Lands
Administration to break the people's resolve, the series of blockades
stopped the company and law enforcement from restoring the violent status
quo that day. Tar Sands mining operations remained shut down for at least a week after the blockade.
The only moral reaction to systemic injustice is relentless resistance.