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Waltham College Student Arrested At TransCanada Protest

The sit-in was part of a national effort against the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline.

A Waltham college student was among eight students arrested on Jan. 7 during a protest about the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline at TransCanada's Westborough office.

Lisa Rose Purdy, 20, of 26 Fisk St., Waltham, is facing charges for being a disorderly person, trespassing and disturbing the peace.

Police were called to TransCanada, at 110 Turnpike Road, Suite 203, at about 2:08 p.m. "for a protest inside the office area," Police Chief Alan Gordon said in a press release.

"The arriving units located eight individuals who had chained themselves together at the ankles and waists. They had also super glued their hands together," Gordon said.

"A locksmith was called and he was able to unlock their ankles. The fire department assisted in removing the superglue from their hands. One suspect was able to be freed from the chain around his waist. The seven others were transported to the police station chained together. A key was brought to the Police Station at 6:05 p.m. to unlock the rest of the waist padlocks."

Police will charge all eight with disorderly person, disturbing the peace and trespassing, Gordon said. They face arraignment Tuesday morning in Westborough District Court.

In addition to Purdy, police arrested: Shea M. Riester, 22, of 48 Brooksdale Road, Brighton; Devyn Weis Powell, 20, of 1260 Hideaway Lane, Lake Oswego, Oregon; Benjamin L. Thompson, 22, of 20 Watson Road, Durham, N.H.; Benjamin J. Trolio, 22, of 35 Fruitwood Drive, Burnt Hills, N.Y.; Allison J. Welton, 20, of 648 Highway 7, Tonasket, Washington; Dorian S. Williams, 20, of 5301 S. University Ave., Chicago, Ill.; and Emily Edgerly, 20, of 6 Douglas Road, Lexington.

The group's website describes the Keystone XL Pipeline as "a proposed 1,400-mile pipeline that would transport tar sands oil from the Canadian tar sands to the Gulf of Mexico. The southern leg is currently being constructed in the face of massive local opposition in Texas."

Group spokeswoman Marla Marcum issued a statement from Powell. 

"The Keystone XL, which runs from Canada to Texas, threatens a stable future by perpetuating our oil addiction. Chaining myself to my seven friends is a last resort after our government, heavily influenced by corporate fossil fuel interests, has proved unable to take action against this deadly project," Powell wrote.

"The fossil fuel industry is knowingly sacrificing our future for its profits. I have decided that I need to fight the injustice, irresponsibility, and immorality of their actions by using all the nonviolent means of protest available to me. TransCanada’s intent to build the pipeline will contribute to drought, flooding and starvation through future Hurricane Sandys, crop failures and more climate disasters. We are not going to passively let this happen."

The Stop the XL Pipeline website notes that "the Westborough sit-in is part of a nationwide week of action against Keystone XL, including a large scale action today in Houston."

"The week was coordinated by activists from the Texas-based Tar Sands Blockade, a group that has been staging direct action for five months to prevent construction of the southern leg of the pipeline," according to the website.

Karen Walz January 08, 2013 at 04:03 PM
One other thing...so far as students not paying bills, we don't know that, but in the future they're likely to be carrying a much more burdening student loan payback than anyone in my generation has ever experienced. I'm sure most of these students will be taking on that responsibility themselves. The argument that college students are a bunch of lazy, privilged kids beggars reality. Would we rather have unthinking, un-analytical, non-challenging, apathetic young adults becoming our nation's leaders? I, for one, would not. Better to protest and understand the issues and their implications than to remain ignorant and let powerful lobbyists and powerful industries run rampant without due process of law, due investigation, and due approval by the people. Nothing good has happened in this country WITHOUT protest and demonstrations, and that goes back to the Revolutiohary War!
Tina January 08, 2013 at 04:35 PM
Karen, I assumed that these students are privileged because they don't seem to give a thought to what the average homeowner must pay for heat. Perhaps parents should teach their children at an early age the economics of running a household. As to alternative, non-fossil fuel methods of heating a house, most people do not have the financial means to make such a conversion. Older people in particular might not see it pay for itself within their lifetime.
Karen Walz January 08, 2013 at 07:46 PM
I hear you, Tina, but that still doesn't mean they're privileged. That is a very big assumption. They are probably very aware of energy costs, and the costs to the nation's FUTURE regarding a long-range view of energy needs and costs to themselves, their children, and grandchildren. If there hadn't been protests and fighting large corporations regarding pollution, for example, we might not have an EPA or any regulations regarding pollution. And those regulations are often violated, and people have to protest against that. There are many things that we can support that we would not necessarily see in our lifetime, but in my view that doesn't mean that we shouldn't support the long range work now so that future generations don't inherit a dying planet. I encourage these students to look toward the future to see what alternatives to fossil fuels can become feasible, and eventually more cost-effective. I may not be able to afford a conversion to my house now, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't want it to be available to my children and grandchildren.
JohnnyMass January 09, 2013 at 02:23 AM
This is why we need to bring back the electric chair!

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