Tracking Journalist Arrests at Keystone Pipeline Protests

So far five people, including credentialed reporters and citizen journalsits, have been arrested or detained while trying to cover the Tar Sands blockade of the Keystone XL pipeline project in Texas. Check back for updates about press suppression here and at other Keystone protests nationwide.

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  1. On August 28 four activists in Livingston, TX locked themselves to underside of a truck carrying pipe intended for the Keystone XL pipeline. Reports of a journalist, Garrett Graham, being arrested hit twitter about 11am local time. 
  2. On October 10 two freelance journalists, Elizabeth Arce and Lorenzo Serna, who were live streaming from the protests were arrested. The pair have since been released by police. Both have been active in Occupy Wall Street in New York and had been arrested earlier this year by NYPD while covering OWS protests.
  3. Last night, Elizabeth (@occupymusician) and Lorenzo (@uneditedcamera), who are both live streamers, were arrested. The two had traveled to cover the Blockade as freelance journalists. “They showed up about a week ago to cover the story,” said Seifert. “To be on the site to introduce the world” to the Blockaders and “what the tree village looks like across the timber wall.” And, to “augment their own reporting,” they climbed up to the top of the timber wall to do interviews. Lorenzo and Elizabeth, two live streamers arrested (Photo by Tar Sands Blockade) When they finished, they were told if they set foot on the ground they would be arrested for trespassing. They held out there for a full week, according to Seifert. They planned to come down each day and each day they realized they could not get down safely until finally they could not stay up in the trees any longer and had to come down. Thanks to grassroots support, both have had trespassing charges against them dropped. Still, they spent a night in jail for being there to tell a story, for being there to report on resistance to the Keystone XL pipeline project.
  4. Also on October 10 a journalist, Dan Frosch, and photographer working with the New York Times were detained at the Keystone protest. 
  5. Reporter Dan Frosch and an unnamed photographer accompanying him were covering a protest on private land yesterday when they were handcuffed and detained by a security guard for TransCanada (the Canadian company behind the pipeline) and local police.
  6. A Times spokesperson released a statement saying, “While reporting a story on how protestors in East Texas are trying to stop the Keystone XL pipeline from being built, [a Times reporter] and a Times photographer were detained yesterday by local police and a TransCanada security guard; they were told for trespassing.  They identified themselves as media and were released but told they needed to leave the private property where they had positioned themselves (with the permission of the landowner). They complied.”
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