As water protectors continue to stand up to the construction of the Bayou Bridge pipeline, in the Atchafayala Basin, reckless intimidation from Energy Transfer Partners is on the rise! They are asking for protection from Louisiana State Police, and are receiving none. CLDC stands in solidarity with these activists and knows that action must be taken to resist the collaboration of law enforcement and pipeline companies, who together take dangerous actions against protesters.
Please read this letter from the attorneys of the Bayou Bridge campaign, including CLDC’s Lauren Regan, for details of cooperation and dangerous behavior and see below for names and numbers that you can call to demand this treatment be stopped!
July 26, 2018
By Fax 225.925.3742, email to: email@example.com
And c/o Executive Staff Officer Rhonda.Fogleman@la.gov
Re: Notice of Potential Civil Liability for Actions and/or Inactions of State Employees
Governor Edwards and Superintendent Reeves:
We write to formally advise you that there are serious ongoing health and safety concerns for people protesting the construction of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline in St. Martin Parish arising from the dangerous and reckless conduct of those clearing the area for the pipeline. We have reports that members of the Louisiana State Police have been on the scene but are taking no action to protect the health and safety of the protestors and others put at risk by the company’s conduct. We also have reports that various state employees from the Department of Public Safety, Corrections and Probation and Parole are working as private security in this matter.
Several people protesting are sitting up in trees in St. Martin Parish some ways from the actual pipeline construction, yet pipeline workers are now cutting down trees in the immediate vicinity of those people in a manner endangering the health and safety of the people. Construction workers are even using chainsaws on the very trees these individuals are sitting in. There is video evidence documenting these activities. We have received reports that state employees, some on duty like State Police, and others off duty, are regularly on the scene, that your office is fully aware of the danger yet has taken no action to protect the health and safety of the people protesting.
There is no legal reason why this dangerous type of tree cutting should be allowed to continue in light of the potentially grave harm to humans. Reports shared with us indicate state employees have refused to order the pipeline construction people to cease their dangerous, reckless and unsafe activities of tree cutting in the immediate vicinity of the people. State employees are reported to not be taking steps to protect the health and safety of people. Moreover, there are questions as to whether the company itself all requisite permissions and authorizations has to be present upon and clearing the land at issue.
We also have reports that people are being handcuffed and shackled while being arrested and even transported across water while handcuffed. This is also risky and dangerous behavior that may not conform with proper arrest and custody protocols and procedures.
By this letter we are formally asking you and all members of the Louisiana State Police and other state employees working on the site to take immediate action to protect the health and safety of the protestors by ordering that agents of the pipeline company cease and desist from cutting and/or clearing in the immediate vicinity of the protestors. Failure to do so not only risks the health and safety of the protestors but potentially opens up the State of Louisiana to civil liability for any injuries suffered by the protestors.
Thank you for your attention to this matter,
William P. Quigley
Pam Spees, Senior Staff Attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights, 666 Broadway Avenue, New York, New York 10012, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lauren Regan, Attorney, Civil Liberties Defense Center, 1430 Willamette Street, #359, Eugene, Oregon 97401, email@example.com
Please call these people and demand that reckless endangerment of protestors be stopped!
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards
c/o Chief of Staff Mark Cooper
PO Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
By Fax, 225.342.7099 and US mail
Louisiana State Police Superintendent
Kevin W. Reeves
7919 Independence Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806