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8 Arrested After TransCanada Protest

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

Eight current and recent college students protesting at TransCanada's Westborough office by chaining themselves together and super glueing their hands were arrested tonight after a nearly four-hour sit-in.

The group was protesting the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, according to the "Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline" website. The 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."

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.

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.; Lisa Rose Purdy, 20, of 26 Fisk St., Waltham; 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.

Group spokeswoman Marla Marcum provided Westborough Patch with a copy of a preloaded message sent in advance by Powell, a Tufts University junior.

"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.

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