“Today marked the first day of a full time tree sit to stop the highly controversial Tennessee Gas Pipeline, a very good friend, Gifford ascended 45 feet high on a platform to show his dedication.
With safety being our number one concern with something of this magnitude, I was there as direct support to make sure Gifford’s well being was respected and to provide emotional support.
Sometime after 8am we were met by a two man crew of survey people, they then called their higher ups and an hour or so later a nice gentleman named Mike was on scene. We were very forthcoming with our intentions to keep everyone safe and to provide answers to any pressing questions he had. He informed us that at that time he would be contacting the local authorities (something to be expected).
Two more hours go by, sitting by the fire before we encountered an Officer. We made it clear to him that our comrade would not be coming down from his perch and why we were actually there. The officer and his partner instructed us to gather our things and to be escorted out of the woods to be picked up by someone. The two officers led us through the clear-cut section of the forest and led us to I-84, where we were put in handcuffs and taken to the station for a full booking process including fingerprinting and picture taking. In reality the officer was only accusing us of trespass, informing us that if we were seen on the property again our charges will be upgraded to misdemeanor which amounts to a speeding ticket. During our booking, two security members related with the industry were present and we could hear them talking negatively about us and Gifford who was [and is still] in the trees.
They wanted to send a message. What they wanted was for myself and the other individual working direct support to be scared. They did the direct opposite. My experiences today proved to me that our actions are not only justified at this time they are our only option.”
Source (blog along with links to a Facebook & Twitter for the ‘NO TENNESSEE PIPELINE’ people)