Victory! Appeals court rules Bayou Bridge Pipeline company 'trampled' landowners' rights
On Thursday, an appeals court for the State of Louisiana ruled that the Bayou Bridge Pipeline Company (BBP) violated the due process rights of landowners when it constructed an oil pipeline across their property before acquiring the legal rights to do so. The construction — including clearing trees, trenching, and laying pipe — took place across privately owned land in the ecologically sensitive Atchafalaya Basin. The court awarded each of the property owners $10,000 and legal fees.
In its decision, the court wrote:
When BBP consciously ordered construction to begin on this property prior to obtaining a judicial determination of the public and necessary purpose for that taking, it not only trampled Defendants’ due process rights as landowners, it eviscerated the constitutional protections laid out to specifically protect those property rights.
"For others out there thinking they can't win, I hope this victory shows that they can, and that these companies cannot simply do what they want, run roughshod over people's rights, and get away with a small fine as the cost of doing business," said landowner Peter Aaslestad.
Learn more about this victory on our website.
We're demanding ICE turn over information on vigilante "citizen academies"
Also on Thursday, we, along with the Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) and Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD), filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to demand more information on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) announcement of a pilot Enforcement and Removals Operation (ERO) Citizen Academy to be held in Chicago over a six-week period starting in mid-September of this year. The request also asks for information on past ICE “citizen academies” held in other cities, which have recently come to light.
At a time when the nation is being forced to grapple with systemic police violence, ICE has invited civilians in Chicago to engage “in scenario-based training and exercises conducted in a safe and positive environment, including, but not limited to defensive tactics, firearms familiarization, and targeted arrests.” This has raised alarm with OCAD as well as other immigrant rights organizers and advocates in Chicago who see the trainings as potentially encouraging vigilantes to profile and target people in their communities.