January 24

Portland oil sands protesters told to stay away from bank

Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Catlin of Brunswick and Seth Schlotterbeck of Auburn are released on $100 cash bail each and face charges after chaining themselves to the doors of a TD Bank.

By Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Two protesters who were arrested after locking themselves to the front doors of the TD Bank branch at 481 Congress St. on Wednesday, blocking the main entrance to the bank, have been released on $100 cash bail each with an order to stay off the bank’s premises.

click image to enlarge

Elizabeth Catlin of Brunswick, seated left, and Seth Schlotterbeck of Auburn attach themselves with bicycle locks around their necks to the door of a TD Bank.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

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Elizabeth “Betsy” Catlin, 23, of Brunswick, and 30-year-old Seth Schlotterbeck of Auburn are scheduled to appear in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court in Portland on March 6 to face charges against them, according to an official at the Cumberland County Jail.

Catlin is charged with criminal trespassing. Schlotterbeck is charged with trespassing and criminal mischief.

Catlin and Schlotterbeck, who identifies herself as Sylvia Stormwalker, said Wednesday they are members of the group Maine Trans and/or Women’s Action Team.

They said they were protesting construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and said TD Bank was an investor in the pipeline, which carries oil sands to refineries in Port Arthur and Houston, Texas.

They attached U-shape bike locks around their necks to the handles of each of the bank’s front doors around 11:30 a.m. and remained there on the doorstep for two hours before police were able to use bolt cutters to snap through the door handles.

They timed the protest to coincide with the day a Canadian company, TransCanada, began delivering oil from a hub in Cushing, Okla., to customers in Nederland, Texas.

The $2.3 billion pipeline from Oklahoma to Texas is the Gulf Coast portion of TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The longer Keystone XL, which would transport heavy oil sands from Canada as well as oil from North Dakota’s Bakken shale oil fields, requires a permit from President Obama because it crosses an international border.

That $5.4-billion segment has not yet been approved. Obama fast-tracked the shorter, southern portion of the pipeline with the hope of relieving a bottleneck in Oklahoma, The Associated Press reported.

Scott Dolan can be reached at 791-6304 or at:

sdolan@pressherald.com

Twitter: @scottddolan

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