September Newsletter



In early August, activists converged from across the Northwest region and the country for the Coal Export Action and 23 participated in five days of protests and civil disobedience to stop the coal industry’s latest scheme to save itself from obsolescence. Over the next few months, the groups that organized the Coal Export Action will be building on the momentum generated last week. A series of new campaigns and actions will continue to challenge the corporate and political players that make the coal industry in Montana so powerful.

FOR MORE: Scott Parkin’s article on Alternet and at Coal Export Action


Tar Sands Blockade strikes in Texas!

Seven activists, including a retired minister, a small businessman, a grandmother and local farmer, locked down a truck in Livingston, TX carrying massive pipe intended for Keystone XL construction. The truck was stopped at the entrance of the pipe yard, rendering construction for the day impossible. Seven were arrested as part of the action. TransCanada has tried to keep the start of construction on this pipeline a secret, and this action exposed it. This is only the first of many more actions to come and how we intend to win– with passion, persistence and people power.

                                                          Blockades Coal
                                                          Plant at RNC

In the climax of the 2012 Republican National Convention, Earth First! blocked roads to TECO’s Big Bend coal plant on the eastern shore of Tampa Bay. The environmental action group cited corporate influence in politics and ecological impacts of fossil fuel dependency as reasons for the disruption. Seven people in total were detained for stopping all traffic into the coal plant for near four hours. One hundred people rallied in support.



                                                          Frack With

In August, over 150 people sat in at the gates of the Schlumberger industrial facility in Horseheads, NY. Among their numbers were children, grandparents, college students, and working people of all kinds. They all had a common purpose: to defend their communities, land, and water from hydro-fracking, aka “fracking”. And they did so in a way New York State has not yet seen– direct action, at the gates of the gas industry.


Earth First! Blockades TECO Coal Plant at RNC in Tampa

by Everglades Earth First! (view original at EF! Newswire )

“You Built This Disaster” banner spoofs RNC motto (“We Built this”)

UPDATES: Seven people in total were detained for blocking the roads which stopped all traffic into the coal plant for near four hours. Six were locked down in the road and one was dragged off the top of the truck.

Over one hundred people showed up to support the blockade, many on the buses who traveled down with the Occupy Wall Street contingent from NYC, and dozens of media outlets in town for the RNC reported on the action.

In the end, no one was arrested, as it seemed the police used a strict policy of controlling the perception of protests by avoiding conflict all week.

Regardless, in the end this action not only succeeded in closing access to a massive coal power plant for hours, it also linked the plant’s operations to the corporate-funded political system, and even shut down the Port of Tampa temporarily (and freak out a nearby IKEA who happen to be in the midst of anold-growth logging controversy), just by the threat of our presence!

What follows is a press release from Everglades EF! released at the start of the action:

Apollo Beach, FL—In the climax of the 2012 Republican National Convention, protestors with Earth First! have blocked access roads to TECO’s Big Bend coal plant on the eastern shore of Tampa Bay. The environmental action group is citing corporate influence in politics and ecological impacts of fossil fuel dependency as reasons for the disruption.

One of two lockdowns along the road, blocking all truck access to the TECO plant

This year’s RNC was funded by an estimated $55 million in corporate pay-offs, with corporations including the Tampa based-TECO Energy, along with Chevron, Duke Energy and Exxon Mobil.

According to a report by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) last year, power plants are the number one polluters in the US and Florida is the third dirtiest state in power plant pollution. NRDC found TECO’s Big Bend plant to be in the state’s top most polluting smoke stacks.

Earth First! activists chose this day for their protest in order to highlight Mitt Romney’s plan to expand what the group calls the “energy empire” which favors the interest of big donors in oil, gas and coal industries.

Romney’s top energy policy advisor is the wealthiest oilman in the country and according to data analyzed by the Center for Responsive Politics, Romney has already raised more from mining interests than Bush or McCain raised from these industries in their entire campaigns.

Locally, TECO’s Big Bend plant has a long history of pollution. In year’s past, it was declared Florida’s number one dirtiest power plant by Florida Consumer Action Network, the plant was documented discharging waste into Cobia Bay in Apollo Beach, and was the first in the state for coal waste.

But that’s not all. TECO has also been called one of the nation’s worst offenderswhen it comes to mountaintop removal coal mining. In coal mining regions of the Appalachian Mountains, TECO has ruined entire communities to maximize their profits. Kentucky coalfield resident Doug Justice worked in the coal mines for 22 years and said “I have never seen an outfit treat a community the way TECO Coal has done us.”

In response to the devastation from floods caused be TECO’s mining in 2002, Granville Burke of Letcher County, Kentucky, had this to say: “I wish TECO had never started mining above our home. Protection for families like ours is supposed to come from the state and federal regulatory agencies, but instead they look the other way as coal companies destroy entire communities for the sake of profit.”

“Dirty energy becomes dirty politics. We can’t afford to stand by and watch it anymore. We have to fight back.” Said Rachel Kijewski, an organizer with the Earth First! movement in Florida.

August Newsletter: Mountaintop Removal, Tar Sands, Fracking & Coal Export Actions

The Rising Tide North America Newsletter is back! Please click here to submit content for next month’s newsletter

“Mountain Mobilization” Shuts Down Logan County Strip Mine

More than 50 protesters affiliated with the R.A.M.P.S. Campaign walked onto Patriot Coal’s Hobet mine and shut it down following the Mountain Mobilization. Ten people locked to a rock truck, boarded it and dropped banners: “Coal Leaves, Cancer Stays.” In total twenty people were arrested. Appalachian communities, from union miners to the anti-strip mining activists of the 1960s, have a proud history of confronting the coal industry and demanding an end to its exploitive practices with direct civil disobedience. R.A.M.P.S. and other campaigns have returned to this tradition to eliminate strip mining once and for all.

MORE INFO: RAMPS Campaign website

Urgent Update! Donate: Get Anti-MTR Activists Out of Jail!

Hobet MTR Disobedience

Our friends are in trouble. On Saturday (see above), over 50 people trespassed onto the the Hobet mountaintop removal mine, the largest surface mine in the United States, in an act of peaceful civil disobedience. 20 of them were arrested and thrown in jail with $25,000 bail each.

Among those taken into custody was 20-year old Dustin Steele, the son and grandson of West Virginia coal miners, was arrested, beaten by police, badly injured, and was outrageously refused hospital care. Luckily, Dustin has been released, but 19 other arrestees remain locked up.  Help fund their legal defense!

Donate HERE

Keystone Convergence for Tar Sands Blockade

Tar Sands Blockade

This past weekend over 60 climate activists, landowners, students and people from all over Texas, Oklahoma and beyond converged with Rising Tide North Texas and the Tar Sands Blockade in East Texas to organize and prepare for upcoming blockade actions around the construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline. Trainers prepared people to take action and wage campaigns with direct action, media and organizing skills. Construction begins on Aug. 1, campaign actions are being planned all over Texas and Oklahoma. Join Rising Tide North Texas as they prepare to stop the pipeline.

MORE INFO: Tar Sands Blockade

EF! Action Shuts Down Fracking Drill Operation

EF! Frack Blockade

Nearly 100 Earth First! activists, friends and allies forced a 70-foot-tall EQT hydrofracking drill rig to suspend operations for 12 hours on July 8th in Pennsylvania’s Moshannon State Forest. This is the first time that protesters have shut down a hydrofrack drilling operation in the US. A tree sitter hung above the access road, with their anchor ropes blocking it. A second person was also in a tree to support the sitter while dozens of supporters guarded ten large debris piles that were across the road. Another group of 50 activists blockaded the entrance to the access road. Three arrests were made for disorderly conduct, but protesters were cited and released on-site.

MORE INFO: Marcellus Earth First!

Montana Coal Export

In less than two weeks, from August 12-20, people will start gathering in Helena for the Coal Export Action. As Arch Coal prepares its permit application for the Otter Creek Mine. Coal industry giants are pushing members of the Montana State Land Board to let them build the Otter Creek mine, the “anchor project” in a larger industry scheme to transform southeast Montana and northeast Wyoming into a coal mining industrial zone.

This is already shaping up to be the biggest action of its kind in the Northern Rockies region. Many action participants may be engaging in civil disobedience for the first time, and we are committed to providing resources to make this the accessible, empowering, and effective action we all need. Now, in these last couple of weeks before the action, you can help it grow even more.

MORE INFO: Coal Export Action

Canada Action Camp

On August 6th – 10th there will be the 3rd Annual Unis?tot?en Action Camp. The camp will feature lots of activities around building solidarity, campaigns and action planning for communities who will stop the proposed and approved pipelines and mining projects that are unwelcome in the north of Unceded Occupied so called bc and canada. The proposed pipelines from Northern Gateway, Kitimat Summit Lake Looping Project, and the Pembina and Kinder Morgan Pipelines seek to cross the rivers at the exact point where the resistance camp is built in Unis?tot?en Territory of Talbits Kwah.

MORE INFO: Unistoten Camp

“Everything Has to Get Bigger From Here”

Dear Friends-

This fight to end mountaintop removal coal mining is not over. Lifelong West Virginian Larry Gibson recently said:

“Everything has to get bigger from here. We need to put our backs up against the wall and not back down.”

Mountain fighters from all over are taking these words to heart. Recently, five mountain-loving activists stopped a coal barge on the Kanawha River in West Vir ginia. The same day, dozens more blocked nine coal trucks on Larry’s home Kayford Mountain, West Virginia. Two weeks later, 22 more Appalachians (including Larry) were arrested sitting-in on Capitol Hill calling for an end to mountaintop removal.

This month in West Virginia, the Mountain Mobilization is calling for masses to join them and defend Appalachia’s land and the people by stopping strip mining. Beginning on July 25, Radical Action for Mountain People’s Survival (RAMPS) will be convening the Mountain Mobilization to shut down a strip mine and build momentum that will finish off mountaintop removal once and for all.

Join the West Virginia Mountain Mobilization by registering here.

Rising Tide North America emerged out of the Mountain Justice movement six years ago. We’ve marched, lobbied and sat-in with them. We’ve seen the terrible toll that coal mining has taken on the people of Appalachia. They aren’t backing down and neither are we.

Support the Mountain Mobilization, by donating here!

We need to make everything bigger.

Can you join us?

For the mountains, Rising Tide North America