Rising Tide Chicago: Citizens Dressed as Elves Set Up Frack Rig on Governor Quinn’s Lawn

RT ChiFrom Rising Tide Chicago

Citizens Dressed as Elves Set Up Frack Rig on Governor Quinn’s Lawn

Chicago, IL —Monday morning four concerned community members dressed as elves visited Governor Quinn’s Chicago residence and set up a hydraulic fracturing rig

with a large red bow attached on the front lawn.  The “elves” said they were delivering a present from Santa who has been nervously watching the dangerous practice of hydraulic fracturing or fracking inch closer and closer to becoming reality in Illinois during the past year.

The elves delivered the frack rig because people that live far away from where fracking is planned are the ones making the decision to bring the dangerous practice here. “We are delivering this rig today because if Governor Quinn and the other people that have opened up our state to fracking had to live next to fracking and had to obtain their water from a well I think they would not bring fracking to our state,” said Mike Durshmid of Rising Tide Chicago.

Hydraulic fracturing is an environmentally damaging practice of obtaining natural gas in which large amounts of water, sand and chemicals are combined and then forced deep underground to break shale rock to release trapped oil and gas. Fracking has been linked to earthquakes and air and water pollution in Colorado, Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania, states that have been using the practice for some time.

The climate implications of fracking were front and center during the delivery as the elves spoke about how their home, the north pole had been irreversibly damaged due the loss of ice. They also drew the connection to climate related disaster like Hurricane Sandy and the extreme drought that Southern Illinois experienced a few years ago and how these events would become more frequent and intense if we continue to emit more greenhouse gases like the methane that is released during hydraulic fracturing.

“We just can’t afford to allow the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, and must find a way to live that does not put continued economic growth above preserving a habitable planet. For this reason we must stop fracking from starting in Illinois and also work to make larger systematic changes” said Angie Viands of Rising Tide Chicago. The frack rig delivery, organized by Rising Tide Chicago, comes on the heals of several public hearings on hydraulic fracturing in the state that drew many hundreds of residents expressing their concerns about the practice and some vowing to resist it if it comes to Illinois.



Wild Idaho RT: Tar Sands Megaload Resistance Solidarity

WIRTCross-posted from Wild Idaho Rising Tide

Updates and additions to Idaho & Montana Tar Sands Megaload Protests!

Over the last month by Christmas Eve, Umatilla and Warm Springs tribes, Rising Tide groups, and allied organizations and activists have staged dozens of actions escalating Northwest resistance against tar sands mining and megaload exploitation of indigenous and public lands and people.  At least five Umatilla-led protection ceremonies in Pendleton, four Port of Umatilla protests and blockades, three Portland and Seattle area office occupations of megaload hauler Omega Morgan and designer Resources Conservation Company International, two blockades in John Day, Hermiston and Stanfield protests, a Portland visit to the Oregon Department of Transportation, and a light brigade overpass action have resulted in nineteen mostly illegal arrests of activists at the four blockades [1].

Activists with 350, All Against The Haul, Blue Skies Campaign, Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction, Montana Indian Peoples Action, five Rising Tide groups, and multiple indigenous tribes are planning protests in Umatilla, Oregon, Missoula and other locations in Montana, and in or near Marsing, Mountain Home, Bellevue, and Salmon, Idaho, over the next month [2-7].  In the wake of years of relentlessly meeting every Highway 12 and 95 tar sands facilities shipment in Idaho with resistance, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and allies will not stand down, despite recent, illegal, and unethical police attempts in John Day to dissuade further First Amendment-protected expressions of citizen dissent of the state/corporate fossil fuel agenda [8].  As news of Rising Tide and allied protests has spread through some of the most popular Idaho media outlets over the past month, we are calling Oregonians, Idahoans, and Montanans to rise up against tar sands megaloads [9].

These heat exchanger cores of wastewater evaporators are likely the remnants of the ten in-situ tar sands mining modules that Omega Morgan tried to transport in August to Canada, up Highway 12 through Nez Perce resistance – manufactured at the General Electric plant in Port Coquitlam, B.C., disassembled (not made) in Portland, and barged to the Port of Umatilla.  Rising Tide groups in Missoula, Moscow, Portland, Seattle, and Spokane have struggled against these components of tar sands extraction since early 2010.  Understanding their ultimate implications for vast ecocide, genocide, and climate chaos, we cannot in good conscience stand aside while some of the wealthiest corporations profit at the expense of millions of people and species and the habitats that sustain them [10].  As our Oregon colleagues develop a seventh lawsuit against megaload incursions of the Northwest, we invite everyone to participate in the following actions.

Idaho & Montana Tar Sands Megaload Protests!

After a presumed five-day journey across Oregon extended into three tumultuous weeks of delays wrought by wild weather and passionate protesters, the first of three Omega Morgan-hauled tar sands megaloads traveled along the Snake River and entered Idaho on Sunday night, December 22-23 [1, 11].  Local scouts reported its passage south and east from the Vale, Oregon, weigh station to the Marsing, Idaho, area.  As described in a December 13 event announcement, 350 Idaho and WIRT will stage protests across southern Idaho, contingent on the travel schedule of the three pieces of extreme energy mining equipment [12].  Although social and other media initially blocked organizational attempts to share information about these civil displays of discontent, regional networks have fostered interest among megaload-impacted communities, who have expressed enthusiasm in engaging in these two-state events.  With all of these stakeholders, we will continue work to stop Alberta-bound machinery that accelerates tar sands extraction and transportation and accompanying environmental and human health devastation.  Wild Idaho Rising Tide will regularly update the tentative dates, times, places, and carpool arrangements of megaload protesting and monitoring activities on the WIRT website and facebook pages.  Please bring your family, friends, and neighbors, and come prepared with protest signs, banners, and equipment, musical instruments, voices, and chants, audio and video recorders, cameras, notepads, and your spirit of solidarity, regional resistance, and freedom of expression.

* Boise carpools to Marsing and Mountain Home: Contact Ann Ford of 350 Idaho at annkeenan4d@gmail.com or 208-344-4675.  Meet at the Shopko sign/parking lot at 2655 South Broadway Avenue, tentatively at 8 pm MST on Friday, December 27, and later dates.

* Marsing protest: Also meet at the Marsing Elementary/Middle School parking lot, 205 Eighth Avenue West, Highway 78, at 9 pm on Friday, December 27.

* Mountain Home protest: Also meet at the Pilot Travel Center, 1050 Highway 20 at Interstate 84 Exit 95, at a date and time to be arranged (TBA).

* Wood River Valley (Bellevue) protest: Meet to carpool in the Atkinsons Market parking lot, 757 North Main Street in Bellevue, or at the Timmerman Junction rest area, on the southwest corner of the U.S. Highway 20 and Idaho Highway 75 intersection, at a TBA date and time.

* Salmon protest: Meet at the Stagecoach Inn, 201 Riverfront Drive, at a TBA date and time.

* Spokane carpools to Missoula and Montana at a TBA date and time: Contact Terry Hill of Spokane Rising Tide at facebook.com/terry.hill.509.

* Megaload monitoring at various locations: Contact WIRT at 208-301-8039 and wild.idaho.rising.tide@gmail.com.

* Contributions for organizer, monitor, and protester travel and potential legal expenses: Donate through WePay at https://www.wepay.com/donations/907347297 or send checks to P.O. Box 9817, Moscow, ID 83843.

Solidarity with Umatilla Tribes, Resist the Megaload!

On Sunday night, December 22, the second Omega Morgan-hauled tar sands megaload in Oregon left the Port of Umatilla and stopped near Pendleton on Monday morning.  Portland Rising Tide is calling on all supporters and allies from across the region, to join a special demonstration and ceremony in Pendleton, led by members of the Confederated Umatilla Tribes, when the transport resumes travel on Monday evening [13].  Please bring your friends and family to this unforgettable holiday action, provide your own food, fuel, and possible lodging, RSVP if you plan to attend and carpool, and circulate this event announcement via facebook, email, Twitter [14].

Carpools from Portland to Pendleton are meeting at 1 pm at 4105 North Haight Avenue, at the corner of Mason and Haight streets in Portland.  In Pendleton, people are gathering at 5:30 pm at the Wildhorse Casino Business Center, 46510 Wildhorse Boulevard.  At the casino, participants will discuss the action plan and prepare for gathering at the nearby megaload, to bear witness to its departure en route to expanding tar sands mining operations.  Organizers do not anticipate anyone risking arrest at this ceremony, but ask participants to share their support and solidarity through their physical presence among a frontline community resisting tar sands development.  Portland comrades will rejoin carpools at around 9 pm.

Our amazing Portland Rising Tide and allied friends still need financial support for legal expenses and organizing against the megaloads.  They have raised almost $16,000 but will need $20,000 to offset already incurred expenses.  Please donate and encourage your associates to do the same [15].


[1] Oregon Resistance (Wild Idaho Rising Tide)


[2] Megaload Shipment Poised to Enter Southern Idaho (December 10 KBOI TV Boise)


[3] Giant Heat Exchanger Will Soon Pass through Idaho (December 10 Idaho Press-Tribune)


[4] Over the River and Through the Woods (December 11 Boise Weekly)


[5] Megaload Inching Closer to Idaho (December 13 Idaho Mountain Express)


[6] String of Protests Scheduled for Mega-Load’s Journey through Southern Idaho (December 14 Boise Weekly)


[7] Idaho Issues Permit for Megaload to Cross State, Climb Lost Trail Pass (December 21 Missoulian)


[8] Op-Ed: Yes, Virginia, There is a Police State (December 21 Huntington News)


[9] Top Ten Idaho Newspapers and News Sites (All You Can Read)


[10] Megaload Facts (Wild Idaho Rising Tide)


[11] Megaload to Cross into Idaho by Monday Morning (December 22 Twin Falls Times-News)


[12] Idaho & Montana Tar Sands Megaload Protests! (December 13 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)



[13] Solidarity with Umatilla Tribes, Resist the Megaload! (December 22 Portland Rising Tide)


[14] RSVP for Action at Second Megaload in Pendleton (Portland Rising Tide)


[15] Megaload Support – Portland Rising Tide (WePay)





Portland Rising Tide: 15 Activists Arraigned, Total Bail Set At $150k Following Blockade Of Tar Sands Megaloads

BAILOUTCross-posted from Portland Rising Tide



Media contacts:

Trip Jennings, Portland Rising Tide – tripjennings1@gmail.com – 541.729.3294

David Osborn, Portland Rising Tide – david@portlandrisingtide.org – 503.516.8932


John Day, OR: The people arrested Monday night blockading the tar sands megaload were arraigned today in the Justice Court of Grant County. Fourteen were charged with five misdemeanors, one with six and the minor arrested in the action was released Monday. Each person has had bail set at $ 10,000 for a total of $ 150,000. The arrests stem from the two blockades that were set up Monday night using two disabled vehicles to stop the controversial, 450-ton, 376-foot long tar sands megaload transported by Omega Morgan, which was delayed for several hours.

The action Monday was the sixth regional action against the Oregon megaloads in two weeks. The actions started when two were arrested successfully preventing the megaload from leaving the Port of Umatilla on December 1st. A member of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla was arrested December 2nd trying to block the megaload. Office occupations and disruptions have taken place at Omega Morgan’s offices in Fife, WA and Hillsboro, OR, as well as the General Electric subsidiary that designed the machinery moving towards the Athabasca oil fields in Alberta.

Those arrested Monday included support personal not involved in the action. Of those arrested 12 were not involved in the blockade and were standing on the side of the road to take photographs, document the police response and provide medical assistance if needed. They were not given cease and desist orders, nor told to leave by the police prior to being arrested. Police also used violence on the individuals that were part of the blockade in an attempt to coerce them into unlocking themselves.

“I was away from the actual blockades and present to support the people taking action. I was arrested without warning and charged with the same thing as those who locked down”, said Johnathan Batchelor who was arrested, “This aggravated and inappropriate response is the opposite of what is needed. The real criminals are Omega Morgan and the companies involved in the tar sands which fuel the climate crisis”.

Omega Morgan says this is the first of three megaload shipments through the region. Former routes through Idaho were blocked by an injunction filed by the Nez Perce Tribe, following major protests in Idaho and Montana. Similar opposition from the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla is growing in Oregon and Gary Burke, Chair of the Umatilla Reservation’s Board of Trustees, recently delivered a letter to Governor Kitzhaber expressing opposition to the megaloads due to lack of consultation with the tribes and the role of tar sands extraction in harming indigenous people and fueling global climate change.

Portland Rising Tide, a member of an alliance of groups organizing against the megaloads, continues to mobilize support for ongoing opposition to these and any future megaloads. During the summer some 400 people signed a pledge expressing willingness to participate in non-violent civil disobedience and direct action to address the climate crisis. “We will continue to resist the tar sands megaloads and all other fossil fuel infrastructure, including the oil, coal and gas terminals proposed for the NW, “ said David Osborn of Portland Rising Tide, “All new fossil fuel extraction must be halted, communities are being destroyed and the climate is being imperiled. The equipment transported by Omega Morgan will expand the tar sands and devastate communities in northern Alberta and throughout the world. It is immoral and we will do everything we can to stop it.”

Photos available from freelance journalist Alex Milan Tracy of December 1st and 12th actions:



Photos of Monday’s action will be forthcoming when the cameras are released by the Grant County police.

16 Arrested as Climate Justice Groups Halt Controversial Tar Sands Megaload in Oregon

mega loads

Note: Image not from Monday. Photo & video teams arrested, still awaiting images.


Media contacts:

Yoko Silk, Portland Rising Tide – yokita@gmail.com; 541-517-7766

Stephen Quirke, Portland Rising Tide – stephen.quirke@ncf.edu – 941-525-0076


John Day, OR: On Monday Dec 16, climate justice groups stopped the movement of a controversial shipment of equipment bound for the Alberta tar sands. Concerned citizens locked themselves to two disabled vehicles in front of the 901,000 pound load blocking it’s route along highway 26 outside of John Day. Police responded and arrested 16 at the two blockade sites using pain compliance to extract them.

Tonight’s action is the latest in a series of protests that have erupted in OR and WA since the megaload began to move. The load was first blocked on December 1st, when two people locked themselves to the truck as an estimated 70 others rallied nearby, including many Umatilla Tribal members. The next night one Umatilla tribal elder was arrested while blocking the load.

Two weeks ago in Fife, WA members of Rising Tide occupied the megaload shipper Omega Morgan’s office, and did so again last week in Portland, OR after disrupting a meeting. The group also occupied an office of a General Electric subsidiary in Bellevue, WA that manufactured the equipment being shipped. The group is calling for Omega Morgan and other companies to stop shipping or otherwise facilitating tar sands development. Events tonight marked the 6th regional action against megaloads in just over two weeks.

The 901,000 lb mega load is hauling a heat exchanger to the Athabasca oil fields in Alberta, Canada. The load is 22 feet wide, 18 feet tall and 376 feet in length. A similarly-sized load toppled Tuesday evening in Gladstone, OR, blocking part of I-205 for hours. Omega Morgan says this is  the first of three megaload shipments through the region, though it is likely the company needs this route indefinitely, as their former route through Idaho was blocked by an injunction filed by the Nez Perce Tribe, following major protests in Idaho and Montana.

In a recent letter to Governor Kitzhaber, Gary Burke, Chair of the Umatilla Reservation’s Board of Trustees, expressed opposition to the megaloads due to lack of consultation with the tribes and the role of tar sands extraction in harming indigenous people and fueling global climate change. He also emphasized the legal requirement of state agencies like the Oregon Department of Transportation to consult tribal representatives before engaging in actions that affect Oregon Tribes, as Kitzhaber mandated in Executive Order 96-30. He also called attention to the role of tar sands extraction in harming indigenous people and fueling global climate change.

Groups organizing the protest in Eastern Oregon, including chapters of Rising Tide and 350.org, oppose the shipments due to their ultimate role in extracting Alberta tar sands, which would supply oil for the controversial Keystone XL, and facilitate what many have called the most destructive industrial project on Earth. Umatilla Tribal Member Shana Radford said, “We have responsibility for what happens on our lands, but there are no boundaries for air, and the carbon dioxide this equipment would create affects us all. The Nez Perce tribe said no to megaloads, and so should we.”