Portland Rising Tide: Climate Activists Hold Community Picket Against Proposed Oil Terminal

vancouverFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 4, 2013

Portland Rising Tide Media Contact:
Trip Jennings 541.729.3294
tripjennings1@gmail.com

Climate Activists Hold Community Picket Against Proposed Oil Terminal

Vancouver, WA – Monday: 50 activists with Vancouver and Portland Rising Tide blocked entrances to the Port of Vancouver, WA with a community picket line. Trucks backed up down the block as work was delayed for the morning.

Vancouver and Portland Rising Tide organized the community picket in response to the Port’s re-leasing of public land to Tesoro/Savage for the proposed construction of a 380,000 barrel per day oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver. The terminal would bring oil by rail from North Dakota and likely the tar sands, through the city of Vancouver, WA and load it on to tankers for shipping to refineries and export. The Port of Vancouver has been the site of an ongoing picket line due to unsafe working conditions in their Mitsui-United Grain terminal by another group, the ILWU Local 4.

According to Vancouver Rising Tide Member Kathy Lane, “These trains are a huge risk to our community and if the Port of Vancouver can’t even keep conditions safe for grain terminal workers, how can we expect an oil port run by a company with as terrible a record as Tesoro not to end in disaster? We can’t.”

Rising Tide is an international group with chapters in Portland and Vancouver that works to address the root causes of climate change. Today’s action follows the July 27th Rising Tide event at the Port of Vancouver in which over 1,000 people rallied against all of the proposed fossil fuel terminals in the Pacific Northwest. Participants took to the I-5 bridge and kayaks while three climbers rapelled from the bridge to unfurl a banner that read “Coal, Oil, Gas  / None Shall Pass”.

“Even in the best case, even if there isn’t a spill or explosion for years, this terminal will lock us into our reliance on fossil fuels and climate chaos. Building this kind of infrastructure is fundamentally the wrong way to go, especially with public port land” said Portland Rising Tide member Mia Rebak.

High resolution photos of today’s actions:
http://www.demotix.com/news/3138207/protesters-against-proposed-oil-terminal-shut-down-port-vancouver

http://www.demotix.com/news/3138321/protesters-picket-port-vancouver-over-unsafe-working-conditions

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Shadbush Collective: Protesters Sit-In At Allegheny County Executive’s Office, Call To Drop Plans To Frack Allegheny County Parks

Protesters Sit-in at Allegheny County Executive’s Office, Call on Him to Drop Plans to Frack Allegheny  County Parks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2013
Contact: Ashley Bittner 412-370-2310 or Patrick Young 412-298-6361
Follow us: facebook.com/shadbushcollective

Protesters sit-in at Fitzgerald’s office, call on him to drop plans to
frack County Parks

Part of a day of action against dirty energy in Pittsburgh

Monday October 21 – Pittsburgh – At around 12:30pm, 10 protesters began a
sit-in at the Allegheny County Courthouse, blocking the main hallway in
County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s office suite. The protesters are calling
on Fitzgerald to drop plans to open up Allegheny County Parks for fracking.
The County Executive’s office is currently reviewing proposals from natural
gas drilling companies to lease the oil and gas rights under Deer Lakes
Park for fracking.

“Fitzgerald is trying to cut a deal with the natural gas industry without
seeking formal input from the residents of Allegheny County on this issue.
There is no public participation process, so we have to create it and
that’s what we’re doing today with this sit-in. We are bringing our message
straight to Fitzgerald that the residents of Allegheny county do not want
fracking in our parks.” said Ben Fiorillo of O’hara Township.

The sit-in is part of a day of action against dirty energy to culminate
the Power Shift conference. The sit-iners are joined by hundreds of
supporters from Power Shift who participated in an un-permitted march to
the County Courthouse following a rally on the North Shore’s Allegheny
Landing earlier this morning. The rally involved over 2,000 conference
participants who are calling for a rapid transition away from fossil fuels
including fracked natural gas. The marchers arrived to the courthouse
shortly after the sit-in began and are rallying outside in support.

Keith Brunner of Rising Tide Vermont was part of the support rally, “We
stand in solidarity with the Protect Our Parks campaign, knowing that this
fight is part of a much larger movement against all forms of fossil fuel
extraction which are devastating local communities and the climate.”

Opponents to the plan to frack the parks highlight the health and safety
risks associated with shale gas development.

“This plan will bring many more wells to the Deer Lakes area, and with it
heavy truck traffic, noise, stadium lighting, and air pollution, all of
which will impact park-goers and nearby residents, whether the well pads
are in the parks or not,” according to Jessica McPherson of Pittsburgh who
also joined the sit-in.

The three lakes which give Deer Lakes it’s name, are all fed by springs,
which could also be impacted by fracking under the parks.

McPherson continued, “What I’m most worried about is that fracking under
the park will contaminate the groundwater which feed these three lakes
These lakes are a destination for hundreds of local residents. An accident
like that could ruin this treasured fishing hole and expose park-goers to
dangerous fracking chemicals.”

The sit-iners say they will not leave the office unless they are removed
by authorities.

The day of action also included civil disobedience led by the Earth Quaker
Action Team at PNC bank branches throughout the city who are calling on the
bank to stop financing mountaintop removal coal mining.

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Over a thousand Rising Tiders, Powershifters, and Supporters leave permitted Powershift March Route to Support Direct Action in Pittsburgh

DSC_0161

Monday, Oct. 21 – At around 12:30pm, 10 protesters began a sit-in at the Allegheny County Courthouse, blocking the main hallway in County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s office suite. The protesters called on Fitzgerald to drop plans to open up Allegheny County Parks for fracking.  The County Executive’s office is currently reviewing proposals from natural gas drilling companies to lease the oil and gas rights under Deer Lakes Park for fracking.

The sit-in is part of a day of action against dirty energy to culminate the Power Shift conference.  Over a thousand supporters from Power Shift participated in an un-permitted march to the County Courthouse to support the sit-in, following a rally on the North Shore’s Allegheny Landing earlier this morning.  The marchers arrived shortly after the sit-in began and filled the courthouse courtyard, with dozens joining the occupation of the County Executive’s office.  No one was arrested.

DSC_0086

“Fitzgerald is trying to cut a deal with the natural gas industry without seeking formal input from the residents of Allegheny County on this issue. There is no public participation process, so we have to create it and that’s what we’re doing today with this sit-in. We are bringing our message straight to Fitzgerald that the residents of Allegheny County do not want fracking in our parks.” said Ben Fiorillo of O’hara Township.

Keith Brunner of Rising Tide Vermont was part of the support rally, “We stand in solidarity with the Protect Our Parks campaign, knowing that this fight is part of a much larger movement against all forms of fossil fuel extraction which are devastating local communities and the climate.”

Opponents to the plan to frack the parks highlight the health and safety risks associated with shale gas development.

“This plan will bring many more wells to the Deer Lakes area, and with it heavy truck traffic, noise, stadium lighting, and air pollution, all of which will impact park-goers and nearby residents, whether the well pads are in the parks or not,” according to Jessica McPherson of Pittsburgh who also joined the sit-in.

The three lakes, which give Deer Lakes its name, are all fed by springs, which could also be impacted by fracking under the parks.

McPherson continued, “What I’m most worried about is that fracking under the park will contaminate the groundwater which feed these three lakes these lakes are a destination for hundreds of local residents. An accident like that could ruin this treasured fishing hole and expose park-goers to dangerous fracking chemicals.”

The day of action also included civil disobedience led by the Earth Quaker Action Team at PNC bank branches throughout the city, who are calling on the bank to stop financing mountaintop removal coal mining.

Hundreds March in Pittsburgh Saying “No Fracking in Allegheny County Parks”

protest our parksHundreds march, tell Rich Fitzgerald “No fracking in Allegheny county parks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2013
Contact: Ashley Bittner 412-370-2310

Saturday October 19 – Pittsburgh – At 2pm this afternoon Protect Our Parks
will lead a march from the David Lawrence Convention Center to the
Allegheny County Courthouse demanding that Rich Fitzgerald revoke the
Request for Proposals for fracking in Deer Lakes Park and stop all efforts
to open county parks up for fossil fuel extraction.

The march is intended as a celebration of the parks which make one of the
nations largest county parks systems with over 12,000 acres of protected
area.  Participants will bring beach balls, fishing poles and other
equipment they use to enjoy the parks.   “We're here to show Fitzgerald who
the parks belong to and what they are really for,” said Ashley Bittner,
Protect Our Parks member and life-long Allegheny County resident.  “These
are public lands for residents and visitors of Allegheny county, and we
will not allow them to be exploited for private profit.”

Polls from the Post-Gazette and Tribune review show that a majority of
county residents oppose fracking in the parks.

“The County Council has an opportunity to show that they actually have the
interest of the public at heart and distinguish themselves Mr. Fitzgerald
who has so blatantly sold out to the gas industry,” continued Bittner.

The March coincides with Power Shift 2013 a youth climate conference
happening at the David Lawrence Convention Center throughout the weekend.
Over 5,000 young people will come to Pittsburgh for a weekend of workshops,
trainings, and actions to build the movement to stop climate change.
Conference organizers are working to help highlight the work being done
locally against fossil fuel extraction and many conference attendees will
be joining the march.

Keith Brunner of Rising Tide Vermont came to Pittsburgh for the conference,
“We stand in solidarity with the Protect Our Parks campaign, knowing that
this fight is part of a much larger movement against all forms of fossil
fuel extraction which are devastating local communities and the climate.”

Power Shift will culminate with a day of action on Monday, October 21 with
several actions planned across the city targeting key institutions which
are standing in the way of a clean energy future.

Today's march will feature a giant puppet show starring a marionette of
Rich Fitzgerald controlled by his gas industry manipulators.  It will
conclude with a rally at the County Courthouse.  Speakers will include
Protect Our Parks organizers, community members living near county parks,
and residents who have been impacted by fracking in other parts of the
region.  The march is also part of the Global Frackdown, an international
day of action against fracking organized by Food and Water Watch.

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