12/1/13 Media contacts: Trip Jennings, Portland Rising Tide – TripJennings1@gmail.com - 541.729.3294 Jim Powers - firstname.lastname@example.org - 541.829.2114 Umatilla, OR – Sunday: Near the Port of Umatilla two people locked down to a megaload of equipment bound for the Alberta tar sands halting its planned departure at 10:00 PM as tribal members and climate justice groups rallied nearby. The equipment, a 901,000 lb. water purifier 22 feet wide, 18 feet tall and 376 feet in length was met by fifty people and was prevented from departing as scheduled. It had planned to leave the Port of Umatilla, head south on 395, then east on 26 on Sunday night. This week’s protest was larger than a similar protest last week as news of the shipment has spread throughout the region. An estimated 50 people greeted the megaload with signs as it’s schedule departure time neared. Before it could depart two participants locked themselves to the trucks hauling the megaload, the first time they have been blockaded in this way. This is the first of three megaloads the Hillsboro, OR based shipping company Omega Morgan has scheduled to move through the region in December and January. Similar loads sparked major protests moving through Idaho and Montana including a blockade by the Nez Pierce tribe in August. Groups organizing the protest, including chapters of Rising Tide and 350.org, oppose the shipments due to the final use of the equipment in the expansion of the Alberta tar sands. This expansion would supply oil for the controversial Keystone XL and other pipelines and many have called the tar sands 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, the carbon dioxide this equipment would create affects us all. The Nez Pierce tribe said no to megaloads, and so should we.” The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) have stated concerns due to the lack of consultation about the project headed through their ceded territory as required by law. The shipment would also cross Warm Springs tribal land where members have stated opposition as well. Warm Springs tribal member Kayla Godowa said, “It’s our duty to protect the native salmon runs in this area. They want to make this a permanent heavy haul route without even consulting our tribes. Loads like this are unprecedented here. What if a bridge collapses? And what about the impact to native communities being destroyed by the tar sands where this equipment will end up? We can’t just look the other way while native lands and the climate are being destroyed. We have to stand up.” High resolution photos available at: Photo (first lockdown): http://portlandrisingtide.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/photo-1.jpg Photo (rally): http://portlandrisingtide.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/photo-2.jpg Photo (second lockdown): http://portlandrisingtide.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/photo-3.jpg Photos may be used with attribution to Portland Rising Tide. Info: www.PortlandRisingTide.org <http://www.portlandrisingtide.org/> Facebook live updates: PortlandRisingTide ###
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mathew Louis-Rosenberg
Protesters Hold UBS Accountable for Funding Mountaintop Removal in Series
Stamford, CT – Early this morning, three activists hung a huge banner reading “UBS. Stop Funding Mountaintop Removal” off of a crane constructing the 66 Summers St building in downtown Stamford. Later in the day two activists entered the UBS headquarters in Stamford, locking themselves to a bannister and hanging a banner reading “UBS. Divest from Mountaintop Removal”, while others locked themselves to the outside doors of the building. The protests are a part of the Hands Off Appalachia, a sustained campaign to get UBS to end all financing of companies conducting mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia.
“Over the last two years, I have visited UBS’s offices over 30 times pleading with them to stop the destruction of Appalachian communities. Today, I’m not asking anymore. I’m demanding an end to UBS’s financing of mountaintop removal.” said Ricki Draper of Knoxville, TN who is locked inside the UBS headquarters.
Mountaintop removal is an extreme form of strip-mining in which coal companies blast up to a thousand feet off the top of a mountain to extract thin seams of coal. The resulting rubble is often placed in the valley below burying headwater streams. Over 1 million acres of forest in Central Appalachia have been destroyed and over 2,000 miles of streams have been buried by this practice. Recent research has linked mountaintop removal to increased rates of cancer, birth defects and cardiovascular disease in communities near these mining operations. UBS is a top funder of companies that conduct mountaintop removal such as Alpha Natural Resources, Patriot Coal, and Arch Coal. On Friday, organizers with Hands Off Appalachia met with UBS executives at their office in Stamford to discuss UBS’s existing policy on mountaintop removal.
“[At the meeting] I was ‘reassured’ [by UBS executives] that UBS’s policy on mountaintop removal was sufficient enough to protect my people. I wholeheartedly disagree. The reality is that their ‘policy’ is nothing more than an excuse to remove themselves from the truth that as UBS profits, my people suffer,” said Adam Hall of Glen Daniel, W.Va. who blocked the entrance to UBS’s headquarters today.
UBS’s existing policy claims to “recognize the potential environmental, social, and human rights impacts of this industry sector” and take into consideration “concerns of stakeholder groups”, but UBS officials have never traveled to Appalachia to witness the impacts or met with impacted community members until last Friday. The policy also claims to take into account regulatory compliance, but UBS financed Massey Energy and oversaw their merger with Alpha Natural Resources even after Massey was fined $20 million by the EPA for over 4,600 violations of the Clean Water Act.
Started in Knoxville, TN, the Hands Off Appalachia Campaign has spent two years engaging with UBS about their funding of the destruction of Appalachian through this extreme form of strip mining. HOA has organized dozens of actions and protests at local UBS offices all over Appalachia and the Southeast.
This summer, HOA escalated their campaign against UBS when three organizers blocked the entrance to the Knoxville UBS branch, the point of inception for the campaign. This action was the thirty-third time in sixteen months that campaign organizers had visited that office. On the heels of that action followed a blockade at UBS’ North American Headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. There, four organizers with Hands Off Appalachia and Capitalism vs. the Climate, a climate justice direct action group based in Connecticut, took a stand against UBS in solidarity with communities in Appalachia. This action launched the northeast leg of our campaign against UBS. Yesterday, activists with the campaign picketed UBS’s Parade Spectacular in Stamford, handing out leaflets and displaying a large banner
reading “UBS Stop Funding Mountaintop Removal.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 12, 2013
Portland Rising Tide Media Contact:
David Osborn 503.516.8932
Climate Activists Disrupt Presentation By Millenium Bulk Terminals to Maritime Commerce Club
Portland, OR – Tuesday: 40 activists with Portland Rising Tide entered the Doubletree Hotel in the Lloyd District and disrupted a Millenium Bulk Terminals presentation on their proposed 50-million ton coal export facility in Longview, WA. Millenium Bulk Terminals, owned by Ambre Energy and Arch Coal, was presenting to the Maritime Commerce Club.
After several dozen members of Portland Rising Tide entered the lobby of the Doubletree Hotel and were asked to leave, the presentation was disrupted an additional two times by activists. The vice president of Millennium Bulk Terminals was served with “coal d’oeuvres” made up of coal dust from coal trains that transport coal down the Columbia River Gorge.
Studies by Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) suggest that 500 pounds of coal can be lost in the form of dust from each rail car. Two activists later stood up and interrupted the presentation with facts about climate change and its impacts on communities.
Portland Rising Tide organized the action to oppose the construction of the coal export terminal in Longview. The action came on the heels of Super Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the Philippines leaving an estimated 2,500 people dead. The typhoon was one of the strongest storms ever recorded.
Climate change models predict storms of greater intensity and strength. In response to the crisis, the Philippine climate negotiator Yeb Sano has gone on a hunger strike to protest the lack of progress at the UN COP 19 climate negotiations currently taking place in Warsaw, Poland.
According to Portland Rising Tide Member Yoko Silk, “Millennium’s coal export terminal would fuel the climate crisis and hurt our communities. With examples of the impacts of climate change coming more and more frequently we cannot continue to move forward with this dangerous project. We are committed to opposing this project and will join with the hundreds of people that have pledged to take nonviolent direct action to halt construction should the project move forward.”
Rising Tide is an international group 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”. Last Monday, activists with Vancouver and Portland Rising Tide blocked entrances to the Port of Vancouver, WA with a community picket line 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 port was shut down for half of the day.
High resolution photos of today’s actions:
All photos are available to use with attribution to Portland Rising Tide.
Portland Rising Tide Media Contact:
Trip Jennings 541.729.3294
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: