12/1/13 Media contacts: Trip Jennings, Portland Rising Tide – TripJennings1@gmail.com - 541.729.3294 Jim Powers - email@example.com - 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—
MEDIA RELEASE: March 20, 2013
Press Inquiries: Ron Seifert, Tar Sands Blockade, 940-268-5375, firstname.lastname@example.org
Over 30 protests as part of Week of Action to Stop Tar Sands Profiteers held by over 50 grassroots organizations take on corporate investors bankrolling the toxic Keystone XL tar sands pipeline
Wednesday, March 20, 2013- One month after the largest climate rally in U.S. history urged President Obama to deny the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline’s northern segment, protesters in dozens of cities throughout the U.S. are confronting KXL’s corporate backers directly.
Thirty-seven have been arrested over the last ten days for disrupting business as usual at TransCanada and their investors’ offices, with more are planned before the week is over.
The March 16-23 Week of Action to Stop Tar Sands Profiteers, in solidarity with Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance’s Direct Action Camp in Ponca City, Oklahoma, is endorsed by over 50 grassroots environmental organizations around the country. Organizers seek to expose green-washed corporations like TD Bank, a top shareholder in TransCanada, and force them to divest from the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
“Its encouraging to see people around the country taking action to stop tar sands profiteers,” said Ron Seifert, spokesperson for Tar Sands Blockade. “No longer will we allow them to build KXL and invest in toxic projects that endanger the health of low-income and communities of color. We will not allow “business as usual” to continue.”
Here are a few highlights from the Week of Action so far:
- 100 people occupied a TransCanada’s office in Westborough, MA, holding a “Funeral for Our Future” and disrupting work for several hours. Twenty-five were arrested for locking themselves inside the office: http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/funeralforourfuture/
- TD Bank branches have seen protests at multiple locations including three people who were arrested for locking themselves inside a branch office in Washington, DC. http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/weekofaction-day4/
- Twelve people arrested for blockading a fracking pipeline in upstate New York: http://ourfutureisunfractured.wordpress.com/
- Portland, Oregon held a bike tour of the city’s worst polluters including a rally at a TransCanada office: http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/weekofaction-day3/
- Dozens of activists in grim-reaper garb surround Michels Corporate office in Kirkland, WA, demanding that Michels stop building KXL: http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/weekofaction-day3/
Check www.tarsandsblockade.org for live updates from actions around the country. At least 18 more actions are planned between now and Saturday, March 23rd, including six more actions against TD Bank in New York City, Washington D.C., Montpellier, VT, Newark, DE, New Haven, CT, and Asheville, NC.
One of the largest events of the week will be tomorrow, Thursday, March 21 in Oklahoma. Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance is taking action to physically stop KXL construction. Read more here: http://gptarsandsresistance.org/
From mine takeovers in West Virginia and occupations of the Montana State House to a spectacular tree blockade in East Texas, we’ve brought the heat against the worst earth destroyers in the business. Now we’re asking you to dig deep into your pockets and donate to Rising Tide North America, so we can do it again in 2013.
We’ll be doing bigger and more badass things next year, including:
- Fighting Tar Sands not only in Texas, but in New England, Idaho and up and down the Keystone XL pipeline route.
- Making a stink about Alaskan coal exploration and extraction.
- Hosting at Northwest Coal Exports Convergence.
- Standing with frontline communities wherever we’re needed.
There is a grassroots uprising against the fossil fuel industry and we’re out there organizing and leading it. Help us make it happen in 2013.
Thanks for all you do.
Solidarity, Rising Tide North America
P.S. Our friends and family at Rainforest Action Network (RAN) suffered a tragic loss this week when their executive director Becky Tarbotton died in a swimming accident last week in Mexico. Rising Tide will honor Becky by keeping her spirit, ferocity and dedication to making a better world in our hearts and ongoing work. Please visit Becky’s tribute page at ran.org/becky and leave a comment in her memory.
Our climate movement is fierce.
And we’re not afraid to stand up to the worst drilling and mining companies on the planet.
Over six years ago in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Rising Tide North America emerged as a radical force in the climate movements. Seeking to connect the dots between climate change and social justice, we have built a network throughout North America that has not only fought on the frontlines of climate justice, but challenged the root causes of climate change while there.
2012 has been a watershed year for the climate movements. Community led campaigns against fracking have sprouted up in OH, PA and NY. Appalachians occupied and shut down the largest strip mining site in West Virginia. Climate activists joined up with Texas landowners to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline.
At the center of each of these environmental mobilizations and campaigns have been Rising Tide chapters and activists. This year, we’ve:
- Started new chapters from Alaska to Santa Cruz, CA to Toronto to Vermont to the Florida Keys.
- Worked with the Tar Sands Blockade in a direct action campaign to stop the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline.
- Trained and organized activists for civil disobediences at the Mountain Mobilization in West Virginia, the Coal Exports Action in Helena, Montana and many other events.
- Coordinated with the “Summer of Solidarity” which included actions against fracking, mountaintop removal and tar sands.
Whether its $5, $50 or $500, we’ll take whatever you can give. We’re an all-volunteer network of activists and we don’t take money from large foundations or celebrity donors. We only have you.
Please donate and help us build this movement.