Twenty-One People Arrested Blockading Oil Train Route in Vancouver, WA

vancouverTwenty-One People Arrested Blockading Oil Train Route in Vancouver, WA

via Portland Rising Tide

Over 100 people stopped rail traffic by forming a human blockade across the tracks in Vancouver, WA on Saturday, June 18.  Watch a recap video and donate to their legal fund.

Organized by the Fossil Fuel Resistance Network in response to the recent oil train derailment in Mosier, OR, the action united voices from across the region in concern not only about the potential local impacts of continued oil-by-rail, but also about the immediate and critical threats of carbon emissions and climate change. During the blockade, many community members spoke about their grief and rage that corporate greed is putting our local ecosystems and communities at risk and fueling the sixth great global extinction.

The Union Pacific train that derailed in Mosier on June 3rd contaminated the Columbia River and local sewer system with crude oil fracked from the Bakken Shale, ignited a fire that released toxic oil smoke into the air, evacuated local neighborhoods and schools, and ultimately drained the city’s entire aquifer.  In the last three years alone, oil train derailments in North America have killed forty-seven people, spilled millions of gallons of oil into waterways, forced the evacuation of thousands and caused billions of dollars in property damage and environmental destruction.

Community members connected the local disaster to a greater climate crisis – ecosystems across the planet are rapidly destabilizing, confirming the worst case scenarios of climate scientists’ predictions.  “We need Governors Brown and Inslee to do more than just advocate for a temporary moratorium on oil trains!  We need them to enact an immediate just transition to a post-fossil fuel economy,” said Portland resident Audrey Caines.  “If governments are not going to take decisive and immediate action to keep fossil fuels in the ground, people’s movements like this one will.”

Speakers also addressed the social consequences of fossil fuel infrastructure, stating that marginalized communities bear disproportionate risks and consequences, as oil train blast zones, pipeline routes, and drilling sites typically exist in low-income rural areas and communities of color. In Mosier, the disaster threatened food and water sources for local Native tribes.

BNSF and the Vancouver city police tried to disperse the crowd multiple times.  In an act of pure intimidation, BNSF ran an engine within 50 feet of the protesters on the tracks and blew it’s horn repeatedly.  Despite the looming non-verbal threat, nobody sitting on the rails made any moves to leave.

The Pacific Northwest has seen a growing movement against fossil fuel transport throughout the region.  Concerned residents point out that proposed new fossil fuel terminals and terminal expansions, including the proposed Tesoro-Savage oil terminal in Vancouver, WA, could result in a dramatic increase in coal and oil trains passing through the Columbia Gorge each week. Mosier would see five times the amount of oil train traffic if these projects are approved. “This is not just the beginning!” said Portland Rising Tide activist Mia Reback. “This movement is growing and will not stop until all fossil fuel extraction projects are shut down and all known fossil fuel reserves are kept safely in the ground! Oil barons beware: we will be back!”

Rising Tide North America Rocked The House In 2014!

Wow. What a year.RisingTideSeaSept

 We took amazing action. Not only did we shake things up with direct action against the fossil fuel industries, but also worked with frontline communities most impacted by extraction in Canada, Mexico and the U.S.. Whether it’s blockading pipelines and oil trains or organizing training camps to educate the next generation of climate activist, we’ve truly been rocking the house to make a better world possible.

 Can you donate to Rising Tide North America to “rock the house” in 2015?

 Here’s just a taste of the things we did in 2014:

  • In the western region of the continent, our chapters in Seattle, Portland, British Columbia, Utah and elsewhere have led actions against fossil fuel infrastructure. Whether it’s been train blockades in Washington or Oregon, or  civil disobedience against the tar sands in Utah, Rising Tide has modeled a new level of resistance across the continent.

  • From Vermont to Cove Point, Maryland, Rising Tide groups and affiliates  have organized fierce disruptive campaigns to stop fracking infrastructure throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.  As the gas industry attempts to expand their pipelines and export terminals, we mobilize to stop them.

  • In New York City, in the wake of the massive People’s Climate March, Rising Tide activists, organizers and trainers joined with climate activists around the world to Flood Wall Street.  We successfully helped organize a massive occupation of New York’s financial district truly taking the fight to one of the root causes of climate change–Wall Street and it’s investments in oil, gas and coal!

  • And finally, beginning last March, our chapter in Mexico, Marea Creciente, launched La Caravana Climatica that traveled from Northern Mexico the United Nations climate talks in Lima, Peru this month. While traveling in Ecuador, they had their bus confiscated and are targeted by the authorities on trumped up charges.  Despite this government oppression, the group made it to Lima to denounce extraction and industry in Lima.

Can you help us bring more of the same in 2015?seattle

We’re an all-volunteer network of activists and have done a lot this year. Now we need your support to keep going in 2015.

Can you give $5, $10 or $50 to support us in 2015?

Thanks for all you do.

Solidarity,

Rising Tide North America

We Rock. Help Us Take More Action.

fundWe Rock. Help Us Take More Action.

We rock. It’s true, our network is growing like crazy and carrying the fight to the worst of the worst extractive industries.

Please become a Rising Tide monthly sustainer TODAY!

Within a week, five chapters in the Rising Tide’s Northwest network took action in three cities against against tar sands, fracking and oil exports.

Our campaigns are holding this ravenous industry’s feet to the fire. BUT we need you to help us continue doing it.

Can you become a monthly sustainer to Rising Tide North America? Your monthly contribution to Rising Tide North America means we have the resources to fight the toughest opponents of a livable planet and safe healthy communities.

Please become a monthly contributor to Rising Tide North America today.

Thanks for all you do.