Rising Tide North America Statement of Solidarity with Rising Tide and Anti-Fossil Fuel Activists in the Northwest
In response to the recent news that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) continues its harassment of climate activists in Idaho, Washington and other parts of the Northwest, Rising Tide North America issued the following statement:
“We believe that the extraction of fossil fuels like coal, natural gas and tar sands oil, and the expansion of pipelines and other transportation infrastructure, is a dangerous threat to our communities, our wild places and the climate. We further believe that grassroots organizing and non-violent direct action are bold and effective tools used to stop these threats.
The FBI’s recent harassment of activists and organizers in Idaho and Washington is nothing less than a concerted effort to intimidate and stifle dissent. It’s ridiculous that the FBI spends its time and resources investigating peaceful environmental activists, while the corporations responsible for oil spills, water and air pollution, toxic environmental racism and climate change continue to run amok.
We stand in solidarity with our friends and allies with Wild Idaho Rising Tide, and others in the Northwest, who’ve taken courageous stands against the Keystone XL pipeline, tar sands heavy haul shipments, natural gas extraction and coal exports. Furthermore, we stand in solidarity with all communities that have chosen to take a stand against this horrible industry and protect a livable future.”
Rising Tide North America is continental network of climate justice groups and individuals challenging the root causes of climate change and for social, environmental and climate justice.
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):
Photo (second lockdown):
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
May 21, 2012
Justin Ellenbecker, Occupy Spokane: email@example.com, 509-599-4549
Helen Yost, Wild Idaho Rising Tide firstname.lastname@example.org, 208-301-8039
Photo:See available Facebook photos here
*Washington/Idaho Megaload Resistance*
At about 11:30 pm on Sunday night, May 20, a dozen activists from Occupy
Spokane and Wild Idaho Rising Tide converged in Spokane, Washington, to
protest megaloads of oversized equipment bound for Alberta tar sands
operations from the Port of Pasco. ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil has been using
Highway 395, Interstate 90, and city streets in Spokane and Spokane Valley
since mid-October to transport road damaging shipments weighing up to
400,000 pounds and stretching over 200 feet long. Diverted in Idaho from
their originally intended Highway 12 route by court challenges and from
their alternative Highway 95 path by Moscow area protests, these pieces of
a tar sands/bitumen processing plant will expand Canadian carbon fuel
extraction, American dependence on oil, and continental greenhouse gas
emissions, while reaping hefty profits for one of the wealthiest
corporations on Earth.
From the pedestrian walkway over East Third Avenue near South Regal Street,
Spokane climate justice activists draped banners asserting “No Dirty
Energy,” “Occupy 99%,” “Climate Killers,” “Highway to Hell,” and other
statements (see photos). While waiting for the megaload convoys’ arrival,
they observed flaggers and warning signs posted along Third Avenue, support
vehicles cruising the area, and up to six Spokane city police cars parked
near the demonstrators. Between midnight and 1:00 am on Monday, four
megaloads traversed Third Avenue, narrowly fitting under the pedestrian
overpass and between parked cars and activists with protest signs lining
both sides of the street. Convoys consisting of Washington state trooper
escorts, flagger vehicles, and pilot trucks displaying illuminated
“oversized load” signs accompanied a silver, cylindrical module, two large,
blue, trailer-like boxes, and a frame structure full of pipes and parts. A
protester later saw another megaload among a cluster of vehicles similarly
leaving the interstate at the Altamont Street exit in Spokane and the
Barker Road off-ramp in Spokane Valley.
Recognizing the international impacts of these transports, citizens
throughout the Northwest will continue to coordinate and organize
demonstrations to oppose and impede tar sands megaload traffic, to prevent
increasing carbon emissions causing global climate change and to dissuade
investors in such dirty energy schemes. The mostly foreign-owned
corporations who have mined only two or three percent of the Alberta tar
sands are advancing the second fastest rate of deforestation in the world,
as they consume more energy, mostly derived from natural gas, than tar
sands fuels ultimately yield. Their largest industrial project on Earth
pollutes exorbitant volumes of fresh water and deposits heavy metals,
carcinogens, and oil across vast swaths of Canadian boreal forests and
wetlands. Resident First Nations villages practicing subsistence
lifestyles suffer rare cancers and disproportionate deaths, as the single
greatest contributor of atmospheric carbon in North America bodes “game
over” for the Earth’s climate.
People interested in upcoming expressions of First Amendment rights through
anti-megaload assemblies in the Spokane area can contact Occupy Spokane
and/or Wild Idaho Rising Tide for more information about the time and
location of protests.