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 May 21, 2012 Contact: Justin Ellenbecker, Occupy Spokane: firstname.lastname@example.org, 509-599-4549 Helen Yost, Wild Idaho Rising Tide email@example.com, 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.