Flash Mob to Protect Our City! Stop Spectra & Rockaway Pipelines
(Photo by Mickey Z.)
(Photo by Mickey Z.)
On June 26, during lunchtime in one of Manhattan’s busiest neighborhoods, local activists—including some from OWS and Occupy the Pipeline—delivered a dose of puppet- and prop-powered street theater.
New Yorkers watched in awe as two massive pipelines attempted to invade their city—only to be repelled by wind-powered human unity.
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho & Spokane, Washington Raise the Alarm Around Coal Export Terminals
(via the Wild Idaho Rising Tide Facebook Page)
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) disclosed at a recent U.S. House subcommittee hearing that it will not undertake a programmatic environmental impact statement considering the broader climate change impacts and the effects of rail transport of coal in its review of three proposed Northwest coal export terminals.
The Corps has also unjustifiably fast-tracked its environmental assessment of Ambre Energy’s coal shipping plans for the Port of Morrow in Boardman, Oregon. On behalf of the health and environment of eastern Washington, Idaho, and Montana frontline, train route residents dismissed by the Corps, about two dozen activists and allies of Occupy Spokane, Spokane Coalition Builders, and Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) staged demonstrations called Fearless Summer: Coal Export Sacrifice Zone Uprising in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Spokane, Washington.
On Thursday, June 27, protesters encountered a deserted Corps regulatory field office in Coeur d’Alene, with a note posted on its door saying that “staff members are working in the field during the afternoon of Thursday, June 27.” Through photographs, activists nonetheless documented citizen outrage with Corps coal export decisions, before private office building personnel expressed their displeasure with protester presence. During evening rush-hour traffic in Spokane on Thursday, June 27, over 20 people gathered for a sign-waving rally denouncing increased coal export rail traffic through northern Idaho and Spokane. While most of the participants stood near busy intersections, two activists walked toward the nearby Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad bridge over North Division Street near Sprague Avenue, to obtain higher traffic visibility for their protest signs juxtaposed to the loaded coal train cars temporarily stopped on the bridge. Without proper warning or signage and while touching the protesters, BNSF patrols cited Tony and Ziggy with second degree criminal trespass, in the fourth instance of Northwest coal export resistance charges since December 2011.
Supported by fellow opponents, the defendants will appear for arraignment at 9 am on July 5 and 11 in Spokane district court, 1800 West Broadway. For WIRT’s full media release and links to action videos and photos and pertinent news articles, see the WIRT website athttp://wildidahorisingtide.org/2013/06/27/protesters-cited-for-railroad-bridge-trespassing-during-fearless-summer-rally/.
In solidarity with grassroots Rising Tide and allied groups throughout the region, who coordinated Fearless Summer direct actions during June 24 to 29, climate activists eagerly anticipate escalating protests that confront dirty energy industrial projects like Northwest coal extraction, transportation, and combustion and other extreme energy ventures
Seneca Lake Flotilla
On June 22 the Seneca Lake Flotilla came together in Watkins Glen, NY, with over sixty paddle, sail and power boats, and over 80 protestors to say NO to a massive liquid petroleum gas storage facility that is being constructed on the shore of Seneca Lake by Inergy LP.
The protest was covered by TV news in two major cities, and by newspapers in Ithaca, Elmira, and Rochester.
Inergy threatens the health of the lake and the locals with their plans to locate 42 million gallons of high salinity brine in pools on a hill above the lake, to increase local CO2 emissions with truck and rail traffic, and by storing liquid petroleum gas in unlined salt caverns—a method that has had disastrous consequences in other communities.
Seneca Lake is the source of drinking water for thousands of people, and we stood up for it, for clean air, and to say that we refuse to allow Seneca Lake, our health and community to be another casualty of the oil and gas industry.
Climate First! Runs Two Direct Actions Against TD Bank in Wash., D.C.
Activists with Climate First! did a “double” direct action against TD Bank yesterday in Wash., D.C. We entered one TD Bank branch, and shared our concerns with the branch manager about her employer’s investments in the Keystone XL pipeline. The manager was not authorized to speak regarding such matters, but did provide us with contact information for an individual who could respond. We moved outside and rallied for about 30 minutes, engaging bank customers and passersby about the issues. Then we marched to a second branch where we basically repeated the above events. Thanks to all the folks who helped Climate First! run yesterday’s successful actions against TD Bank!
Seattle Rides Against Climate Change Profiteers
On Friday June 28 Rising Tide Seattle activists and friends converged for a Climate Profiteers Bike Tour. About 18 folks, including one puppy and three members of the Salish Sea Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army, rode from City Hall Park south towards the port of Seattle. We took over 1st Avenue and proudly declared that climate profiteers are not welcome on the Salish Sea and in the Northwest. We will not allow our region to become a fossil-fuel corridor.
Our first stop was a Burlington Northern Santa Fe loading terminal where we blockaded an entrance from incoming trucks. The rail line is owned by Warren Buffet who continues and wants to expand coal, shale oil and tar sands shipments through the Northwest. The planet cooking cargo will create increased traffic and coal dust that pollutes Seattle communities and our lungs - especially impacting those of immigrants and people of color.
Next we visited SSA Marine, a massive shipping company locally owned by John Hemingway, that wants to build a coal export terminal at Cherry Point north of Seattle. There we rallied, chanted, and lined up across the front entrance to make sure office workers could not ignore our message: “from the plains, to the ports, we don’t want your coal exports.” SSA Marine exploits port truck drivers and wants to profit by exporting coal to Asia. The terminal at Cherry Point would desecrate ancestral land of the Lummi Nation and pollute their air and fisheries while accelerating climate change. Much of the coal will be shipped to China and India where communities are fighting increased pollution and abuse from fossil fuel companies.
Our final stop was a Shell gas station nearby where circled the pumps, blocked entrances and disrupted business for some time. Shell Oil, is trying to use Puget Sound as a staging ground for deepwater drilling in the Arctic. In addition Shell’s refinery in Anacortes takes materials from the Alberta tar sands.
Seattle is ready for a long Fearless Summer where we will firmly declare that the Salish Sea is off limits to all fossil fuel exports and climate profiteering. Onward!
The Road to Hell is Paved with Tar Sands: Utah Tar Sands Resistance and Allies Confront Tar Sands and Oil Shale Road Development on the Colorado Plateau
As part of the Fearless Summer week of solidarity actions against extreme energy, Utah Tar Sands Resistance and allies confronted road construction crews on Seep Ridge Road, and expressed determination to stop both the road itself and what it is literally paving the way for–tar sands, oil shale and fracking across the Colorado River Basin (at an estimated cost of $3 million per mile).
Seep Ridge, formerly a small dirt road, is now becoming a site of immense devastation as areas of Uintah County are clear cut, leveled, and ultimately pave from just south of Ouray, Utah, to the Uintah/Grand county line atop the Book Cliffs, a distance of some 44.5 miles. Eventually, this road may connect to I-70, though development of the Grand County leg has not been approved and is already meeting with resistance.
Construction of this “Road To Nowhere” is destroying wildlife habitat, and the road itself, once complete, would facilitate the growth of a potential energy colony which would only serve to wreak more destruction of this already fragile ecosystem.
This action took place after a family campout, which gathered adults and children of various ages at the proposed site of the first tar sands mining in the United States–PR Springs, in the scenic Book Cliffs of Eastern Utah, on the Tavaputs Plateau.
West Virginians Launch Citizen Action for Real Enforcement Campaign
On Monday, a historic coalition of environmental, civic and religious groups came together to demand something better for West Virginia. Groups ranging from Coal River Mountain Watch and Sierra Club to League of Women Voters and the Catholic Committee of Appalachia launched the Citizen Action for Real Enforcement campaign by filing a formal legal petition for federal intervention to address the failure of our state agency to enforce mining laws. Several dozen West Virginia citizens rallied outside our local Office of Surface Mining to deliver our petition and then marched to our state Capitol to deliver a copy to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin under the watchful eyes of the State Police. (Bit much for a press conference, don’t you think?).
They must have told the Governor we were coming because folks saw him flee his office just minutes before the march arrived. What’s the matter Earl? Scared of your own constituents carrying a petition? Apparently so, because his secretary refused to accept the paper copy of the petition citing “security concerns”. One West Virginian pointed out that we’re far more likely to have poison from the coal industry in our water than for there to be poison on the petition, but they couldn’t be convinced. You can help us by telling Sec. of the Interior Sally Jewell to act on our petition right away!
Train Blockade in Maine Stops Fracked Crude Oil
350 Maine and Maine Earth First coordinated a rail blockade in Fairfield, Maine on Thursday, June 27th. Trains carry fracked crude oil from the Bakken Oil fields of North Dakota, through Maine to Irving’s Oil Refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick. The transport is dangerous for communities all along the rout. The rail owner, Pan Am has had two train derailments since 2012, one of which was carrying 15 cars of Bakken Crude. The Maine DEP spokesperson said the fact that so little oil spilled was “a miracle.”
Dozens demonstrated and six were arrested after refusing to leave the tracks. A crowd of local citizens gathered, many of whom expressed support for the demonstration.
350 Maine Organizer Read Brugger was one of those arrested. “Industry and governments should rapidly scale down the use of fossil fuels in response to climate change. But because of greed and dwindling global reserves, they are instead pursuing ever more destructive methods of extraction,” he said.
Missoula Fearless Summer Rally
On Tuesday, June 25th, 30 Montanans rallied in the rain outside Missoula’s County Courthouse to kick off a Fearless Summer of climate activism. The rally was organized by the Missoula-based Blue Skies Campaign, and we were joined by members of Northern Rockies Rising Tide, Indian People’s Action, Montana Elders for a Livable Tomorrow, and 350 Missoula. We stood on Missoula’s central downtown street for 1.5 hours waving signs and banners, and encouraged rally participants to join more escalated actions later on this summer. From the Otter Creek Coal Mine to the Keystone XL Pipeline, Montanans are ready to take on the fossil fuel industry this summer!