November 3 & Sooner or Later: Vote & Resist a Coup

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Resist a Trump/Republican Coup

Even during a global pandemic, economic emergency, and increasingly dysfunctional, neoliberal governance, the reformist approach of U.S. progressive politics attempts to rehabilitate capitalism’s purported dynamism with approximations of social democracy for working people, without admitting the intrinsic control and impediments to reform that economic and political elites wield over fundamental structures of policymaking.  This tendency is partially a response to the Trump administration, “whose pursuit of tax cuts, corporate bailouts, and deregulation exemplifies not so much artful subterfuge but a brazen contempt for proper oversight of industry” [1].  Challenges for current, social movements to fight injustice are formidable, especially with “the Trump administration’s exercise of a new and despotic, federal police power, in reaction to nationwide, Black Lives Matter protests against police violence” [1].  But electoral politics face greater limits to advancing a more egalitarian social contract and strategies.  “The path to enduring change requires mobilization that inflicts real costs on capitalists and disrupts the nexus of elite interests…While progressive, political allies are instrumental…to implementing reform, they are never its true locus” [1].

More deeply troubling than encountering armed, right wingnuts in the downtown streets of Sandpoint, Idaho, is experiencing “liberals” who notify police in advance of their protests, say that they trust local cops, and ask for police protection from such vigilantes [2].  Did they overlook the attack dogs, water cannons, and other harmful weapons used by local cops on water protectors at Standing Rock?  The munitions applied by local cops to clear Washington D.C. dissenters, for Trump’s bible-holding, church photo-op?  The physical and chemical assaults and abductions aimed and abetted by local cops and their civil war-mongering, paramilitary friends at protesters in Portland, Minneapolis, New York, Spokane, and other cities?  Who could ever sign a letter saying that they trust local cops?  Do they not understand the Black Lives Matter and civil rights movements?  Indigenous struggles for sovereignty and land defense?  Immigrants terrorized, caged, neglected, and deported?  Local cops in support of eliminating COVID-19 precautions and liberal protests of a likely Trump/Republican coup?  Are people who trust local cops actually cops?

On October 22, for the weekly, Civil Liberties Defense Center (CLDC) webinar, two guests joined Lauren Regan and fellow staff attorneys: Jim Wheaton, a CLDC friend, former co-counsel, and First Amendment Project ally, and Scott Parkin, a seasoned organizer with Rising Tide North America and Rainforest Action Network (RAN), for a training called Rights, Dissent, and the State: Preparing for a Turbulent Election [3].  The lively and informative, roundtable discussion considered scenarios and preparations against possible, far-right, extremist efforts to disrupt and destroy democratic processes, which could unfold around the upcoming, November 2020, U.S. elections.  With the goals of helping activists more clearly understand potential threats, expected charges from engaging in protests during this time, and collective, legal recourse against a coup and other outcomes, speakers addressed actions that governments may take to restrict citizen freedoms, rights, and responsibilities, in response to escalations of unrest.  If you missed and would like to access this online webinar, please email communications @cldc.org and request the secure, registration login information for the recording.  The RAN website also offers links to numerous civil disobedience resources [4].  Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) is planning upcoming, training sessions and protests adapted to emerging, political events, despite north Idaho community reticence to participate in the meaningful and effective, direct actions that continue to provide our only recourse to justice.

“…Things are moving further in an alarming direction.  They’re planning to steal the election…for an unaccountable man at the top and his armies of spies and soldiers and cops, openly plotting some kind of coup, not in some backroom like they usually would do…Whatever might happen to this corporate crook, no one will be heeding the rules in the book…Perhaps the stock market crashes, then we’ll see if the madmen in power start World War 3…” [5].  But “if the right is prepared to steal the election, then we must be prepared to disrupt the status quo and resist.  [The Stopping the Coup] guide offers resources for organizing in your communities across the country.  It does not encourage or endorse bringing harm to any living thing” [6].

Despite our lack of faith in American electoral, political, or legal systems, WIRT activists encourage you to vote, as “we will vote.  We will refuse to accept election results, until all the votes are counted.  We will nonviolently take to the streets, if a coup is attempted.  If we need to, we will shut down this country, to protect the integrity of the democratic process” [7].  Please prepare for the November 3 to January 21 sh!tstorm, by availing yourself and your contacts of the Signal application, for end-to-end encrypted calls and texts relayed via device data, not phone signal [8].  You will find that many of your contacts already or will soon protect their communities from government/corporate snoopiness with the downloadable application, effective only when both sides securely communicate through the program (symbolized by locks and checkmarks), which also reaches non-Signal users (shown with open lock symbols).  Stop talking and texting on a third “party line”!

According to Fox television program scientist (an oxymoron?) Neil deGrasse Tyson and creative scientist, musician, and tar sands megaload-blockading, WIRT activist Jeanne Louise, an asteroid named 2018VP1 will coincidentally, closely approach Earth the day before the November 3 election, but it poses much less threat to humanity than one of the candidates [9].  As an appropriate antidote to increasingly “impactful” times, please consider voting early!  Thanks to Jeanne for revising the lyrics and re-recording her decade-old song Asteroid that “serves as an apt metaphor for our angst about the pandemic, the planet, and presidential politics,…[and that] argues for the pursuit of peace, love, and happiness, no matter how things turn out,” with the time we together have left [9].  Compared with the deteriorating state of American encounters all over the country, her new video version, posted and shared on facebook and played on the October 28, WIRT, Climate Justice Forum radio program, is a blessing!

Vote Against President Donald Trump Continue reading

Comment on Oil Movement Reports, Coal Mine Expansion, & Dakota Access Pipeline

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October 15: Oregon Coal Plant Closure

On October 15, Portland General Electric (PGE) shut down the 40-year-old Boardman Generating Station in eastern Oregon, the only, coal-fired, power plant in the state and one of three in the four-state Northwest [1].  In 2009, Columbia Riverkeeper, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Sierra Club, and other green groups filed a lawsuit that forced PGE to permanently close the Boardman facility by the end of 2020.  Boardman stood as one of four destinations for the average three daily, Powder River Basin, unit coal trains that traverse and pollute north Idaho, besides the TransAlta coal plant in Centralia, Washington, the Customs District of Seattle, Washington (the largest, U.S. West Coast, and fifth-biggest, American, coal export center), and Westshore Terminals coal export facilities in Delta, west of Vancouver, British Columbia [2-4].  As Washington’s third-largest electricity generator, Centralia’s two coal burners will each retire in 2020 and 2025, with energy offset by natural gas or renewable resources [3].  Two of four units of the coal power plant in Colstrip, eastern Montana, owned by several utility companies, remain the last, uncertain source of coal-fired electricity in the Northwest [5].

November 1: Washington Oil Train & Pipeline Reports

The Washington Department of Ecology (DOE) is proactively inviting tribes, citizens, organizations, and agencies to participate in public hearings and a comment period on its rulemaking and proposed, draft revisions of Chapter 173-185 WAC, Oil Movement by Rail and Pipeline Notification, the Washington law that requires weekly, facility and quarterly, state reports on crude oil transportation [6].  The third and last of three webinars on this rulemaking occurred on October 20.  DOE offered opportunities to view a brief, basic presentation, ask questions afterwards, and give testimony, through an hour-long, online meeting that participants could join from a computer, tablet, or smartphone, or toll-free by phone.

WIRT activists attended and appreciate and support expansion of this Washington rule, to include receiving facility reporting of type and vapor pressure of crude oil-by-rail and type and gravity of pipeline oil.  But we recommend: 1) disclosure of ALL unit hydrocarbon trains traversing the state to receiving destinations outside Washington, including possible liquefied natural gas and petroleum liquids, 2) quarterly instead of current, biannual (twice yearly) reporting of pipeline oil volumes and descriptions, 3) required, not optional, updating of advance reports by facilities on actually received, oil-by-rail shipments, and 4) increased data to local, emergency planning groups and better notices to emergency personnel, in advance of oil and other hazardous materials trains crossing Washington, which, although not covered by this law, north Idaho first responders say they are not receiving.

Please express your interests and concerns in these important decisions that impact the health, safety, and lives of north Idaho trackside communities!  See the linked DOE announcement for further information about webinar agendas, proposed rule changes, and instructions for providing written comments by 11:59 pm on November 1 [6].  Contact Kim Morley of DOE (kim.morley@ecy.wa.gov, kmor461@ecy.wa.gov, 360-701-2398) with your questions about this rulemaking. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Capitol Riot Involvement, Impeachment, Police Encounters, Idaho Train Bridge Near-Miss, Washington Coal Terminal Bankruptcy, Montana Railroad Grizzly Kills, Utah Oil-by-Rail, Minnesota & Other Pipeline Resistance 1-20-21


The Wednesday, January 20, 2021, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), features news and reflections on Congress members and organizations involved in U.S. Capitol riot, a second presidential impeachment, police encounters advice, an averted Idaho train bridge collision, Washington coal export terminal bankruptcy, a Montana grizzly-killing railroad permit, a Utah oil-by-rail comment period, Minnesota tar sands pipeline resistance, and indigenous requests and president-elect plans to stop oil pipelines.  Broadcast for nine years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots opposition to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: U.S. Capitol Riots & Responses, Oil & Gas Pipelines & Resistance, Arctic Refuge Oil Lease Auction, Northwest Derailments 1-13-21


The Wednesday, January 13, 2021, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), features news and reflections on Idaho, western militia, and fascist participation in U.S. Capitol riots, response statements by Congress, President Trump, and indigenous leaders, and further demonstrations by Trump supporters, oil and gas pipeline construction, lawsuits, and resistance in Michigan, Minnesota, and British Columbia, a failed, Arctic wildlife refuge, oil lease auction, and Northwest oil and lumber train derailments and investigations.  Broadcast for nine years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Environmental Justice Advocate Deb Abrahamson, Kootenai River Derailment Anniversary, Northwest Train Wrecks & Record Coal & Oil Trains, Highway 95 Expansion Permit & Overview, Idaho COVID-19 Outbreaks 1-6-21


The Wednesday, January 6, 2021, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), features a recording of recently deceased, Spokane Reservation, environmental justice advocate Deb Abrahamson, and news and reflections on the Kootenai River derailment and diesel spill anniversary, Northwest train wrecks and reversals, railroad bridge construction, and record coal and oil train numbers, a Highway 95 expansion wetlands permit and issue overview, and Idaho, COVID-19 outbreaks and case rates. Broadcast for nine years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Washington Oil & Grain Train Wrecks, Global Freight Boom, Minnesota Pipeline Resistance, Increased U.S. Oil Production, Western Coal Plant Closures 12-30-20


The Wednesday, December 30, 2020, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), features news and reflections on the December full moon, Northwest earthquakes, Washington oil and grain train wrecks and aftermaths, a railroad bridge derailment, global freight shipment and diesel booms, Minnesota Line 3 tar sands pipeline resistance, increased U.S. oil production, and Western coal power plant closures. Broadcast for eight years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots opposition to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Solstice Conjunction & Eruption, Idaho Gas Well Challenge & Legislature Delay, Oil & Coal Derailments, Methanol Refinery Impacts, Gas Export Project Appeal, First Indigenous Cabinet Member 12-23-20


The Wednesday, December 23, 2020, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), features news and reflections on a Winter Solstice planetary conjunction and volcanic eruption, Idaho challenges of a gas well permit and legislative session start before COVID-19 vaccines, Washington crude oil and Kentucky coal derailments, a federal recommendation for hazmat train buffer cars, a Kalama methanol refinery impact statement, an Oregon gas export project appeal, President-elect selection of the first indigenous cabinet member, and court rejection of an Arctic drilling proposal. Broadcast for eight years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Decolonizing Winter Solstice, Fossil Fuels Defeat, Idaho Military & Utah Oil Railways, Sabotaged Derailment & Tracks, B.C. Pipeline Pandemic, Mississippi River Blockades 12-16-20


The Wednesday, December 16, 2020, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), features news and reflections on decolonizing indigenous Winter Solstice actions, fossil fuel industry defeat and resistance support, a northeast Washington paper mill sale, Idaho Panhandle military equipment trains, a Utah oil railroad comment period extension, sabotaged New Mexico derailment and Washington tracks, a British Columbia pipeline pandemic outbreak, and Mississippi River blockades of tar sands pipeline construction. Broadcast for eight years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots opposition to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Idaho Railroad Pollution, Trains, History, & Construction, Washington Track Disruptions, Minnesota Pipeline Blockades, Arctic Drilling Resistance, Utah Oil Railway 12-9-20


The Wednesday, December 9, 2020, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), fea tures news and reflections on U.S. pandemic numbers, Idaho Panhandle power outages and railroad pollution, double-long and military equipment trains, and depot and bridge history and construction, Washington track disruptions and charges, Minnesota tar sands pipeline blockades, Arctic refuge drilling resistance, and proposed Utah oil railway public comments. Broadcast for eight years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots opposition to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: North Idaho Train Increases, Satellite Station, & Mask Mandate, Railroad Wrecks & Sabotage, Northwest Disaster Counties, Tar Sands Pipeline Resistance, Utah Oil Railway 12-2-20


The Wednesday, December 2, 2020, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), features news and reflections on north Idaho coal and oil train increases, communications satellite station opposition, and health district mask mandate retaliation, California, Pennsylvania, and Colorado railroad and bridge wrecks, suspected Washington track sabotage, planned fossil fuel facilities in disaster-vulnerable Northwest counties, British Columbia and Minnesota tar sands pipeline resistance, and proposed Utah oil railway public comments and hearings.  Broadcast for eight years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: First Thanksgiving, Indigenous & Government Pipeline Resistance, Oil Terminal Comments, Methanol Refinery Ruling, Washington DC Climate Protest, Idaho Pandemic Responses 11-25-20


The Wednesday, November 25, 2020, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), features news and reflections on the actual first Thanksgiving, Canadian pipeline resistance actions, comments against the Dakota Access pipeline and a Columbia River oil train terminal, federal court rejection of Kalama methanol refinery permits, blocked construction and Winona LaDuke criticism of the Minnesota Line 3 and Keystone XL pipelines, Michigan cancellation of the Line 5 easement under the Great Lakes, Idaho’s fifth worst state pandemic response and new Panhandle mask mandate, and a Washington D.C. protest urging climate solutions by President-elect Biden.  Broadcast for eight years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots opposition to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ. ~Helen

Climate Justice Forum: COVID-19 Surges & Responses, Railroad Donations, Loans, Contamination, & Coal Wrecks, Keystone XL Construction, Line 3 Permits, Arctic Refuge Oil Leases 11-18-20


The Wednesday, November 18, 2020, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), features news and reflections on Idaho, Washington, and U.S. COVID-19 case surges, government restrictions, and community responses, railroad short-line loans, oversight of Montana asbestos contamination, and funds for indigenous pandemic relief, recent coal train wrecks into rivers, illegal Keystone XL pipeline construction, Minnesota Line 3 tar sands pipeline permits, and rushed oil leases for Arctic wildlife refuge drilling. Broadcast for eight years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.