Tar Sands Megaload Solidarity Action 8-25-11

Keystone XL pipeline sit-in protest, Moscow, Idaho style, as an ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil tar sands megaload rolls though town on August 25-26, 2011: Thanks, Brett! (Moscow-Pullman Daily News photo)

Moscow, Idaho, crowds expand around sitting and standing Wild Idaho Rising Tide protesters who stopped an ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil tar sands shipment on August 25-26, 2011 (Tom Hansen photo).

About 150 people gather around Wild Idaho Rising Tide protesters during their August 25-26, 2011, demonstration of peaceful civil disobedience against ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil tars sands transports permitted by the Idaho Transportation Department through Moscow, Idaho (Tom Hansen photo).

Tar Sands Megaload Protest in Moscow, Idaho 8-25-11

Idaho Protester: “I was on the street with a Flip video camera when 200-plus protesters met the first of the larger ‘megaloads’ moving through Moscow, Idaho, on their way to Alberta tar sands mining operations.  Brave people put their bodies on the line to blockade the convoy and its 400,000-pound load.  Six persons were arrested for repeatedly sitting, standing, or lying in the road in front of the behemoth.”

(Link provided by Joshua Yiedel)

Megaload Arrives in Moscow 8-25-11

On the first Thursday evening of the University of Idaho fall semester, the eighth and one of the biggest ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil tar sands equipment shipments arrived in Moscow, where six protesters blocked its deadly path and hundreds more demonstrated in solidarity with First Nations Canadians poisoned by tar sands operations and Keystone XL pipeline protesters at the White House.

(Video and link provided by Tom Hansen)

Police Arrest Megaload Protesters in Moscow, Idaho 8-25-11

An Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil tar sands module moving through Moscow, Idaho, shortly after midnight on August 26, 2011, resulted in multiple arrests and the largest act of civil disobedience ever recorded in Moscow, after about 150 people gathered to protest.  Moscow police arrested six demonstrators who blocked the megaload for a half hour.  Approximately seventy such loads are traversing Highway 95 through the city, bound for the Alberta tar sands to strip mine and process ‘dirty oil’ bitumen from the pristine boreal forest/wetland ecosystem, spew the single greatest amount of carbon emissions over North America, and deposit vast quantities of polluted water into huge, toxic lakes that leak into the Athabasca River and poison wildlife and First Nations people.

Moscow Mayor Nancy Chaney watched and later offered approving comments about the protest to the Moscow Pullman Daily News, who noted that she was saddened by the passing of the megaload through Moscow to the Alberta tar sands but felt the protest was successful.  “I thought the protest was peaceful and powerful,” she said.  “I think law enforcement, from my observations, handled it well.”  Chaney said she hopes that Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil will consider an alternative route from the Port of Pasco up U.S. Highway 395 then Interstate 90 through Washington and Idaho and into Montana to Interstate 15.  According to KRFP Radio Free Moscow, this was the least peaceful protest in the history of Moscow: Civil Disobedience Stops Tar Sands Megaload

(Video and heavily edited text provided by a megaload proponent)

Megaload Moves Out for Moscow and Beyond

An Imperial Oil megaload passes under the highway sign at the split between U.S. Highway 95 and U.S. Highway 12. The 24-foot-wide, 14-foot-tall, and 208-foot-long oversized load departed Lewiston Thursday night on its way to Moscow and beyond to Alberta, Canada (The Lewiston Tribune/Kyle Mills photo).

Imperial Oil shipment leaves via U.S. Highway 95.

(Editor’s Note: Ms. Wiliams wrote this story off-site with a phone interview, before the largest Moscow anti-tar sands megaload protest erupted later that evening.)

The stars in a summer sky were among the only witnesses to the departure of the first Imperial Oil megaload to go through Moscow.

The load left the Port of Lewiston at 10:05 p.m. Thursday, following a couple of honks that signaled the start of its journey.

Wild Idaho Rising Tide, an anti-megaload group, had previously announced plans to watch it leave Lewiston and protest it in Moscow. Continue reading