Eleven Megaloads Aren’t Over Until…

We are eager to hit the still wild Idaho streets with our courageous comrades on Thursday evening, February 9, as the dark curtain of climate change dangles over the remaining 11 Imperial Oil tar sands shipments.  Apparent in the hundreds of protesters who, in the path of this industrial invasion, have laid down, sat, stood, walked, marched, biked, chanted, sang, played instruments, made and waved banners, signs, and props, witnessed, monitored, photographed, recorded, videotaped, wrote, broadcast, testified, got arrested, charged, sentenced, and tried, and generally raged against the machines of industry and excess, we are a daunting force of collective objection to all that is wrong with America’s dirty energy secret, Alberta bitumen exploitation.

But don’t drop your protest signs and sit down yet, Moscow (except in the path of a megaload!).  Three more processing plant modules are struggling up Highway 95 and Interstate 90 from the Port of Lewiston after 8 pm on Thursday.  Before these last corporate parades leave Idaho, the world is watching and we are wondering how we will celebrate not only their looming absence but also our victories, as residents of a dozen small Idaho towns along two rural routes have shown huge multinational corporations the door to different routes around our homes and wildlands.

So with only four more nights to directly express our outrage, if you miss upcoming protesting and monitoring opportunities, you will have missed the grand finale of Moscow’s most infamous times.  Let’s make them even more memorable and worth all of our efforts.  Join Wild Idaho Rising Tide activists at 7:30 pm on Thursday near Moscow City Hall, at the corner of Second and Washington streets, to monitor tar sands transports between Lewiston and Moscow with various recording devices.  We are converging at the same location between 9:30 and 10 pm to protest with our voices, signs, banners, props, and solidarity.  Afterwards, monitors will follow the megaloads north to gather more evidence of travel plan, permit, and safety violations.  And we will ask Casey Neill and the Norway Rats, playing at John’s Alley after 10 pm, to save for us their wildest rendition of “Dancing on the Ruins of Multinational Corporations” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QujpC_oSwE) so we can do exactly that (why wait for the inevitable?)!

Oh, and here are the plans of the victor who’s getting the spoils: Two of the transports crossing Idaho (in more than a few ways!) on Thursday on conventional trailers respectively weigh 148,000 and 199,000 pounds and measure 100 and 150 feet long.  Like the third 335,000-pound, 185-feet long megaload on a hydraulic trailer, they stand 15 feet high and block two lanes of public traffic with their 22 to 24 foot widths.  State trooper, pilot, and flagger vehicles will escort all of the loads separately throughout the route, except when they merge as a single convoy to slither past Moscow protesters, flaggers, and city police.  If weather does not rightly impede their progress, the two smaller shipments could reach Wallace, while the larger one could attain the privatized parking/staging area north of Worley.

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