Media Release: More Charges Brought Against Tar Sands “Megaload” Protesters in Moscow, Idaho

As some of the last five of over 70 massive parts of an Alberta tar sands upgrader plant rumbled through the small, quiet, college town of Moscow, Idaho, at about 11 pm on Sunday, March 4, four protesters linked arms and sat down in the middle of Washington Street to stop three of these “megaloads” weighing 200,000 to 415,000 pounds and measuring 150 to 200 feet long.  Police arrested Cass Davis and Jim Prall for resisting and obstructing officers and dragged Jeanne McHale and Pat Monger to the sidewalk, as another 40 protesters voiced their opposition to expanding tar sands mining operations.  Again on Tuesday, March 6, when the final two similarly huge shipments crossed this 22,000-person city, demonstrators pounded drums, chanted slogans, played music, and engaged in street theater.  Helen Yost tossed a cardboard protest sign at the rear of the last megaload and air-kicked the transports and their police escorts out of town, resulting in misdemeanor charges for throwing an object at a moving highway vehicle and attempted battery of a peace officer.

All three accused protesters are pleading not guilty based on the necessity of their actions induced by their moral obligation to directly confront the causes of climate change that are currently killing millions of people, plants, and animals around the globe.  For their statements, please listen to Cass Davis and Jim Prall on Flashpoints and Helen Yost on KRFP Radio Free Moscow.  Other articles, photos, and videos of numerous megaload passages and protests are available on the Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) facebook page and website. Continue reading

As Eco-Terrorism Wanes, Governments Still Target Activist Groups Seen as Threat

…The police chief in Moscow, Idaho, said in an interview that he discussed with FBI agents the repeated protests aimed at blocking the shipment of equipment ExxonMobil and other firms are using to extract heavy crude in Canada’s oil sands.

Some say the broad definition of domestic terrorism the FBI uses contributes to the number of investigations.  According to its 2002-05 terrorism report, “A terrorist incident is a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, in violation of the criminal laws of the United States, or of any state, to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

As a result, any act aimed to intimidate an individual or corporation that has a political or social goal qualifies…

Read more: As Eco-Terrorism Wanes, Governments Still Target Activist Groups Seen as Threat

(By Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post)