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