Thanks to our amazing Occupy Spokane and Wild Idaho Rising Tide comrades, two dozen activists contributed to a great seven-hour November 3 brainstorming/strategizing convergence, full of enthusiastic and insightful conversations, alliances, and upcoming actions! Following through on the successes of the Northwest Extraction Resistance Workshop in June, we networked with activists from the Spokane area, northern Idaho, British Columbia, Montana, and Oregon. Among a whirlwind of creative ideas, we designed a coal export train demonstration in Sandpoint on Saturday afternoon, November 17, to instigate more public participation in the December 4 Spokane scoping hearing on proposed West Coast coal port facilities. As we learned local hearing logistics from Crystal Gartner, who has diligently worked with numerous Coal-Free Spokane volunteers over the last year to secure and populate the event, we also planned tactics and props to augment the rally and citizen involvement in the hearing and to stage an on-the-ground action before the January 21 comment deadline. Heartfelt thanks to Terry for initiating this gathering and inviting western Washington allies’ input, to Val for workshop food provision, Nick for round-trip alternative fuel transportation between Moscow and Spokane, and to Andy, Peter, Cheryl, and Kerry for traveling so far to participate. As we left this last event ever held in the former Rainbow Tavern of the International District in Spokane, Peter of Oregon said, “You know, 100 years from now, people will point to that building and say ‘That is where a small group of people met and made the plans that stopped the coal trains.’” To join in discussions about coal export train direct actions, please join the facebook group Stand Up Fight Back Against Big Coal in the Northwest and/or our Spokane workshop email list shared among about 30 activists.
(All photos provided by Aaron Kathman of OUTSIDEmedia.)