Since spring 2010, frontline Northwest activists have been resisting tar sands transportation projects and associated police states in our communities and on our roads, through six court cases, a dozen arrests, and over 50 direct actions. Residents of Moscow and Lewiston, Idaho, Spokane, Washington, Missoula, Montana, and regional rural enclaves have defended our wild places, home towns, and public roadways from the climate-wrecking, industrial ravages of “megaload” equipment transported for ExxonMobil, Weyerhaeuser, and other undisclosed corporations to Alberta destinations and tar sands operations. Our monitoring, protesting, and litigating activities have challenged, stalled, diverted, blockaded, frustrated, cost millions, and forced some of the biggest, wealthiest, most powerful dirty energy purveyors on Earth to boost their security, pay our state, county, and city police officers as escorts, guard their unoccupied stopover and port spaces, dismantle their supposedly irreducible loads, and sneak around us on alternative routes. Strategically considering and creatively implementing group trainings, rallies, testimonies, demonstrations, concerts, presentations, sit-ins, videos, photos, critical mass walks and bike rides, marches, street theater, fundraisers, and banner drops, we will not stop resisting until corporate interlopers stop rampaging our planet.
Tar sands module convoys encountered monitors and protests with every passage up Highway 95 through Moscow, Idaho, between July 2011 and March 2012, and similar pushback in Spokane, Washington, in May and June 2012. During the last week of October 2012, a 236-foot-long, 520,000-pound wastewater evaporator accomplished the first successful transit to the Alberta tar sands, through our narrow, sinuous, and steep Highway 12 wild and scenic river corridor across the largest wildlands complex in the lower 48 states. As first fracking in Idaho looms to the south and coal export trains impend in the north, two smaller tar sands transports – with potentially thousands on the outsourced Asian production horizon – will attempt the same rugged route in early December, but not without our vigilant confrontations and their predictable accidents, injuries, and anguish imposed on people and property, collisions with vehicles, power lines, cliffs, and trees, delays of heart attack victims, emergency services, and holiday traffic, and degradation of our shared infrastructure and civil liberties, indigenous rights and northern boreal ecosystems, and atmospheric integrity. Continue reading