WIRT Newsletter: Climate Activism, Human Rights, Megaload Monitor Trial, & Oil on Rails

Dear Friends,

Carpools to the Winter Solstice Party on Paradise Ridge southeast of Moscow depart the Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) Activist House at 4 pm (or call 208-301-8039 for directions)!


AGU Scientist Asks, ‘Is Earth F**ked?’ Surprising Answer: Resistance is NOT Futile! (December 9 ThinkProgress)

Nils provided this scientific paper abstract that suggests that WIRT’s efforts represent an essential part of the solution to American climate woes: Resistance and activism are necessary!

Chris Hedges Lecture, Occupy the Future, at MIT (December 6 video)

Author-activist Chris Hedges discusses how problems with the current political system sparked the Occupy movement and where the movement is going.  Co-sponsored by Boston Review and MIT’s political science department, the presentation occurred as part of the “Ideas Matter” series.

Let Your Life Be a Friction to Stop the Machine (February 13 video) (website excerpted) Continue reading

Megaload Monitor Jury Trial Outcomes

On Thursday, December 13, the Kootenai County Court in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, heard a six-hour, well-argued jury trial that appealed to the public, rather than the government, to defend the civil liberties of a citizen monitoring an Alberta tar sands megaload on Highway 95.  Idaho State Police Corporal Ron Sutton accused co-activists Cici Claar and Helen Yost of not wearing safety restraints in a parked vehicle, arrested them for resisting/obstructing an officer, and imposed an inexplicable night in the county jail, when they refused to identify themselves amongst the ExxonMobil police state on Highway 95 on August 26-27, 2011.  WIRT’s day in court started at 8:30 am with jury selection from about 30 gathered citizens, as Helen and her defending Moscow lawyer Ben Onosko weighed the odds stacked against them but hoped that a jury could empathize with the shock of sudden imprisonment for no significant reason.  Ben worked diligently throughout the trial to help the jury appreciate the precedents for civil liberties violations that they would set by siding with Corporal Sutton, who searched, seized, and jailed vehicle passengers without just cause.

Early in the trial, the prosecutor convinced Magistrate Judge Robert Caldwell to dismiss the evidence and results of the previous seat belt infraction trial and three pre-trial hearings on motions to suppress charges and a motion for reconsideration.  Representing the State of Idaho, the prosecutor presented her simple but assertive case that the defendant contested the infraction and ID request at roadside rather than in court.  The defense described Helen’s extensive academic and activist background and asserted that Idaho state police targeted the monitoring vehicle and its occupants for protest repression.  Although Helen never uttered a word in this court until trial conclusion, Corporal Sutton took the witness stand and noted his officer certifications before he described the place of the disputed incident and his approach of the driver Sharon Cousins’ vehicle and requests of driver and passenger IDs.  After commenting on the seatbelt-less state of the back seat passengers Cici and Helen, he explained the reasons for his ID requests and how Ms. Yost denied and debated them. Continue reading

Weather Delays Move of Oversized Shipment

Weather has delayed an extra-long shipment that was scheduled to move from the Port of Lewiston across north central Idaho on U.S. Highway 12 late Thursday evening and this morning (Friday, December 21).

Snow was likely at Powell Thursday night near the Montana border, according to the National Weather Service.

No new date has been set to move the 163-foot-long rig carrying a generator skid, according to the Idaho Transportation Department.

(By The Lewiston Tribune)