WIRT Newsletter: January WIRT Activities, Idle No More Movement, & Hanford Waste Decision

2013 Activists and Friends,

Congratulations and thanks, visionary and vanguard Wild Idaho Rising Tide activists and allies, for successfully confronting dirty energy exploits and heartily advancing community spirit and solutions to America’s most significant climate change challenges throughout 2012.  We earnestly and eagerly anticipate ongoing and emerging frontline resistance and resolutions, passionately shared with each of you during 2013!  Our shared thoughts and actions are priceless: “The language of friendship is not words but meanings.” ~Henry David Thoreau

The amazing activists who contribute their knowledge and skills to Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) have shared a plethora of information about dirty energy developments and resistance since our inception.  The approximately 400 pages of WIRT email newsletters circulated to about 500 Northwestern comrades over the last two years have attempted to share such wealth of input with you, to foster your understanding of the energy issues that our nation and region deliberates.  But such compilations require vast investments of attention, energy, and time and often impede our primary goal: climate activism.

Through people power, our collective and alliances aim to invoke rapid changes that challenge the sources and foster community resolution of the current climate crisis and halt the fossil-fuel generated pollution that compromises our shared air, lives, and planet.  So with the new year of light and calendars dawning, we anticipate more WIRT activism making the news and less passive observation of distant news.  Learning and acting on issues is our shared responsibility, not the obligation of a few leaders.  Please derive and contribute news from within and beyond our collective efforts on the WIRT facebook page but otherwise, after the next few newsletters to clear backlog, expect only information about our regional campaigns within these pages.


January 4, 5, & 12: Four-State Coal Export Strategy Sessions & Protests

Please note the following Spokane gathering schedule change and see the WIRT website post Four-State Coal Export Protests and Hearings for more information.  Join us at 7 pm on Friday evening, January 4, at The Attic, up the back stairs of 314 East Second Street in Moscow, and/or at NOON on Saturday, June 5, in Room 1A of the Spokane Public Library, 906 West Main Street in Spokane.  Carpools to Spokane depart the WIRT Activist House at 10 am on Saturday.

January 7: David Hall on the Climate Justice Forum Radio Program (website excerpted)

Montana Tribes Drive the Road to Sovereignty (August 13, 2001, High Country News)

January 9: Palouse Transition Meeting

At 5:30 pm on Wednesday, the full assemblage of local participants in this movement to establish post-fossil-fuel, sustainable practices in food, transportation, and energy production and use throughout the Palouse region will converge in the lower level room of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Palouse, 420 East Second Street in Moscow.  Plenty of great ideas have arisen from discussions and meetings of the various working groups.  Attendees may watch a relatively brief YouTube video about the twelve steps of Transition Towns and continue explorations of healthier ways of life.

January 10 & 12: Washington State University & Winter Market Outreach

At two public events next week, Wild Idaho Rising Tide is seeking volunteers to engage our community with educational materials and opportunities for climate activism.  On Thursday, January 10, from 11 am until 1 pm, we will rally and recruit new student members and volunteers, while promoting our organization at the first Cougs Connect: Campus and Community Involvement Fair.  As community partners with Washington State University’s (WSU) Student Involvement and Center for Civic Engagement, two WIRT representatives will showcase and celebrate the wide variety of ways in which WSU students can participate in WIRT activities, at a free table (with free lunch!) in the CUB Senior Ballroom.  At this action-packed event, registered groups can offer presentations and win prizes for display tables judged as most informative, creative, or best overall.  During Winter Market on Saturday, January 12, we will host an information table on the 1912 Center Great Room balcony (412 East Third Street in Moscow), where we will also participate in ongoing markets between 10 am and 2 pm on February 9 and March 2.

Please contact us if you can assist with distributing WIRT brochures and donation envelopes and with requesting physical and fiscal support for our many initiatives, direct actions, outreach work, and collective costs, as we raise awareness, activism, and funds at these venues.  We will offer information and involvement in citizen resistance to the root causes of climate chaos, such as tar sands, coal export, and fracking schemes.  Visit our website, booths, and the WIRT Activist House during this winter season to generously contribute to our shared endeavors or purchase one of the few remaining commemorative, collectors’ item WIRT T-shirts from among the 40 off-white, large-size originals reserved for megaload protesters.

January 28: Two Wastewater Evaporators on Highway 12

On December 19, the Idaho Transportation Department released extremely rare or rarely revealed, early and detailed plans for tar sands equipment shipments on U.S. Highway 12 in late January, thanks to the ongoing public records requests of our allies (see the attached travel plan Proposed Mammoet Move 2).  With this and previous messages, we have contacted core WIRT activists and our most responsive friends, Nez Perce and First Nations organizers of the March 2011 walk/run to the Heart of the Monster and the annual summer Tar Sands Healing Walk, and principle Missoula, Salt Lake City, Spokane, and West Coast colleagues.  With only a few replies so far, we welcome your strategy suggestions, participation, and distribution of this information to pertinent comrades.  These two Mammoet-hauled wastewater evaporators offer tempting opportunities for advance planning, recruiting outside assistance, and staging creative, coordinated actions in Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alberta, in solidarity with Idle No More.  After a year of tar sands megaload protests in Moscow, the time seems right for a regional tribal demonstration and stand against Big Oil’s pillage of First Nations’ water, lands, and livelihoods, ideally somewhere in the wild country up Highway 12.  We hope to support such Native resistance to these Monday, January 28, transports and could host a weekend training camp/action ala Tar Sands Blockade or a covert regional convergence, before the February 6 federal court hearing disputing all Highway 12 overlegal and oversized incursions into the wild and scenic river corridor.  If the oral arguments of Advocates for the West and Idaho Rivers United prevail in this Boise lawsuit, these late January megaloads may offer our last chance to protest Alberta tar sands operations on Highway 12.  We are coordinating an inter-organizational planning session sometime next week and will invite your input as soon as we establish a meeting time.

February 1 & 2: Kai Huschke of Envision Spokane

Moscow again welcomes Kai Huschke of Envision Spokane and the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund in Spokane, as he offers a public presentation on Friday, February 1, entitled When the Law is on Their Side: What Communities are Doing Differently to Change the Game against Corporate Domination.  His 7 pm talk will describe the legal background and necessity of some of the 150 community bills of rights codified by cities and counties as local “declarations of independence” from harmful corporate activities and government facilitation.  On Saturday morning, February 2, between 9 am and 12:30 pm, Kai will lead a meeting of bill advancing coalition leaders through Moving from What We Can Get to What We Want for Moscow and Latah County.  Together, we will explore the regulatory world and the evolution of corporate-shaped/state-supported legal doctrines, internationally enacted rights of nature, and effective, pro-active community rights and state-level organizing for critical issues in the region and state.  Several local conservation and human rights organizations will host both events in the 1912 Center Fiske Room, 412 East Third Street in Moscow.

Donate to WIRT

Thanks to six of our stalwart supporters who contributed over $560 during December, we were able to cover more of our operational costs, travel and demonstration supplies, and legal and court fees this month.  As we continue to work diligently to conclude the first phase of megaload and coal export campaigns by the end of January, we are also pouring our energies into stopping first fracking in Idaho and Highway 95’s eastern shift over Paradise Ridge, while we instigate a county community bill of rights and a state ballot initiative banning fracking and waste injection wells.  Support our climate activism group efforts with a donation of $5 to $25 to $50 to $100 by mailed check or through the donation button on our website.  We will soon send you a photographic montage of our 2012 achievements and launch an Indiegogo anti-fracking campaign and a regional canvass, all appealing for your ongoing non-tax-deductible generosity.  Happy New Year!


In Sarnia, Ontario, the citizens of Aamjiwnaang First Nation continue their blockade of CN Rail, in support of the Idle No More movement, until Canadian Prime Minister Harper grants a meeting with Chief Theresa Spence and the government recognizes the historical injustices inflicted on the indigenous community.  Chief Spence has hunger struck since December 11, through a winter storm on Victoria Island in Ottawa.  She and her supporters need blankets, firewood, and warm clothing.  The Sarnia mayor and city police met on-site with protesters on Sunday, December 23, to present an offer to end the blockade.

Since about December 21, indigenous protests have repudiated the irresponsible conservatives in the Canadian government, who have instituted new laws that modify and reduce First Nations rights and environmental regulations.  They have compromised vital waterways, boreal forests, and wetlands, to allow oil companies greater advantages to exploit and devastate lands with ecological and cultural significance to First Nations.  With these legislated changes on December 5, the number of protected rivers and lakes in Canada has fallen from five million to 82.  Although First Nations people have led the backlash, “this is just as much a movement against the industrialization and privatization of Canada and the major threats posed by this government against the environment as it is an indigenous protest.”

Idle No More (Primary Website)

Global Idle No More Online and Interactive Global Teach-In and Training for Organizers (Idle No More News Group)

Jian’s Essay on Idle No More… (December 20 Idle No More)

Idle No More: Thousands Round Dance for Indigenous Rights (December 22 Censored News)

Idle No More Sweeps Canada and Beyond as Aboriginals Say Enough is Enough (December 22 Indian Country Today)

A Day of Protest – Idle No More (December 22 EarthTribe)

Idle No More: On the Meaning of Chief Theresa Spence’s Hunger Strike (December 22 Rabble)

Canada’s ‘Idle No More’ Movement Spreads like Wildfire (December 24 Common Dreams)

Lewiston Unity Round Dance on Christmas

Three activists carpooled to the Locomotive Park in Lewiston from the WIRT Activist House on Tuesday, December 25, to support Chief Theresa Spence during her fifteenth day of fasting and to stand with Idle No More, First Nations, and all people who resist harmful government/corporate control, to protect human/treaty rights and the Earth’s life.  We spoke with and interviewed the Nez Perce women who organized regional Idle No More solidarity actions in Spokane on December 23 and in Lewiston on Christmas and requested that we not release our recording until we talk with a third leader.  Striving to understand the connections between Northern Rockies megaloads, Alberta tar sands ventures, and First Nations treaties and rights within the matrix of corporate/government-sanctioned environmental and social injustices, we can only hope that the legal protections afforded Native peoples and lands, not to mention the current, emergent phoenix of indigenous spirit and solidarity, will eventually halt industrialization in its rapacious tracks.

Idle No More, Lewiston, Idaho (video)

Solidarity with the Idle No More movement, Nimiipuu style, on Christmas 2012 in Lewiston

(View other videos of the gathering.)

Spokane Idle No More (video)

On December 23, Natives in the Spokane area showed support for First Nations in Canada who are battling their government over many issues, by gathering, praying, drumming, and singing at the North Town Mall.

(Also see other videos of the event.)


The Christmas Gift that the Northwest Didn’t Want – Return to Sender (Heart of America Northwest)

New Hanford Clean-up Plan Will Leave Untreated Waste in Ground, Open Door for New Radioactive Waste Shipments to Hanford (Columbia Riverkeeper)

Washington Officials Fear Further Cleanup Delays at Hanford Nuclear Reservation (December 12 Oregonian)

Hanford Challenge Critical of Department of Energy (December 16 Tacoma News Tribune)

Wild Idaho Rising Tide

P.O. Box 9817, Moscow, Idaho 83843

WildIdahoRisingTide.org & on facebook


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