Urgent Alert and Update:
[The contracted hauler Mammoet is transporting two ConocoPhillips wastewater evaporators manufactured in Newburg, Oregon, to northern Alberta tar sands operations via Highway 12 in Idaho starting Wednesday night, January 30. Each megaload weighing 255,600 pounds and measuring 20 feet tall, 16 feet wide, and 141 feet long will depart the Port of Wilma, across the river from Clarkston, Washington, on separate nights and travel as far as possible toward the Montana border between 10 pm and 5:30 am, depending on road and weather conditions. The Idaho Transportation has not announced when the second load will similarly ravage Nez Perce lands, the Middle Fork Clearwater/Lochsa wild and scenic river corridor, area highways, and traveler safety. Two pilot vehicles and flagging teams will accompany both shipments and limit traffic delays to less than 15 minutes.
On Wednesday and successive evenings, January 30 and beyond, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) monitoring and protesting carpools provisioned with video and still cameras, audio recorders, and notebooks will converge at 9 pm at the corner of Second and Washington Streets in Moscow, to demonstrate our megaload opposition at 10 pm along Idaho Highway 128 near Lewiston. Citizen monitors will then follow each shipment to their stop-over point, likely near Kooskia, where they will park during the day. Because Mammoet’s transportation plan prohibits these transports from delaying other highway vehicles for more than 15 minutes before pulling over to let traffic pass, we intend to also scrutinize their every move on their second nights traveling toward milepost 139 east of Lowell, and on their third nights in Idaho, struggling over the Bitterroot crest and the Idaho/Montana state line, toward the Lolo scale in Montana. All of our plans are subject to the constantly changing dynamics of weather and terrain. For more information and to RSVP as a megaload monitor and protester, contact Wild Idaho Rising Tide at email@example.com, through facebook, at the WIRT Activist House between noon and 8 pm daily, and/or at 208-301-8039.]
On Sunday afternoon, January 27, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and our allies among the regional indigenous and settler communities are gathering to generate positive force and confront two more tar sands megaloads at the Port of Wilma, near Clarkston, Washington, in solidarity with the Idle No More World Day of Action on January 28, when the Canadian House of Commons reconvenes. Together with social justice, environmental, labor, and other activist groups, the Canadian grassroots founders and organizers of Idle No More have planned this international day of action, to peacefully protest and urge the repeal of Bill C-45 and other conservative government legislation that threatens treaties, indigenous sovereignty, democracy, human rights, and environmental protections of water, air, and land for present and future generations. Resonating around the Earth, the Idle No More movement’s successful revitalization and empowerment of indigenous peoples have rekindled a clear, shared vision of indigenous sovereignty and ecological knowledge and stewardship. As Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper Turtle Clan, Onondaga Nation Council of Chiefs, states, “The Treaties are the last line of defense to protect water and lands from destruction.” As we have watched and participated in our Canadian comrades’ struggles in the streets and the courts for decades, to halt tar sands infrastructure developments and operations, Mr. Lyons’ words ring true.
In solidarity with Idle No More and after almost three years of tar sands megload protesting and monitoring actions in Idaho, Montana, Washington, and Alberta, we eagerly anticipate this regional demonstration of resistance to the plunder of First Nations’ water, lands, and livelihoods, imposed by oil and natural gas corporations and facilitated by Canadian, American, provincial, and state governments. Please join WIRT activists, the Moscow Peace Band, and community members at 12:30 pm on Sunday, January 27, for carpools from the Highway 8 side of the Eastside Marketplace parking lot, or at 1:30 pm at the Port of Wilma on Down River/Wawawai River Road. We will offer songs, drumming, chants, and prayers at the port, as transport companies unload from barges two Bantrel/Conoco wastewater evaporators bound for Conoco Surmount tar sands facilities near Fort McMurray, Alberta. (See the attached Proposed Mammoet Move travel plan with estimated dates subject to unknown delays caused by inclement weather, escort availability, and other restrictions). After our demonstration of solidarity during this one-day offloading and staging operation in the port yard adjacent to the dock, a convoy crew of police and utility escorts and Mountain West Holding Company traffic control personnel will start transporting these megaloads east and north on Monday night, January 28. Measuring 138 feet long, 20 feet tall, and 16 feet wide and weighing 230,000 pounds, the two rolling blockades will rumble across Nez Perce lands along U.S. Highway 12 in Idaho, through the Middle Fork Clearwater/Lochsa and Blackfoot wild and scenic river corridors, below the remote Rocky Mountain Front in Montana, and through Alberta to the Anzac area, where activists camp every year during the Tar Sands Healing Walk.
Pending Idaho Transportation Department permit issuance, these equipment shipments may offer our last chance to protest Alberta tar sands operations on Highway 12, if Advocates for the West and Idaho Rivers United prevail in their February 6 federal court hearing in Boise, disputing all such colossal incursions into wild and scenic river corridors. As Wild Idaho Rising Tide compiles updates accompanying our further arrangements of protesting and monitoring activities in the wild country up Highway 12 on January 28 and successive nights, we are contacting, encouraging, and supporting Nez Perce, First Nations, and all Native organizers and regional allies in Idaho, Montana, and Alberta, to create and coordinate other actions in solidarity with Idle No More and tar sands resisters everywhere. We welcome your participation, strategy suggestions, and distribution of the attached, preliminary transport schedule and information to pertinent and responsive friends and activists who can understand and maximize these potent opportunities for convergence of the goals of the climate justice and indigenous sovereignty movements.