WIRT Newsletter: Upcoming Events, Climate Activism, Community Rights, Coal Export, & Hanford Leaks


Co-Agitators for Climate Justice,

“There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious – makes you so sick at heart – that you can’t take part.  You can’t even passively take part.  And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop.  And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.” ~Mario Savio

We obviously have lapsed far behind on the Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) newsletter due to Highway 95 re-routing campaign involvement and will update WIRT’s amazing activists through this and the next few messages about megaloads/tar sands and Idaho fracking this week, while we also launch another phase of our anti-fracking campaign.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Don’t Pave Paradise! (February 15 to March 24)

On the day before the February 23 public comment period deadline, the Federal Highway Administration and Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) extended opportunities for public input on the U.S. 95 Thorncreek to Moscow draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) until Monday, March 25.  A week earlier on February 15, the agencies denied the comment period extension request of the Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition (PRDC) and allied citizens and organizations including Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT).  But they granted deadline postponement last Friday to meet the requirement that the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have enough time to review the DEIS.  Along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the EPA and IDFG oppose the eastern E-2 realignment of the ITD-proposed project south of Moscow and did not receive the DEIS until mid-February, likely after PRDC members sent their comment period extension request and DEIS comments to these agencies besides ITD.  Copies of the 725 nationwide, paper/online signatures of the PRDC Petition Opposing the E-2 Alternative Realignment of Highway 95 between Thorncreek Road and Moscow, Idaho arrived at ITD headquarters in Boise on the day of the deadline extension decision.  The associated ITD media release reasserted agency responsibility and jurisdiction over all “interstates, state highways, and U.S. routes” in the state system (and over “local, city, or county” control?).

As PRDC members, we will continue to relentlessly petition in the downtown Moscow streets and soon in neighborhoods, talking with as many of the 22,000 residents as possible.  Join us in stopping our state from building and encouraging use of an international industrial corridor through our shared rural home.  For just a few hours between 10 am and 2 pm on weekends and between 4 and 8 pm on weeknights, outside the Moscow Food Co-Op or One World Café or around downtown, you can collect up to 50 signatures on the PRDC petition.  Overwhelm ITD with the resistance it deserves and stop the tar sands megaload red carpet through extremely rare Palouse Prairie remnants on Paradise Ridge south of Moscow!  Please sign, comment, and share this petition to Idaho governor ‘Butch’ Otter, ITD director Brian Ness, and transportation board chairman Jerry Whitehead, which currently has 965 of the 2000 signatures that we would like to attain.  Because Highway 95 is a federal highway supported by the tax dollars of all Americans, every U.S. citizens can sign the PRDC petition.  See the following web links for more information, view the DEIS, and email your comments to Comments@ITD.Idaho.gov or mail them to the Office of Communications, Idaho Transportation Department, P.O. Box 7129, Boise, ID 83707-1129.

ITD DEIS

PRDC Petition

PRDC Website

WIRT Don’t Pave Paradise!

WIRT Highway 95 Re-Route Website Section

Moscow Mardi Gras Gathering (Saturday, March 2)

The Moscow Volunteer Peace Band has invited Wild Idaho Rising Tide activists to participate in this year’s Moscow Mardi Gras Parade turned Gathering on Saturday, March 2, in Friendship Square in downtown Moscow.  Event coordinators received too few parade registrations to justify expenses from city permit fees, police oversight, and event insurance.  So organizers are hosting a family-oriented convergence of kids, parents, pets, school groups, clubs, community organizations, and bands at 10 am until the 11 am children’s party at the Moose Lodge.  Because we wholeheartedly agree with parade entry instigator Fritz, who “can’t think of anything that a kid might want more than a livable planet,” let’s cavort for a stable climate in plenty of traditional Moscow Mardi Gras color and spirit.  With the Peace Band in full accompaniment, playing brass and percussion and other musical instruments, we could wear WIRT T-shirts and dress up like polar bears or weather-fried zombies or something more festive to attract a new, young audience for all our signs and props.  We could even flaunt our organization banner and Occupy Spokane’s cardboard coal train chugging against global warming, as we chant creative slogans and hand out organizational/educational flyers.  All are welcome to participate: please contact WIRT if you would like to help organize this fun event.

Last Winter Market (Saturday, March 2)

WIRT is seeking volunteers to engage our community with educational materials, raise climate change awareness, activism, and funds, and offer opportunities for citizen resistance to the root causes of climate chaos, such as tar sands, coal export, and fracking schemes.  Group representatives will showcase and celebrate the wide variety of ways in which people can participate in WIRT activities during Winter Market on Saturday, March 2.  Next to a PRDC booth, we will host an information display table in the 1912 Center east hallway above the Great Room (412 East Third Street in Moscow) between 10 am and 2 pm at the last such public event of the winter season.  Promote our collective, distribute WIRT brochures and donation envelopes, rally and recruit new members, and request physical and fiscal support for our many initiatives, direct actions, outreach work, and ongoing costs.  Please contact us if you can assist with this endeavor and/or visit our website and the WIRT Activist House to generously contribute to our shared work 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.

Highway 95 Re-Route Meeting with Shirley Ringo (Saturday, March 2)

For an hour starting at 2:30 pm on Saturday, March 2, members of the Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition and public are gathering at The Attic (up the back stairs of 314 East Second Street in Moscow) to share our Highway 95 re-routing concerns with colleague and friend Idaho Representative Shirley Ringo.  Besides a copy of the organization’s official comments, PRDC encourages meeting participants to bring pertinent outlines or highlighted documents, such as deceptive ITD DEIS wording, so Shirley can later consider our deliberations in writing.

Alternative Highway 95 Forum and Field Trip (Saturday, March 16)

The Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition and concerned Moscow area citizens and groups invite your involvement and discussion at another knowledge-sharing session followed by a site visit of the central C-3 route proposed by the Idaho Transportation Department in its U.S. 95 Thorn Creek to Moscow draft environmental impact statement.  Everyone is welcome at the Alternative Highway 95 Forum and Field Trip on Saturday, March 16, in the 1912 Center Great Room.  Between noon and 2 pm, community members will summarize the DEIS, present arguments supporting the C-3 alternative, and open the informational meeting to questions and insights.  At 2 pm, event organizers and participants will carpool on a field trip to locations along and near the proposed C-3 route.  Several area residents will host pertinent site visits and talks off Zeitler Road and the highway.  Travelers should dress warmly, bring beverages and snacks if desired, and expect to conclude explorations by 5 pm.

Second Annual Celebration of WIRT (Friday, March 29)

On Friday, March 29, two days before WIRT’s second anniversary, we are eager to host the Second Annual Celebration of Wild Idaho Rising Tide and our relentless, ongoing activism that confronts the root causes of climate change.  Revel in a benefit concert by three bands along with a potluck, beer and wine, and background slide shows and videos to savor our successes.  Depending on weather conditions, this year’s festivities may again kick off with a parade through downtown, beginning at Friendship Square and journeying to the 1912 Center Great Room at 412 East Third Street in Moscow.  Please join your comrades between 7 pm and midnight to enjoy spirited conversation, home-cooked potluck food, no-host beer and wine, and invigorating, danceable, and singable protest music provided by community members and businesses.  We will also offer donated items for raffle and limited edition, collectors’ item WIRT T-shirts for voluntary admissions.  Do not miss this opportunity to mingle with some of the wildest, bravest, and most vigilant activists in the region, as we deservedly recharge for another year of haranguing Big Oil, King Coal, and the Gashole Frackers.  For further information or to offer event support, contact wild.idaho.rising.tide@gmail.com or 208-301-8039.

Missoula Direct Action Training Workshop (mid-April)

Blue Skies Campaign, who admirably organized the Coal Export Action in Helena last August, Wild Idaho Rising Tide, and other regional allied groups are planning and co-sponsoring a non-violent direct action workshop in Missoula in mid-April.  Kim Marks of the Backbone Campaign, who co-led training sessions in Moscow at WIRT’s de facto inception on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 17) 2011 and in Spokane at the Northwest Extraction Resistance Workshop last June, will facilitate this spring weekend workshop.  Please consider volunteering to assist in coordinating this crucial training and/or suggest potential event partners with whom we can collaborate to pool our resources, prepare and promote the event, maximize its publicity, attract participation, and cover Kim’s training and transportation costs.  We will share more information about the gathering, carpooling, and the concluding action as arrangements progress.  As we together promote climate-related direct action in the interior Northwest, we enthusiastically anticipate seeing our Missoula colleagues again and meeting more student and community activists.

Bidder 70 Screening/Tim DeChristopher Discussion (Monday, April 22)

WIRT will soon ask you to reserve your (and enough) Kenworthy Theater seats to bring the documentary Bidder 70 and renowned Salt Lake City climate activist Tim DeChristopher via Skype to Moscow!  The 6 pm PDT nationwide screening on Earth Day, April 22, will precede a tweeted question-and-answer session with Tim, released from federal prison the day before.  Tim’s December 2008 act of civil disobedience, outbidding and thus disrupting an illegal Bush administration oil and gas lease auction, spared from drilling 22,000 pristine Bureau of Land Management acres around national parks in Utah.

National Gathering of Rising Tide (July 17-18 & beyond)

Over the last month, Wild Idaho Rising Tide has participated in an ongoing series of regularly scheduled, network-inclusive calls of a working group planning the first (in a long while) Rising Tide gathering of our national network this summer.  Based on responses to a survey widely circulated to local chapters, requesting input on locations and dates for holding the event and meeting everyone’s needs and timelines, we chose Utah over Pittsburgh, North Carolina, and other suggested places.  A coalition of Utah groups resisting the first tar sands mining in the United States is coordinating an action camp near Moab on July 20.  Rising Tide colleagues have decided to host a convergence space on July 17-18 through July 19-20, primarily for Rising Tide activists and our network of direct-action groups, but inclusive of our natural, grassroots allies, such as Occupy and Idle No More.  With the wheres, whens, and whos covered, the working group is currently considering the whats and hows: content and infrastructure of the gathering and organizing committees for funding, outreach, and logistics.  We hope to achieve some movement building among the 50 to 60 expected participants ideally camping in the Moab area or meeting in Salt Lake City and journeying later to the action camp.  Rising Tide can provide travel scholarships for distant participants from Alaska, Mexico, or elsewhere.  Event coordinators ask that, if you would like to offer suggestions or commit to organizing the best possible gathering, please contact Rising Tide North America (RTNA) or WIRT and we will refer you to network contacts.

CLIMATE ACTIVISM & OTHER NEWS

Roy Zimmerman WIRT Song

Thanks to WIRT member Tom, the San Francisco star of the annual Intolerista Wingding in Moscow has agreed to write a song for, about, or inspired by WIRT!  As Roy Zimmerman and his wife Melanie tour the country, they are brainstorming a melody as they barnstorm performance venues.  In a note last month, Roy said, “I LOVE what you’re doing, and whatever song we arrive at, I think it must involve having Fritz play tuba in the snow.  This could be a general WIRT theme song, about confronting climate change on the grassroots level, or it could be a more specific story-type song about a particular successful campaign you’ve engaged in.”  WIRT’s own musical celebrity among many talented WIRT musicians, Jeanne concurs that we would love to hear “a Roy Zimmerman anthem that inspires mob hysteria for protecting the planet, a rousing marching band number with a chant or sing-along part, a can’t-get-it-out-of-your-head kind of song, suitable for a parade or a street blockade.  The song could become WIRT’s work song and excite others fighting climate change everywhere…a participatory song, musically as well as socially.”  We can’t wait to hear it!

Earth First! Journal Authors & Positions

The Earth First! Journal Collective is currently working towards decentralizing roles and media contributors, to ease its work load and improve access within the movement to its online newsletter.  Two of the four collective members left the journal at the end of January, and the remaining members asked that if anyone we know is interested in short-term work with the Earth First! Journal, please contact the journal or WIRT for an application.  The Lake Worth, Florida, jobs provide a $200/month stipend and either free or work-trade housing.  In an effort to add article contributors from more bioregions and resistance movements in coming months, the journal also offered Wild Idaho Rising Tide an ‘authors’ account with the Earth First! Newswire.  We accepted the opportunity to directly log into the online site and post, edit, or delete our own essays and articles and circumvent the usual email and review process.  Like our Texas comrades, who have already asked for such an arrangement, we could more effectively spread the word about our actions and campaigns to the approximately 1,500 to 2,000 (and expanding) nationwide journal readers per day.

Making Green A Threat Again (January 18 Counterpunch)

Thanks to Scott Parkin of Rising Tide North America for his great article and steadfast leadership: “The fight over tar sands development and the Keystone XL pipeline has galvanized climate activists of all ages.  Over the past year, we have witnessed people from the Lakota nation in South Dakota and from Moscow, Idaho, putting their bodies in roads and highways, blocking large transport trucks carrying oil refining equipment to develop further tar sands extraction.”

February Update: Spreading like Wildfire, Climate Action in 2013 (February 12 Rising Tide North America)

The RTNA February newsletter covers climate direct actions and spreading resistance to fossil fuels extraction, transportation, and combustion.  Check out network updates about the Idle No More World Day of Action and solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Nation, protests of tar sands pipeline construction and investment in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Texas, and Vancouver, demonstrations against coal companies and funding in Berkeley and St. Louis, an anti-fracking blockade in Pennsylvania, and upcoming action camps and weeks in B.C., Ohio, Oklahoma, and Virginia.

Northwest on Verge of Becoming Pacific Crude Oil Gateway (January 31 EarthFix)

Power Plant Carbon Pollution Declined in 2011 Thanks to Less Coal Burning, EPA Reports (February 5 Huffington Post)

COMMUNITY BILL OF RIGHTS

Activists Told to Work Outside the Box (February 4 Moscow-Pullman Daily News)

Why Your Community Needs a Bill of Rights (February 4 Crosscut)

Community Bill of Rights Information (WIRT compilation)

NORTHWEST COAL EXPORT

Crow Tribe Signs 1.4 Billion Ton Coal Deal with Cloud Peak Energy (January 24 Billings Gazette)

WIRT shared this information with members of an emerging Rising Tide chapter in Seattle, who are eager to coordinate regional actions with us, as we continue resistance to pending coal port proposals in Oregon and Washington.

Cherry Point Coal Terminal is “Dead,” Former Montana Governor Says – But Wyoming Company Signs Deal to Use It (February 14 Bellingham Herald)

During a phone interview, Democrat Brian Schweitzer said, “‘There’s so much resistance to the project in the community.  Unless that local resistance changes, coal is not going to be shipped at Cherry Point.’  One symptom of that was the unprecedented avalanche of 120,000 public comments during the preliminary ‘scoping’ phase of the environmental impact study process.”

Oregon Governor Questions Wisdom of Headlong Coal-Export Push (February 20 Grist)

Defend the Bellingham 12 (Website)

A new website/group blog for the Bellingham 12, the courageous coal export protesters arrested in December 2011, shares stories about the activists, why they blockaded a Bellingham rail line, and their continuing resistance through their court case.  We appreciate their leadership in regional coal export opposition and, like some of our Spokane comrades, hope to raise a fist with them in Bellingham someday…

Rally to Put Focus on Climate Change (February 13 Spokesman Review)

Forward on Climate Solidarity Rally & Walk – Spokane (February 17 Coal-Free Spokane)

As cities across the country participated in the 350.org/Sierra Club/Hip Hop Caucus Forward on Climate Change Rally, Spokane, Seattle, and other Northwest citizens turned out to tell political leaders to halt coal export proposals bent on hastening the real climate change happening here and now.

Demonstrators March to Stop More Coal Trains from Passing through City (February 17 KIRO TV Seattle)

Senator Hobbs Says SB 5805 Is Not about Coal – It’s about Gravel (February 27 Bellingham Herald)

“The bill modifies language in existing law for expediting the permit process in ways that would seem to apply to the Gateway Pacific [coal terminal] – especially the insertion of new language that would make ‘basic commodity transportation’ facilities eligible for the fast-track.”

Why We Risk Over-Interpreting China’s Carbon Tax Statements (February 22 Carbon Brief)

Wait Until China Acts. What? They Are?! (February 25 Climate Desk video)

China plans to introduce a carbon tax, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.  That great thorn in the side of global carbon reduction treaties, that recalcitrant negotiator, and the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases is now on the path to imposing its own carbon tax.

HANFORD HAZARDS

Markey: Maintain Construction Ban at Hanford Nuclear Site to Avoid Hydrogen Explosions, Dangerous Nuclear Accidents (January 21 Nuclear Free Planet)

“A leaked memo, written by the nuclear project’s former director of engineering, found that the technical problems associated with the project were so severe that all construction on the troubled facilities should cease until they are suitably resolved.”

Single Shell Tank at Hanford Leaking Radioactive Waste (February 15 KING TV Seattle)

Six Hanford Tanks Leaking (February 23 Spokesman-Review)

Wild Idaho Rising Tide

P.O. Box 9817, Moscow, Idaho 83843

WildIdahoRisingTide.org & on facebook

208-301-8039

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