WIRT Newsletter: Early 2013 Indigenous, Rising Tide, and Allied Resistance

Fellow activists, friends, and supporters,

The colonial conquest mindset of dirty energy developers and their minions only seems to intensify, as they trespass upon and seize lands from northern British Columbia (B.C.) to the American Gulf Coast.  The life of these places mutually abides with the people who care for them, not with those who despoil them.  We must collectively continue to escalate resistance to the selfish and destructive ways of fossil fuel corporations and consumers.

This one of several belated Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) newsletters describes the tar sands and coal opposition of indigenous, Rising Tide, and other allies, current as of mid-April with a few topic-specific exceptions.  Expect another few extensive messages about early 2013 tar sands developments, dirty energy accidents, and Idaho legislative and fracking news, before we summarize late April happenings and launch another phase of our Idaho anti-fracking campaign in coming weeks.


Ta’Kaiya Speaks for First Nations Youth at Idle No More (January 12 video)

An 11-year-old First Nations girl from North Vancouver, B.C., Ta’Kaiya Blaney, spoke out for youth at an Idle No More protest at Vancouver City Hall on January 11.

Journey of Nishiyuu

With two guides, six young men under the age of 20 of the Cree Nation in Quebec walked almost 1000 miles across Canada, from the southeast shores of Hudson Bay to Parliament Hill in Ottawa, between January 16 and March 25.  In a quest-journey supporting Mother Earth, the mission of Idle No More, and the indigenous rights of the true keepers of the lands, waters, and winds, the fierce, young warriors sought to unite and empower historical allies, restore traditional trade routes among First Nations, and revive the ancestral voices and truth of sacred teachings.

Indigenous Organizers to Hold Round Table Meeting on Tar Sands Resistance and Decolonization (January 30 Earth First! Newswire)

Tar Sands Blockade activists recruited indigenous delegates from Pine Ridge, South Dakota, Houston’s toxic East End, Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, northern B.C., and other Canadian locations to attend the annual Earth First! Organizers’ Conference and Winter Rendezvous.  Coordinators requested contributions to fund the travel expenses of indigenous, anti-tar sands, land defenders representing struggles against Alberta tar sands mining and proposed pipelines extending west, south, and east to the coasts.  Although we wished to participate in this international round table, the isolated, frontline, tar sands opposition campaigns in Utah and the Northwest could not send attendees.

Overview of the Protect the Sacred Gathering – Brave Heart Society Grandmother Faith Spotted Eagle (January 30 video)

International Treaty to Protect the Sacred from Tar Sands Projects Signing Ceremony (January 31 video)

This footage of the January 25 signing ceremony for the International Treaty to Protect the Sacred from Tar Sands Projects, held in the Ihanktonwan Homelands of the Yankton Sioux Nation in South Dakota, features Tantoo Cardinal, Chief Rueben George, Arvol Looking Horse, Thomasina Real Bird, Faith Spotted Eagle, Phil Lane Jr., and many others.  Find more information at Protect the Sacred.

Native Leaders from U.S. in Canada, Join Forces in Tar Sands Fight (March 20 Censored News)

“Native leaders from both Canada and the United States were on Parliament Hill on Wednesday to underline their opposition to both the Northern Gateway and Keystone XL pipelines,…both in the courts and through unspecified direct action…Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation said Natives are determined to block the pipelines.  ‘It’s going to be a long, hot summer.  We have a lot of issues at stake.’…Phil Lane Jr. of the American Yankton Sioux said Native groups south of the border will stand with their Canadian cousins.  Chief Martin Louie of the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation in northern B.C. said the pipeline opponents will never back down…‘We’re the ones going to save whatever we have left of this Earth.’…Chief Reuben George of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation north of Vancouver said it’s time to act against the federal government’s resource development agenda.”

Occupy Enbridge (February 28 ongoing event)

Red Lake Nation Tribal Members Blockade Enbridge Pipelines (March 2 video)

May the sacred fire of the Red Lake encampment over the Enbridge pipelines in Minnesota burn until the Alberta Clipper and associated carbon and tar sands conduits (like the Keystone XL pipeline) are forever unearthed: Thanks, Marty Cobenais of Indigenous Environmental Network and allies!

Red Lake Pipeline Blockade Initiated in Northern Minnesota (March 9 Earth First! Newswire)

Red Lake Direct Action to Stop Illegal Enbridge Pipeline (March 12 video)

Are You Willing to Do the Same? by T.R. Mckenzie, Deep Green Resistance (February 13 Last Real Indians)

“As you know now, this death culture is waging war on all life.  This is a war, and we need to say that…And I ask you: what the hell are you going to do about it?  Those of us on the frontlines are willing to do what is necessary to save and defend the living by any means necessary.  Are you willing to do the same?”

Food, Camping Gear, and Funding Drive for Activists and Lakota Warriors on the Great Plains (March 20 event)

“Hey All, we are looking for some people to do a food, camping gear, and fund drive to help with activities against the Keystone XL pipeline and White Clay.  Can you help with this?  Funds can be sent via PayPal to joey.feaster@gmail.com.  Checks can be made out to Deep Roots Collective and mailed to T.R. McKenzie, 504 Wilson Street, Jefferson, South Dakota 57038, the same address for mailing supplies.”

Moccasins on the Ground: Activist Training for Sacred Water/Mother Earth Protectors (March 8-10 event)

Although WIRT activists longed to be with the brave Lakota people and allied warriors during this weekend workshop, few of us found the destination too far.  Nonetheless, we wished Debra White Plume and her comrades a happy anniversary of their March 2011 blockades of tar sands transports that lifted our seemingly solitary spirits last year, while we confronted the last Highway 95 megaloads.  We continue to hold Lakota tar sands opponents in our hearts, as they prepare physical resistance to the Keystone XL pipeline.  See photos of the workshop, posted by Kandi Mossett, at this event link.

Debra White Plume Moccasins on the Ground Statement (March 13 Lakota Media Project)

Unist’ot’en Camp (April 10, Northern B.C.)

“This morning, two water sampling surveyors got dropped off about 500 meters upstream from the camp by this chopper.  It landed at the proposed right of way crossing for the Pacific Trails pipeline.  A couple of defenders went to the bridge, took this photograph, and yelled at them to leave immediately.  The surveyors donned their surveyor vests and started walking in the opposite direction and ignored the defenders.  The defenders then put on snowshoes and began trekking through the bush to the chopper.  As the defenders got about 200 meters away the chopper, it started up and landed about another 500 meters upstream, at the proposed right of way crossing for the Coastal Gas Link pipeline.  The defenders started hiking to the new landing area and were unable to catch up to the trespassers.  They took off from the new landing site without incident… it appears industry is employing a new tactic that gets workers into and out of areas quickly to avoid the camp defenders.  Our tactics will change accordingly.”  See the Unist’ot’en Camp website for further information about this ongoing tar sands/fracked gas pipeline blockade in unceded First Nations territory.


Fifty Ideas for Actions on Climate Change (Rising Tide UK)

Fifteen Actions to Topple the Fossil Fuel Empire (Rising Tide UK)

Controversial Oil Pipeline Lawsuit Settled in Texas (January 24 Rising Tide North America)

A contrived resolution, likely with entrapping fine print, resulted from the SLAPP lawsuit “intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.  In this case, named defendants, Tar Sands Blockade, Rising Tide North America, and Rising Tide North Texas, agreed to settle the unconscionable SLAPP suit filed against them by a profiteering, multinational Canadian corporation.”  Much like the Montana case that caused ExxonMobil to drop its permit applications for Highway 12 tar sands transports, before several other companies inaugurated that route as an industrial, oversized shipment corridor to Alberta, the “agreement” between TransCanada and its resisters is specific to the lawsuit parties.  As an autonomous group within the Rising Tide North America (RTNA) network, Wild Idaho Rising Tide was not directly involved or impacted by this SLAPP suit.  As we continue our three-year, on-the-ground campaign against ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Sunshine Oilsands, and other tar sands equipment on our regional roads, we wholeheartedly agree with Lauren Regan and Kerul Dyer of the Civil Liberties Defense Center and our esteemed comrade Scott Parkin of RTNA that “lawyers, guns, and money aren’t going to extinguish the rising momentum of resistance from the Gulf Coast to Alberta’s tar sands…[and] will not deter our resolve.”  WIRT will continue to give corporate and government entities abusing regional public resources and inflicting climate chaos all the hell that they deserve!

Climate Resistance in Bloom – March Update (March 18 Rising Tide North America)

RTNA’s March newsletter is full of stories about the almost daily actions of the fierce, growing anti-extraction movement throughout Turtle Island.  Enjoy reading and sharing news from our comrades!

RTNA April Newsletter: Fossil Fuel Resistance Heating Up! (April 17 Rising Tide North America)

The Rising Tide network released its April newsletter with updates about numerous actions and upcoming action camps.

Rising Tide’s Enbridge Noise Demo – Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories (January 19 video)

Global Day of Action Against Chevron and the Pacific Trail Pipeline (March 30 event)

Initiated by Rising Tide Vancouver Coast Salish Territories and endorsed by about 40 organizations, this event galvanized supporters of the Unist’ot’en clan and Wet’suwet’en First Nation in mostly Canadian locations including Calgary, Hamilton, Montreal, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria.  They gathered, stood, and marched to show solidarity for indigenous rights and against Chevron’s and Apache Energy’s Pacific Trails pipeline.  These criminal oil companies plan to ship natural gas from northwest B.C. shale gas fields along the same route to the coast as the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.  With an ongoing peace camp that expands global, frontline, indigenous resistance to Chevron in Ecuador and Nigeria, the Unist’ot’en have blockaded construction of both conduits across their unceded lands for over a year.

…Annnnd We’re Back! (March 28 Northern Rockies Rising Tide)

NRRT is resurging and so happy to be back!  WIRT activists knew that they would eventually resurrect, and we are grateful beyond words that they have!  Woo-hoo!

Where Were We Again? Oh Yes, Fighting Climate Injustice (April 18 Northern Rockies Rising Tide)

Imagine mobilizing direct resistance to the Keystone XL pipeline crossing 250 miles of Montana and the Yellowstone River…!  “Some less than encouraging news from organizing attempts along the pipeline route in Montana makes the prospects for a strategic direct action campaign unlikely…We hope to work with such groups [as Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, Tar Sands Blockade, and the Oglala Sioux Nation] in the near future, if a critical mass of opposition around the pipeline in Montana materializes…(Please inquire if you would like to know more.)”  Northern Rockies Rising Tide, we would love to learn more…

Tar Sands Protestors Chain Themselves to Canadian Consulate Doors in Seattle (April 4 video)

Two activists of the newly formed Rising Tide Seattle successfully locked themselves to conference room doors inside the Canadian consulate in Seattle on Wednesday, April 3, displaying a banner reading “No Pipelines, No Tar Sands, We Will Blockade!” and protesting in solidarity with struggles against the Keystone XL pipeline and West Coast tar sands tankers.  Carlo Voli, who later talked with WIRT on the April 8 Climate Justice Forum, Lisa Marcus, and comrades locked down, strewed oil, wielded banners, and asserted manifestos.  Among 19 brave, anti-tar sands arrests in the four Northwest states over the last two years, their direct action amplified WIRT’s twelve 2011-12 megaload protesting and monitoring arrests and Northern Rockies Rising Tide’s five July 2011 arrests.

Manifesto of the Canadian Consulate Blockade in Seattle (April 4 Rising Tide Seattle)

Their fervent demands and feisty intentions explain why a group of Seattle area residents blockaded the Canadian consulate in Seattle on April 3, protesting Alberta tar sands operations and the Harper government’s involvement.

Tar Sands Protestors in Seattle Chain Themselves to Canadian Consulate Doors (April 3 Tar Sands Blockade)

WIRT is as proud of Rising Tide co-activists Carlo and Lisa as we are grateful for the only other anti-tar sands arrests in the Northwest since our March 4-6, 2012, blockade and actions.  Whether confronting incoming truck and train loads of tar sands and fracking equipment or outgoing dilbit, shale oil, and liquefied natural gas in pipelines, rail cars, and tankers, we hope to coordinate and share regional protests with Rising Tide Seattle soon!

Seattle Police Arrest Two Tar Sands Protesters at Canadian Consulate (April 3 The Stranger)

Climate Justice Forum: Carlo Voli 4-8-13 (April 8 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

The Monday, April 8, Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide gratefully welcomed activist Carlo Voli of Rising Tide Seattle, who talked about the growing resistance and impacts of tar sands pipelines and tankers in the Salish Sea region.  Broadcast on KRFP Radio Free Moscow between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PDT live at 92.5 FM and online, the show also covered continent-wide dirty energy developments and climate activism news.  Listen to an edited recording of the April 8 Climate Justice Forum posted in Radio4All.

Rising Tide Seattle (on facebook)

For updates and photos of Rising Tide Seattle actions, see their facebook page, share news of their first arrests, and donate to their legal fund.

More Charges Brought Against Tar Sands “Megaload” Protesters in Moscow, Idaho (April 4 Earth First! Newswire and Portland Radicle)

When WIRT’s facebook links connecting Rising Tide anti-tar sands actions in the Northwest inadvertently prompted posting of our year-old media release in two radical publications, we commented: “Thanks for covering, considering, and supporting Wild Idaho Rising Tide blockades and direct actions.  In solidarity with all 19 brave, anti-tar sands sacrifices in the four-state Northwest region over the last two years, our article describes our twelve 2011-12 Moscow and Coeur d’Alene arrests, the most recent ones before the two Rising Tide Seattle arrests on April 3, 2013, but after the five July 2011 Northern Rockies Rising Tide/Earth First! arrests in Helena.  The tide of dirty energy resistance is rising!”

Utah Federal Building Entrance Shut Down to Honor Climate Related Deaths (April 5 Peaceful Uprising)

On Friday, April 5, Peaceful Uprising activists shut down the federal building entrance in Salt Lake City, engaging in a die-in under the pouring rain, to honor deaths caused by the violence of climate change and oil spills.  Demonstrators asked that Senators Hatch and Lee reconsider their support of the Keystone XL pipeline, as they disrupted business-as-usual, diverted over 30 cars, and drew two arrests.

Flash Mob [Rising Tide Chicago] Don’t Frack Illinois Action at James R. Thompson Center (April 5 Rising Tide Chicago)

Our Chicago comrades are almost as musical as the Moscow Volunteer Peace Band, as they fight some of the first fracking in their state, like WIRT.


Protest in Eugene (Cascadia Forest Defenders video)

A march in Eugene after the Environmental Law Conference in early March

Flash Mobs at Port of Olympia, Washington, Against Fracking Supply Ship (March 18 event)

While massive new or reworked ports loom in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon for greatly increased export of Alberta tar sands, Bakken shale oil, Powder River Basin coal, and liquefied natural gas, not only imported tar sands megaloads are slipping into the region.  Bakken operations are shipping proppants for fracking all the way from Asia.  Talk about energy-intensive extreme fossil fuel extraction, not to mention eternally damaged lives and lands!

Court Rules in Bellingham 12 Case: Protesters Denied Basic Defense (March 20 Defend the Bellingham Twelve!)

WIRT cannot believe that upcoming Bellingham 12 hearings would be legitimate without the missing elements of a necessity defense (criminal motivation, climate crisis, etc…) and recognition of First Amendment protest rights.  But under a commissioner’s interpretation of necessity case law, there would effectively be no circumstances under which dirty energy resisters could claim necessity as a defense.  “The defendants were shocked and dismayed by the ruling.  ‘The world is in a state of emergency because of climate change, and yet we don’t hear a word in the media.  It wasn’t even a conversation in the elections.  Our protest was an urgent act in an emergency that nobody was even talking about…’”

Bellingham Twelve Rally and Hearing (April 18 event)

A seminal dirty energy blockaders’ hearing occurred on April 18 for the Bellingham 12, who U-locked at their necks to form a sprawling human octopus on Bellingham train tracks in December 2011, accomplishing the first physical resistance to Northwest coal exports.  WIRT is grateful for our comrades’ courage and leadership in direct action and hopes that the ecologically and socially responsible defendants prevail against a legal system that often ensconces numerous injustices.

Outcome of the Bellingham 12 Hearing on Thursday (April 19 Defendant Ian Alexander)

“Our initial plan had been to seek to move forward with a defense of necessity in a jury trial.  We issued a notice of intended defenses to the court in August 2012.  In December 2012, the court received a motion on the day before a hearing, written by the state asking the commissioner to disallow the defense, and our attorney, Larry, argued against it in court and submitted a written response brief.  The commissioner got back to us sometime in March with a ruling that we could not use the defense.  It took four months for the state to figure out what it was going to do in response to our intended defense, and the commissioner an additional four months to read all the information and make his ruling.

At the hearing today, we asked the judge to consider a request by us to reconsider his decision.  We feel that we satisfy the requirements for necessity.  He is apparently willing to at least hear us out, and we’ll be submitting paperwork/documents over the next few days.

The legal system moves glacially slowly, a metaphor that may not be as significant in a few years as it is now.  As always we have, and continue to appreciate, the patient, consistent support from the community!  We are moving as fast as the court will let us, and I, for one, don’t like it any more than I’m sure most of you do, but it seems to me that there is broad agreement among the defendants that, as tiresome, tedious, and infuriating as the legal system can sometimes be, it is worth it to all of us to not give up at the first sign of trouble, in order to make our stand in the courtroom.  This fight continues.”

Help TWAC Trans and Womyn’s Action Camp in South Florida! (March 19 Indiegogo)

WIRT’s good friends Susie, who has provided us two direct action trainings, Cici, who was arrested monitoring megaloads with Helen, and comrades raised over $3000 in donations through an Indiegogo campaign for staging their awesome training camp in south Florida.  Congratulations to our amazing allies of TWAC (Trans and Womyn’s Action Camp), who effectively practice and teach kicking patriarchal ass and reached hundred$ past their fundraising goal!  Anticipate a similar gathering in Oregon this June…

TWAC South Florida 2013 Fundraising Video (February 28 video)

San Francisco Keystone Protest at Obama Fundraiser, April 3, 2013 (April 4 video)

Thanks to core WIRT activist Jeanne: “I was in San Francisco this week for the Materials Research Society meeting, where amazingly I was staying at the same hotel as Obama.  On Wednesday evening, conference attendees were blocked from returning to the hotel by police barricades, and you could hear materials scientists cussing out the president in many different languages.  Despite my fantasy of seeing Obama in the elevator and giving him an earful about the Keystone pipeline, all I got was a delayed departure the next morning and a glimpse of the White House press secretary at the breakfast bar.  However, San Franciscans showed up in force at the fundraiser that Obama attended.  I found this YouTube video and was pleased to see the musical component of the protest!  Inspiration for the Moscow Volunteer Peace Band [and WIRT]!”

Announcing Wild Roots Feral Futures 2013! (March 22 Southwest Earth First!)

The fifth annual direct action, eco-defense, and rewilding encampment occurs in the wild Rockies of southwest Colorado on June 15 through 23, to visualize vast wilderness and actualize industrial collapse.  “Wild Roots Feral Futures is an informal, completely free, non-commercial, and loosely organized event operating on (less than a) shoe-string budget, formed entirely of donated, scavenged, or liberated supplies, and sustained through 100 percent volunteer effort.”  Coordinators are again appealing for funding to acquire essential food and supplies and to reimburse teachers, performers, speakers, and other participants who are traveling long distances to provide their services, knowledge, skills, and expertise.

In addition to the usual gathering activities, the event organizers collective is welcoming a five-day street medics training taught by Chicago Action Medical, Finger Lakes Action Medics, and Mutual Aid Street Medics.  Experienced members of this informal, international community of first aid systems first organized during the 1950s and 1960s popular and liberation movements and have provided medical support during the last half-century of protests, direct actions, uprisings, and natural disaster aftermaths.  Students completing the entire 20- to 28-hour training will receive non-latex gloves and a handbook and will learn about emergency prevention and response, patient assessment and first aid, community health work, operating in unsafe scenarios, and critical thinking in backcountry and urban field situations.

Eco-Warriors Might Now Be Propped Up by Greenie-Weenies – For a Cute, Stuffed Panda, Send in Your Hundred Thousand Bucks, Monsanto! (March 7 Dissident Voice)

“Mainstream, progressive groups have failed by constraining their activities within legal and regulatory systems purposefully structured to subordinate communities to corporate power.  Truly effective movements don’t operate that way.  Abolitionists never sought to regulate the slave trade; they sought to transform the legal structure that supported it by treating slaves as property rather than people under the law.  Suffragists did the same with the legal status of women.”

The Fossil Fuel Resistance (April 11 Rolling Stone)

Bill McKibben lauds the diverse, grassroots work of many groups like Wild Idaho Rising Tide and urges us all to continue to resist: “Like Occupy, this new Resistance is not obsessed with winning over Democratic Party leaders…Used to dealing with the established green groups, the administration thinks in terms of deals – ‘We’ll approve the pipeline but give you something else you want’ – the kind of logic that gains the approval of op-ed columnists and talking heads.  But given that the Arctic has already melted, we don’t have room for easy compromises.”  WIRT trusts the sacrifices and effective threats of place-based, local resistance to dirty energy, not so much the federal focus and symbolic arrests of 350.org.  If Bill could have dispatched however many people showed up in D.C. (to do what?) on February 17 to help frontline communities, change would rapidly intensify.  People in the U.S. trenches like Moscow are afraid to risk arrest, because none of the mainstream, green organizations (including 350.org) and few of their fellow citizens offer the necessary support.  We could all learn plenty from activists in Latin America and Africa, who have died fighting the oilgarchy that we are finally getting around to confronting.

Wild Idaho Rising Tide

P.O. Box 9817, Moscow, Idaho 83843

WildIdahoRisingTide.org & on facebook


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