Spokane Coal Export Activists’ Arraignments
Over the next week, Tony Dellwo and Ziggy face arraignment hearings on second degree criminal trespass charges for walking toward the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad bridge over North Division Street near Sprague Avenue, during the Fearless Summer: Coal Export Sacrifice Zone Uprising in Spokane, Washington, on Thursday, June 27. During rush-hour traffic on North Division Street in Spokane on that evening, over 20 people waved protest signs to denounce Northwest coal export and increased fossil fuel rail traffic through northern Idaho and Spokane. Seeking higher activist visibility on the bridge temporarily blocked by a loaded coal train, Tony and Ziggy noted that they did not see “No Trespassing” signs posted near the BNSF tracks and that they received no warnings to leave the area before BNSF patrols cited them. Even when both defendants offered to leave the railroad tracks, BNSF personnel ordered them back onto the coal export route. Moreover, BNSF officers touched one of the activists’ pants two or three times, while inquiring about identification documents, an illegal action forbidden more strictly under Washington codes than by federal laws. In response to these improprieties, Tony and Ziggy are considering possible counter-lawsuits against BNSF. Meanwhile, Tony will appear for arraignment and further case arrangements in Spokane district court, 1800 West Broadway, at 9 am on Friday, July 5; Ziggy appears at the same time and place on Thursday, July 11. Please support these fellow coal export opponents by attending their hearings, to display regional resistance and solidarity.
Boardman Coal Port Hearing, Rally, & Comment Period
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently issued three draft permits for Ambre Energy’s controversial Morrow Pacific project, to regulate air, water, and storm water quality at the proposed Coyote Island coal export terminal at the Port of Morrow in Boardman. DEQ is holding a comment period until 5 pm on July 12 and will host public hearings on Tuesday, July 9, at Blue Mountain Community College in Hermiston and at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. With several regional organizations, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) activists are coordinating a demonstration outside the Hermiston hearing starting at 5:30 pm, upon our return from the Tar Sands Healing Walk (July 5-6 in Fort McMurray, Alberta). We are grateful to work with Oregon groups to plan this rally, integrate it with other hearing activities, and recruit passionate rail route residents, speakers, and protesters from Portland, the Columbia River Gorge, Spokane, northern Idaho, and Montana. Continue reading