WIRT Newsletter: WIRT Meeting, Regional Allies’ Actions, NW Fossil Fuel Exports, & Movement Dynamics

Regional climate activists,

Over the last few weeks since the last Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) newsletter and amidst several action alerts, WIRT activists have protested oil and gas drilling and fracking in southern Idaho, trained to teach direct action tactics in preparation for nationwide Keystone XL pipeline protests, and joined blockades and roadside uprisings led by the valiant Nez Perce people against Highway 12 tar sands megaloads. In the wake of all of this activity and the extended travels since August 1 of the WIRT email/facebook/website/radio show coordinator, we are composing and sending three WIRT newsletters by the end of this week: this issue about regional fossil fuel resistance, an upcoming edition about Idaho oil and gas issues and protests, and a description/media compilation about last week’s Highway 12 megaload events. We apologize for our temporarily reduced (and corporate/competitor-scuttled?) capacity for public and media communication and outreach during such a significant time in our anti-tar sands/megaload campaign, while we applaud our many stalwart core WIRT activists who participated in historic resistance and successfully shared observations, videos, photos, and news about our collective regional work.

WIRT Weekly Potluck Meeting

Beginning with our regularly scheduled third Thursday monthly meeting on August 15, WIRT activists will start holding weekly strategizing and planning sessions at the WIRT Activist House in Moscow at 7 pm every Thursday. Please frequently check the Events Calendar on the WIRT website, call 208-310-2108 for more information, bring some food and beverages to share, and discuss these and emerging group initiatives at this WIRT convergence:

* Tactics for protesting and monitoring the next (fifth) Omega Morgan tar sands evaporator to cross Highway 12 in Idaho, perhaps next week, from a Port of Wilma warehouse to the Montana border

* Carpools from the Palouse/Clearwater Valley to Whitehall, Montana, for the indigenous-led Moccasins on the Ground direct action training camp over the August 23-25 weekend

* Plans for Idaho and/or Montana actions in solidarity with frontline, indigenous activists who will blockade Highway 63 between Fort McMurray and Alberta tar sands operations on Saturday, August 24, as proposed at the July 6 Tar Sands Healing Walk

* Arrangements for a regional direct action training session conducted by Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction and WIRT organizers who participated in a Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance training for trainers in Salt Lake City on August 3 and 4

* Other upcoming organizational events and goals, such as delegating tasks, filling the WIRT Activist House, and reaching college populations


Spokane Coal Protesters Resolve Charges

During the Fearless Summer Coal Export Sacrifice Zone Uprising in Spokane on June 27, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad patrols cited Tony Dellwo and “Ziggy” with second degree criminal trespass, when the Occupy Spokane activists walked toward the BNSF railroad bridge over Division Street near Sprague Avenue. Both demonstrators were attempting to obtain higher traffic visibility for their protest signs juxtaposed to the loaded coal train cars suspiciously, temporarily stopped on the bridge. Although a Gonzaga University constitutional law attorney was ready to defend Ziggy’s first amendment rights, a public defender represented him at his initial arraignment in Spokane district court. Without pleading guilty, the defendant and his lawyer struck a deal aligned with the district attorney’s first offer of a $50 fine and eight hours of community service. Ziggy served his time at Backbone Campaign’s Localize This! Artful Activism Organizer Training in early August on Vashon Island, Washington. After filing final legal paperwork on August 15 and attending an August 29 hearing, the court will find Ziggy not guilty and dismiss his case. At Tony’s arraignment, the same court assigned to him a public defender who never spoke with him until at his first hearing. On that occasion, the judge imposed a $75 fine without community service, which Tony will pay in $25 installments starting in September. After one year without further criminal citations, the court will suspend and drop this trespass charge against Tony.

The Making of Momenta (Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper event)

“On August 22, Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper will host the Plus M Productions film crew in Sandpoint, Idaho, as they collect footage for their upcoming documentary Momenta, which takes a close look at the regional and global impacts of proposals to export 100 million annual tons of Powder River Basin coal to Asian markets…Through The Making of Momenta, Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper hopes to engage hundreds of residents across our watershed in a discussion about coal, climate change, and the desire to protect the future of our mountain-sport communities…Being a featured community in this film gives Sandpoint the unique opportunity to stand up for our right to economic, environmental, and social well-being…The Making of Momenta event will begin at 6:30 pm on August 22 with a community forum and panel discussion…hosted by The Hive in downtown Sandpoint…The event will conclude with a catered meet-and-greet session…The Making of Momenta forum will be filmed by the Plus M Productions crew for inclusion in the Momenta documentary.”

Momenta, a Film by Protect Our Winters and Plus M Productions (Protect Our Winters video)

Climate Action on the Columbia! (July 28 Portland Rising Tide)

WIRT missed the Portland party while directly confronting tar sands extraction expansion in the form of Port of Wilma megaloads. Could you let us know the next time that you see a megaload pass up the Columbia River, Portland Rising Tide?

Protesters Go by Land and River to Fight Fossil Fuel Exports on the Columbia River (July 27 Oregonian)

Action to Stop Tar Sands Mining in Utah! (July 29 Canyon Country Rising Tide)

Congratulations to our Utah comrades for a successful action camp and tar sands mine road occupation. We wish that we could have stayed in Green River to participate after the Rising Tide Continental Gathering (about which we will report soon), but are grateful to return to Idaho just in time for anti-tar sands, fracking, and fossil fuel export battles at home.

Utah Tar Sands Blockade (July 29 Rising Tide North America photos)

Climate Justice Activists Occupy Two Tar Sands Mining Sites in Utah (July 29 Earth First! Newswire)

Nonviolent Direct Action Shuts Down First U.S. Tar Sands Mine in Utah (August 2 Peaceful Uprising video)


Coal Port Fire Extinguished Quickly (July 16 Delta Optimist)

Port of Vancouver Approves Big Crude Oil Terminal Amid Safety Concerns (July 23 Oregonian)

“The project next moves to permitting, with a full environmental impact statement and state permits overseen by Washington’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council. Governor Jay Inslee would also have to sign off.”

Port of Vancouver Approves Oil Export Lease, Governor Inslee Will Now Decide (July 23 Columbia Riverkeeper)

How could Bakken shale oil not be explosive: it likely contains residual, inherently explosive fracking fluid! “The July 6 oil train derailment in Quebec heightened public concern about the safety of oil trains and Bakken oil, which [Port of Vancouver] Commissioners had stated does not explode. The Port approved the long-term lease for Bakken oil, despite the ongoing investigation into the cause of the explosion in Quebec. Scientists are investigating whether oil from the Bakken formation is especially explosive.”

Response from WIRT Friend Rick Masters

“As a crude oil tanker driver with 2,000,000 miles of safe driving, I can assure you that ALL crude loads are very explosive. The part of the load that is explosive is not the liquid but the air space at the top. The lighter stack volatiles, such as naptha, mix with air in the space and can be set off by a spark. Once the explosion has occurred, the flaming liquid escapes the container and causes the major damage. Sooner or later, like Prince William Sound in 1989, this will be the ruin of British Columbia. How could the Canadians be so stupid as to throw away their rich natural treasure for the immense profit of a few environmental rapists?”

DEQ Comment Period for Controversial Coal Export Terminal (Columbia Riverkeeper)

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) 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. It extended the comment period for the air quality permits until 5 pm on August 12. Appreciating and encouraging the crucial necessity of emphasizing distant Idaho and Montana voices in the mix of comments, WIRT signed a petition and provided substantive comments expressing opposition to Ambre Energy’s coal export scheme, based on Columbia Riverkeeper’s comment prompts and outreach materials. WIRT spoke out against dirty coal export and its increased river traffic, impacts on fish, wildlife, and recreation, and air and water pollution and subsequent climate change, imposed by the first potentially permitted Northwest coal port. The Morrow Pacific project needs a full environmental impact statement analysis!

WIRT Comments on Draft Oregon DEQ Permits (July 12 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

Unprecedented Coal Port Study Praised and Criticized (July 31 Spokesman-Review)

“The effects of more coal trains coming through Spokane and the rest of Washington, as well as possible increases to global warming of that coal being burned in Asia, must be studied before a new terminal can be built near Bellingham, a state agency said Wednesday. In a move hailed by environmentalists and condemned by business and labor organizations, the state Department of Ecology said the environmental impact statement for the proposed Cherry Point coal terminal on the north Puget Sound coast will look far beyond the immediate area when considering the effects of a new port.”

Agencies Set Scope of Environmental Impact Statement for Proposed Cherry Point Export Project (July 31 Washington Department of Ecology)

State: Greater Scrutiny of Coal Trains Required (August 1 Spokesman-Review)


Movement History: COP 6 Climate Justice Mobilization and the Birth of Rising Tide (July 26 Climate Connections)

The 2000 emergence of Rising Tide in Europe…

Are Mainstream Environmental Groups Keeping Racism Alive? (July 25 PolicyMic)

Author Kat Stevens: “Please share this article. Let’s grow this conversation. I’ve heard a lot of unrest coming from people of color and indigenous communities about 350.org and a number of other big green NGOs. I know I’m not alone on this.”

The FBI is Approaching Seattle Climate-Change Activists (July 17 The Stranger)

Apparently, someone does not appreciate citizens pushing back against bad energy and climate policies!

FBI Resurfaces in Portland (July 26 Earth First! Newswire)

Wild Idaho Rising Tide

P.O. Box 9817, Moscow, Idaho 83843

WildIdahoRisingTide.org & on facebook & Twitter


1 thought on “WIRT Newsletter: WIRT Meeting, Regional Allies’ Actions, NW Fossil Fuel Exports, & Movement Dynamics

  1. Pingback: WIRT Newsletter: Upcoming & Recent Allied Events, Megaload/T​ar Sands News | Wild Idaho Rising Tide

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