28 Tribal Members Charged in Megaload Blockade

Eight Nez Perce leaders among the accused, may be forced to step down

Twenty-eight Nez Perce tribal members were charged with public nuisance infractions Wednesday in Nez Perce Tribal Court.

The charges came more than a month after arrests were made during the August 6 to 8 protests of an Omega Morgan megaload shipment traveling to the Canadian tar sands via U.S. Highway 12 through the Nez Perce Reservation.

Those arrested included eight members of the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee: Chairman Silas Whitman, 71, and members Brooklyn Baptiste, 41, Leotis McCormack, 31, Daniel Kane, 55, Joel Moffett, 34, Anthony Johnson, 43, Albert Barros, 61, and Samuel Penney, 58.

According to tribal court documents, those who were arrested allegedly “entered upon the eastbound lanes of Highway 12 while traffic was attempting to proceed and refused to leave the highway” around midnight August 6 near the Clearwater River Casino.  Public nuisance is defined as unlawfully interfering with, obstructing, or rendering dangerous for passage a public street, highway, or road, according to court documents. Continue reading