Highway 95’s Largest OmegaLoad MoreAgain: Round 4


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On Tuesday night, 11/12/13, three Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and Occupy Bellingham and Spokane monitors observed and documented the Interstate 90 passage of an Omega Morgan-hauled evaporator core en route to Alberta tar sands mining-induced ecocide and genocide.  The convoy slowly, closely squeezed the 15.9-foot-tall megaload under several overpasses, while questionably allowing highway traffic to pass on all the other lanes, and arduously traversed on- and off-ramps to circumvent bridge collapses under its weight.  By the time that the colossal load, trailer, and three push/pull trucks, together weighing 644,000 pounds and stretching out 297 feet, exited the interstate to avoid all of the bridge structures over Wallace, convoy workers had complained to police that monitors (not they?) were imposing travel dangers.  Two Shoshone sheriff officers reminded monitors that they were in their territory and that there are ‘certain ways to protest.’  The megaload monitors recorded but missed documenting some of the most salient parts of this ignored warning, like the capacity of Omega Morgan staff for citizen’s arrest.  But during passing conversations with the convoy and these local police, monitors sparked the beginnings of their understanding of the destructive consequences of their work.

As the cylindrical behemoth crept through Wallace, a mining town that apparently enjoyed hosting laid-over 2011-12 Imperial Oil megaload crews, monitors videotaped transport movement and processes, such as raising and lowering of the lowboy trailer, and staged the first ever megaload protest in Wallace, before the convoy parked near the most easterly Wallace on-ramp by 2:30 am.  After enjoying the fragrant fresh air up to and at Lookout Pass while scouting protest locations, the three activists returned to Wallace at 4 am to find the megaload on wooden blocks, all the convoy personnel still in their vehicles with lights and engines running, and a lone, dimly-light sheriff vehicle parked nearby.  The workers seemed anxiously confined to this transitory mode, perhaps as a protective precaution in response to public declarations of the unguarded, daytime conditions of the transport at previous Worley and Coeur d’Alene area stopover sites.  They likely spotted the monitoring vehicle as it searched for a sufficient sentinel viewpoint, but the activists decided to conclude monitoring and protesting efforts for the night.  Whether the convoy attempted the steep, 12-mile climb to Lookout Pass during its final two permitted hours before 6 am remains unclear [1].

A two-night megaload trip across Idaho has transformed into a grueling four-night trek, slowed and scrambled by the incessant scrutiny of vigilant anti-tar sands activists.  As this monster heads toward and through Montana and Missoula, Wild Idaho Rising Tide and allies are unsure whether it will utilize Highway 200, as we anticipate and encourage the passion and persistence of our regional comrades confronting this tar sands invasion.  Please join Moscow and Spokane area activists in monitoring and protesting activities TONIGHT, November 13, from 10 pm to as late as 6 am.  If you are opposed to the devastation wrought by corporations and governments exploiting Alberta tar sands deposits and poisoning the land, water, air, and climate upon which First Nations and the global community of life depend, now is the time to demonstrate it.  Please do not leave this crucial, frontline, grassroots work to a few people already weary from three nights on the road.  Contact WIRT soon at 208-301-8039, wild.idaho.rising.tide@gmail.com, or through facebook or our website, to participate and/or access prior action alerts and background information.

[1] GE Megaload Does Not Reach Montana State Line by 4 am of Third Night (November 13 KRFP Evening Report)

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One thought on “Highway 95’s Largest OmegaLoad MoreAgain: Round 4

  1. I had another meeting in Spokane this evening and, as I am on the board of directors, I felt I needed to attend. I did let some people in Missoula know about the transport headed their way, and I hope they were interested enough to put some people out there watching and waiting. I don’t know, as I haven’t heard back.

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