Rally and Court Action Against Third ODOT Megaload Permit

Rally and Court Action Against Third ODOT Megaload Permit

On Tuesday, February 11, 2014, Peo Peo Mox Mox Chief Yellowbird and Headman of the Walla Walla Tribe, Carl Sampson, and Peter Goodman, representing Act On Climate, filed a lawsuit in Marion County Circuit Court, a day after dozens of supporters gathered outside.  Their case requests a court review of a permit issued by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) for Omega Morgan to haul a third tar sands mining equipment megaload on eastern Oregon scenic highways passing through tribal lands.

Their “Petition for Review of Agency Decision” asserts that ODOT failed to meet its legal obligations to determine whether “the public interests will be served” before it granted the permit on Thursday, February 6, 2014.  Federal and state laws mandate prior state government consultation with tribal governments, and Oregon statutes require ODOT determination of public interests, before issuing megaload variance permits.  The plaintiffs do not believe that ODOT is following state laws restricting such permitting to reflect public interests, unless the department first provides formal opportunities for the public to comment. Continue reading

Port of Umatilla Megaload Blockader Charges Resolved

On Thursday, February 6, 2014, climate justice activist Cathy Sampson-Kruse and her attorney, Lauren Regan of the Civil Liberties Defense Center (CLDC), successfully resolved her Umatilla County Circuit Court case regarding her act of nonviolent civil disobedience that attempted to stop an Omega Morgan transport of megaload equipment, on its way to Alberta tar sands mining operations on December 2, 2013.*  Police arrested Cathy while she put her body upon the roadway, causing the obscenely large equipment to temporarily halt its path of destruction.  Ms. Sampson-Kruse, a Native American elder, grandmother, mother, and the daughter of Chief Yellowbird of the Walla Walla Tribe, has inspired her community and the climate justice movement.  After county sheriffs roughly arrested her and attempted to degrade her spirit, she was charged with disorderly conduct and the legally meritless charge of interfering with police.  On Thursday, Umatilla County Circuit Court followed the recommendation that she complete 20 hours of community service in exchange for a lesser violation conviction of disorderly conduct and dropped charges of interfering with police.  Ms. Sampson-Kruse and her attorney, Lauren Regan, are both pleased with this outcome.  Climate and tribal activists offer Cathy their gratitude, respect, and love, honoring her and all of the courageous regional protesters now and in the future, who prayed, sang, drummed, wrote, called, and supported Cathy’s and the movement’s shared spirit of megaload and tar sands resistance.  For more information or to donate to CLDC in Eugene, Oregon, please see the CLDC.org website or contact info@cldc.org or donate@cldc.org.

* Colin Murphey, Megaload Departs (December 3, 2013 Hermiston Herald)

(From a Civil Liberties Defense Center statement)

Climate Justice Forum: Al Smith & Chris Wahmhoff 2-10-14

Free the MI CATS

The Monday, February 10, Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by WIRT features Al Smith of Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands (MI CATS) and Chris Wahmhoff of Occupy Kalamazoo.  Al is the husband of Vicci Hamlin, who with Barb Carter and Lisa Leggio locked-down to construction equipment last summer, to protest expansion of the Enbridge pipeline that leaked the largest, non-marine, (tar sands) oil spill in U.S. history into the still unremediated Kalamazoo River.  Likewise, Chris skateboarded deep into the same pipeline in June, to stall its development.  All four are facing charges, some felonies with years in prison, and/or are being unjustly held in a Michigan jail.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PST, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide dirty energy developments and climate activism news, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as his KRFP DJ.