WIRT Newsletter: WIRT & Allied Summer Events: June 26 to August 24


Thursday, June 26:

Public Hearing Set on Allowing Heavy Trucks on Idaho Highways

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is holding a public hearing on applications allowing trucks weighing up to 129,000 pounds on state highways, from 4 to 7 pm on Thursday, June 26, at the ITD office at 2600 Frontage Road in Lewiston.

Saturday, June 28:

Indian Peoples Action Non-Violent Direct Action in Great Falls, Montana

In solidarity and support of First Nations people and allies participating in the Tar Sands Healing Walk in Alberta, Canada, on Saturday, June 28, please join Indian Peoples Action for a 1 pm MDT non-violent direct action at the corner of Tenth and Smelter Avenue NE, near the Montana Refining Company in Great Falls, Montana.  Indigenous comrades in Montana are organizing this picket to confront the entire dirty tar sands industry represented by the Canadian-owned Calumet refinery, the destination of three megaload parts of a hydrocracker stranded at the Port of Wilma, Washington.  These transports would assist the proposed facilities expansion in tripling its production along the Missouri River banks, where current operations pollute the Great Falls air shed with emissions from processing toxic tar sands received via truck and rail.

Motivated by various ways of expressing concern and compassion for all life rather than attacking Calumet, this protest event mainly focuses on the devastating effects of Alberta tar sands mining on forests, water sources, and the health of the mostly indigenous, regional people closest to this massive, multi-corporation oil extraction project.  Besides these direct victims, tar sands exploitation also impacts the Earth’s atmosphere, climate, and ultimately all of its life, as well as the Montana refinery workers who destroy interconnected life “for a living.”

Consider variations of these ideas for single- and double-sided picket signs for this peaceful demonstration, but please design your own slogans:

Oil Jobs: Short Term Gain, Long Term Extinction

There Is No Cure for Extinction

Alternative Energy = Jobs, Health, and Life

We’re Over the Limit for Carbon in the Atmosphere

Life is Better than Oil & $

What Are We Leaving for Our Grandkids?

Shut Down the Tar Sands

Switch to Alternative Energy NOW

We Can Do Better than Fossil Fuels – We Must

Event organizers suggest bringing plenty of drinking water and sun cover, if the protest day is hot, and informational leaflets for curious bystanders and media personnel who may attend.  For more information, please see the linked facebook event and/or contact Debbie McShane at lakotawoman2011@hotmail.com.

Tuesday to Monday, July 1 to 7:

Earth First! Round River Rendezvous

Wild Idaho Rising Tide is forming carpools to and from the southern Cascadia/Klamath Knot region (northwestern California near the southern Oregon border) from Boise and Moscow, Idaho:  Contact WIRT at wild.idaho.rising.tide@gmail.com.

Sunday, June 6 & ongoing:

Twitter Oil Train Watch – Ongoing Action

Allies of Vancouver Action Network in Vancouver, Washington, suggest that when you see a 100-percent oil train, tweet the time (am/pm), city, direction of train travel, along with a hashtag, the two-letter state abbreviation, and oiltrainwatch (for example, in Washington state: #waoiltrainwatch).  Search for webcams pointed at railroad tracks in your city, and start a train watch in your community.

Monday, July 7: Direct Action Skill-Share with Blue Skies Campaign

This summer, Blue Skies Campaign of Missoula, Montana, and allies like WIRT are holding a series of skill-shares in communities along Northwest coal and oil transporting rail lines, to discuss tactics and strategies that they have learned about direct actions on railroad property.  Through the process of staging two acts of non-violent civil disobedience on Montana Rail Link (MRL) property in the last nine months, Blue Skies comrades have acquired plenty of practical lessons that other groups may find useful for similar actions.  They are eager to share insights about MRL security, coal train movements, and the unique logistics of direct actions on or near train tracks.

At this skill-share, a few Blue Skies volunteers will give a brief presentation on what happened during their direct actions, what they learned from the experience, and how security and law enforcement could likely respond to future actions on railroad property.  Inter-group conversations about participants’ experiences and opportunities to work together will follow the presentation.  Please join Blue Skies Campaign and WIRT on Monday, July 7, from 5 to 6:45 pm in the Jameson Room of the East Bonner County – Sandpoint Library, 1407 Cedar Street in Sandpoint, Idaho, for this significant discussion.

Monday, July 7 & ongoing:

Request Oil Train Information from Your State Emergency Management Agency

Vancouver Action Network is calling all allies to file for public information from your state Emergency Management Agency about the U.S. Department of Transportation emergency order of May 7, 2014, requiring railroads to provide information about crude oil shipments through each state.  Northwest citizens have the potential to cost the railroads, primarily Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) and Union Pacific, extensive funds and at least $300 to seek a court injunction against every person who files a request for this public information.  In Washington, BNSF recently declared that it will not impose injunctions against the 100-plus people who pushed for records requests; thus, the states will release these records to the public.

Also see States, Railroads at Odds over Oil-Train Information in the June 6, 2014 Columbian Continue reading