Stop Oil Trains in Idaho 2017 Actions


Continent-wide events mark the four-year Lac-Mégantic disaster anniversary

North Idaho and eastern Washington activists invite everyone to participate in three events on July 6, 7, and 8, commemorating the 47 lives lost to a Bakken crude oil train derailment, spill, fire, and explosion in downtown Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, on Saturday night, July 6, 2013.  During the four years since this tragedy, dozens of similar accidents have wrecked public and environmental health and safety and the global climate – more than in the previous four decades – including the Union Pacific oil train disaster in the Columbia River Gorge town of Mosier, Oregon, on June 3, 2016.  In response, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), Vancouver Action Network (VAN), Occupy, and allied Sandpoint and Spokane area activists and partner groups are participating with thousands of people around North America in fourth anniversary, July 6 and later, Stop Oil Trains actions [1-3].

Through multiple, Stop Oil Trains in Idaho, training, protest, and outreach events, concerned citizens continue to actively oppose and call for an end to all Alberta tar sands and Bakken shale oil exploitation and train and pipeline transportation, refusing to let Big Oil threaten and risk our families, friends, homes, businesses, lands, waters, and air.  Together with environmental and social justice activists across the U.S. and Canada, we are organizing various tactics and resources to stage powerful, effective actions defending and protecting frontline, rail corridor communities and the global climate.

Please join these Sandpoint, Idaho, demonstrations and/or host or attend an event in your vicinity around July 6, to stand in solidarity with Lac Mégantic and other communities demanding an immediate ban on the extreme energy and railroad industries’ pipelines-on-wheels.  Thanks to everyone who has provided invaluable, relevant ideas, information, connections, and on-the-ground support for these events.  We welcome your questions, suggestions, assistance, and refreshments at these upcoming actions: Please respond to WIRT through the enclosed contact channels.  Expect an accompanying description of the background and recent updates on the Northwest oil trains and terminals issue soon.

Train Watch Workshop

Thursday, July 6, 7 pm, Gardenia Center

For the fourth workshop of annual, ongoing, training sessions on regional, oil train spotting, Matt Landon of Vancouver Action Network in Washington will present methods for track-side observing, documenting, monitoring, and reporting Northwest fossil fuel train traffic, via photos, videos, and social media.  Please join this Skyped conversation with Matt, for train watch skill sharing insights and handouts, at the Gardenia Center, 400 Church Street in Sandpoint, at 7 pm on Thursday, July 6.

Candlelight Vigil March & Message Projection

Friday, July 7, 8 pm, Farmin Park Clock & Church Street Silos

To remember and honor the 47 Lac Mégantic disaster victims and all lives impacted by oil-by-rail traffic and accidents, please gather for a candlelight vigil and march starting from the Farmin Park clock at Third and Main streets in Sandpoint, at 8 pm on Friday evening, July 7.  Bring your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, protest signs, and creative spirit of resistance, to walk through downtown Sandpoint and over the Sand Creek bridge, to the historic/Amtrak train station and City Beach Park.  At these public destinations, we will share reflections and stories about the isolated vulnerability of these locations and rural, rail corridor residents to oil train catastrophes.

As the sun sets, Occupy comrades will generously offer a brief, light projection display of social and climate justice messages on the Church Street silos in Sandpoint.  Meet after the march around 9 pm, in the parking lot beside Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters, 524 Church Street, for a light show seen from U.S. Highway 2 and North Fifth Avenue, and for discussions of Northwest oil train and terminal issues with curious passersby.

#No2ndBridge & Blast Zone Outreach

Saturday, July 8, 9 am to 1 pm, Farmin Park Clock

Converge with volunteer activists and fellow citizens between 9 am and 1 pm on Saturday, July 8, at the WIRT outreach table under the Farmin Park clock at the Farmers’ Market at Sandpoint, Third and Main streets in Sandpoint.  We hope to talk with residents and visitors of the one-mile-wide, north Idaho, oil train blast zone, and distribute educational flyers and material about Northwest oil trains and infrastructure, like the second Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail bridge proposed for nearby Lake Pend Oreille [4-6].

[1] Idaho Week of Actions Against Bomb Trains, July 2, 2014 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[2] Sandpoint Stops Oil Trains Week of Action 2015, July 6, 2015 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[3] Stop Oil Trains in Idaho Week of Action, July 5, 2016 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[4] Oil Train Blast Zone, 2017 Stand

[5] North American Crude by Rail, 2017 Oil Change International

[6] Second Lake Pend Oreille Rail Bridge, Google search results

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