About WIRT

The WIRT collective is part of an international, grassroots network of groups and individuals who take direct action to confront the root causes of climate change and to promote local, community-based solutions to the climate crisis.

Climate Justice Forum: Tacoma LNG Plant & Pipeline Resistance, Longview Coal Terminal, Oregon Rail Reloading Facility, Spokane Climate Change Ordinance, Federal Court Cases on Paradise Ridge Highway 95, Spokane Climate Rights, & Swinomish Reservation Oil Trains 7-19-17


The Wednesday, July 19, 2017 Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features news about Puyallup tribal and allied protection of the Salish Sea from a natural gas pipeline and liquefied natural gas plant in the Tacoma, Washington area.  Among discussions of upcoming talks and action camps, a proposed, Longview, coal terminal and eastern Oregon, rail reloading facility, and a Spokane climate change ordinance, we also air updates on federal court cases brought by the Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition against U.S. Highway 95 expansion onto Paradise Ridge, by Spokane fossil fuel train blockaders for citizen rights to a healthy climate, and by the Swinomish Tribe against Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway oil-by-rail transports across its lands.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide, community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Civil Resistance Expert Witness Thomas Hastings, Northwest Talks & Action Camp, Spokane Federal Hearing on Climate Rights, Idaho Oil & Gas Forced Pooling Lawsuit, Montana Earthquakes, Fault Lines near Lake Rail Bridge 7-12-17


The Wednesday, July 12, 2017 Climate Justice Forum radio program, hosted by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, airs the third half-hour of the June 26 Witnesses for the Climate presentation by civil resistance expert Thomas Hastings of Portland State University, who testified at the first court hearing of Spokane Climate Protectors train blockaders.  We also discuss upcoming, Northwest fossil fuels opposition talks and action camps, a Spokane federal court hearing asserting citizen rights to a livable climate, a Boise federal lawsuit against state forced pooling of private oil and gas resources, and recent Montana earthquakes and fault line concerns for the proposed, second, rail bridge over Lake Pend Oreille.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide, community resistance to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Stop Oil Trains in Idaho 2017 Actions Report

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Stop Oil Trains in Idaho 2017 Actions 7-6to8-17 photos

Thanks to the volunteer, Sandpoint, Spokane, and Vancouver activists who participated in Stop Oil Trains in Idaho 2017 Actions on July 6 to 8, commemorating the fourth anniversary of the oil train derailment, spill, and fire in Lac Mégantic, Quebec, and honoring the 47 disaster victims and all lives impacted by oil-by-rail traffic and accidents [1, 2]!

On Thursday evening, July 6, we gathered at the Gardenia Center in Sandpoint, Idaho, for a Skyped, oil train watch training workshop presented by Matt Landon of Vancouver Action Network in Washington. Besides sharing handouts, information, and insights on methods of observing, documenting, and reporting Northwest fossil fuels trains, we conversed about train characteristics and Wild Idaho Rising Tide’s (WIRT) commitment to the skills and successes of non-violent, creative, civil resistance.

Occupy allies from Spokane, Washington, joined us for a family-friendly demonstration against oil trains, with homemade, protest signs around the Farmin Park clock tower in Sandpoint, on Friday evening, July 7. We soon moved to the Church Street silos near Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters, for their light projection display of social and climate justice messages, seen from the surrounding neighborhood and U.S. Highway 2, as the sky darkened.  We posted photos of the light show on social media, distributed WIRT brochures, and discussed Northwest oil train and terminal issues with curious passersby on foot and bike.

After enjoying pizza and beverages at the downtown Sandpoint, WIRT office overlooking the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) tracks, we walked without signs or candles through the one-mile-wide, “bomb train” blast zone, over the Sand Creek bridge, to the historic/Amtrak train station and BNSF rail line in Sandpoint, which carries 95 percent of the Alberta tar sands and Bakken crude oil, unit trains across north Idaho. Under an almost-full moon, we marched to City Beach Park, sharing reflections and stories about Sandpoint and Spokane vulnerabilities to coal and oil train pollution and catastrophes.  Our peaceful activities drew police presence and drained our cell phone batteries throughout the evening. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Witnesses for the Climate Steven Running & Thomas Hastings, Upcoming Talks, Actions, & Camps, Oil & Coal Train Derailments, Oregon & Washington Oil Terminal Decisions, Second Valve Turner Trial & Sentence


The Wednesday, July 5, 2017 Climate Justice Forum radio program, hosted by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, airs the second half-hour of the June 26 Witnesses for the Climate presentations by climate scientist Steven Running, of the University of Montana and NASA, and civil disobedience expert Thomas Hastings of Portland State University, who both testified at the first court hearing of the Spokane Climate Protectors train blockaders.  We also discuss upcoming trainings, actions, talks, and camps opposing Northwest fossil fuel infrastructure, oil and coal train derailments in a Chicago suburb and on a Montana river bridge, Oregon and Washington state decisions affecting two proposed, Columbia River-side, oil terminals, and the second jury trial and sentence of tar sands pipeline valve turner Ken Ward.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide, community resistance to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

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. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Federal Lawsuit Against Idaho Oil & Gas Forced-Pooling, Portland Tank Farm Sale to Former Oil Train Terminal, Lake Pend Oreille Fossil Fuels Traffic, Spokane Coal & Oil Train Ballot Measure, Blockaders Hearing, & Expert Witnesses 6-28-17


The Wednesday, June 28, 2017 Climate Justice Forum radio program, hosted by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, discusses a federal lawsuit filed by Treasure Valley landowners against Idaho oil and gas forced-pooling, a state-approved sale of Portland General Electric oil tanks to a previous Global Partners oil train terminal, potentially increased Lake Pend Oreille rail bridge fossil fuels traffic, a Spokane ballot initiative limiting coal train dust and oil train volatility, and the first court hearing and expert witness presentations for Spokane fossil fuel train blockaders.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide, community resistance to dirty energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Spokane Train Blockaders’ Necessity Defense, Expert Testimony & Presentation, & Sandpoint Talk


Pre-Trial Motion Hearing: Necessity Defense & Expert Testimony

In late August and September 2016, Raging Grannies Margie Heller, Nancy Nelson, and Deena Romoff and Veterans for Peace Maeve Aeolus, Rusty Nelson (husband of Nancy), and George Taylor protested oil and coal trains moving through Spokane and the contribution of those pipelines-on-wheels to global climate change [1-6]. Police handcuffed and booked into jail these Spokane Climate Protectors assisted by Direct Action Spokane, and cited them with the misdemeanor charges of second degree trespassing and obstructing or delaying a train on Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) rail lines.

At their pre-trial motion hearing on Monday, June 26, at 1:30 pm in Room 5 of the Public Safety Building, at 1100 West Mallon Avenue in Spokane, Washington, their attorney Eric Christianson will argue, before Spokane County District Court Judge Debra Hayes, that the six activists have exhausted all other legally viable options, and that their direct actions were thus necessary to halt climate change [7, 8]. Judge Hayes will decide whether she will allow their “necessity defense.”  Recent, Northwest climate activist, court cases of the Delta 5 oil train blockaders in Everett, Washington, and the first of five multi-state, tar sands pipeline valve turner trials in Skagit County, Washington, have rejected this motion.  After a previous postponement and if Judge Hayes assents, three nationally recognized experts on climate change plan to testify in court about the dangers and impacts of transporting volatile oil by rail through Spokane.

On January 31, 2017, activists of Direct Action Spokane, along with physician Gunnar Holmquist and the six arrested Spokane Climate Protectors, filed a lawsuit against the federal government for violating Spokane citizens’ fundamental, constitutional rights to a stable, livable climate and local self-government, by allowing oil and coal trains to pass through the city [9]. They claim that the federal Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995 unconstitutionally prevents local governments from urgently enacting regulations to stop climate change, such as ballot measures banning crude fossil fuel transportation through Spokane.  In a similar, Oregon, federal case, 21 youths from across the country assert that government actions cause climate change, defying the “obligation to hold certain natural resources in trust for the people and for future generations,” and thus violate younger generations’ rights to “life, liberty and property.” [8]

Public Presentation: Witnesses for the Climate

Canceled since May 19, when the Spokane County court postponed, without explanation, the motion hearing to consider the necessity defense of the Spokane Climate Protectors, the Witnesses for the Climate public presentation has rescheduled to 7 pm on Monday evening, June 26 [10-12]. At the Community Building, 35 West Main Street in Spokane, three experts will speak about the necessity to defend rights to a healthy climate, through non-violent, direct actions stopping coal and oil train traffic.  They may testify at the hearing earlier in the day, on behalf of the necessity defense of the fossil fuel train-blockading Spokane Climate Protectors. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Bonneville Power Administration Megaload, Second Rail Bridge Meeting & Action Workshop, Idaho Scrutiny of Oil & Gas Production, Sioux Tribes Court Victory over Dakota Access Pipeline, Commission Rejection of Mosier Double Tracks, Global Partners Oil Train Terminal 6-21-17


The Wednesday, June 21, 2017 Climate Justice Forum radio program, hosted by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, discusses news about a Bonneville Power Administration transformer megaload on the Lewiston Grade, a second lake rail bridge meeting and Earth First! direct action workshop in Sandpoint, activist scrutiny and the first Idaho audit of possible industry under-reporting of oil and gas well production, a federal court order favoring Sioux tribes’ opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline, Columbia Gorge Commission rejection of double Union Pacific Railroad tracks through Mosier, and the re-emerging Global Partners oil train terminal on the lower Columbia River.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide, community resistance to fossil fuel projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Second Rail Bridge Meeting & Earth First! Workshops & Gathering


Activist groups RADAR and Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and north Idaho residents opposing a second Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) rail bridge across Lake Pend Oreille invite community members to three rescheduled events on Thursday and Friday, June 22 and 23, in Sandpoint, Idaho. To accommodate outcomes envisioned by numerous participants converging from across the region, including indigenous activists, we have revised the times and dates of these opportunities.

1) Second Lake Rail Bridge Meeting #2 at 6 pm on Thursday evening, June 22, at Dog Beach Park south of Sandpoint

A few dozen local, opposition group members and visitors will share issue information and brainstorm tactics and strategies (besides the usual, regulatory hoops pushed by mainstream, green groups) close to the BNSF pile load test site. Please propose subjects for discussion, bring camp chairs, and RSVP for bike trailer transportation for participants who cannot walk to the park.

2) Earth First! Road Show and Direct Action Camp from 9 am until 5 pm on Friday, June 23, at a wooded, private farm in the Selle Valley, about nine miles north of Sandpoint

The Earth First! Road Show collective crew will offer training workshops on a variety of assertive, protective, activist skills chosen by participants, for resistance to fossil fuels, climate change, and harmful infrastructure. See the following, linked, updated announcements for further logistics, and contribute potluck and donated food, if possible [1, 2].  We will disclose the event location address only to people attending, so please RSVP to WIRT.

3) Social gathering, campfire, music, etc. at 6 pm and beyond, on Friday evening, June 23, at several Sandpoint area places

Organizers encourage fellow activists to expand camaraderie and coalitions, share ideas and concerns, and enjoy band performances at downtown pubs later on Friday night. We heartily welcome your input and involvement during as many of these upcoming activities as you can join to create change.  Respond with your questions and suggestions, via the enclosed contact channels.  Thanks! Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Mosier Oil Train Disaster Commemoration Speeches, KRFP Full Power Fund Drive, Earth First! Road Show & Sandpoint Action Camp, BNSF Double Tracks & Second Lake Rail Bridge, Comments Due on ITD Federal Permit for E-2 Highway Alignment 6-14-17


The Wednesday, June 14, 2017 Climate Justice Forum radio program, hosted by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features June 3 speeches by Grand Ronde, Umatilla, and Warm Springs tribal representatives, a Mosier physician, resident, and student, Hood River officials, and a Columbia Gorge minister, at the first anniversary commemoration of the Mosier, Oregon, oil train disaster.  We also discuss the KRFP full power fund drive this week, the Earth First! Road Show and Direct Action Camp in Sandpoint, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway work on north Idaho double tracks and a second Lake Pend Oreille rail bridge, and citizen comments by June 16 on an Idaho Transportation Department application for its Highway 95 E-2 alignment south of Moscow.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide, community opposition to fossil fuel projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.