The Frontline Is Everywhere: Water Protectors Anti-Repression Workshop

Please join regional climate and indigenous activists of the Water Protector Anti-Repression Crew, RADAR, and Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) for The Frontline Is Everywhere Workshop, from 5 to 8 pm on Thursday, April 27, at the East Bonner County Library, 1407 Cedar Street in Sandpoint, Idaho.  From pipelines and other fossil fuel invasions to courtrooms and prisons, we plan to discuss how to build strong movement defenses, resist grand juries, and expand anti-repression efforts, by learning from experiences of participants in the Standing Rock and allied camps opposing the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL).

This spring, NoDAPL water protectors and legal team members are facilitating trainings across Turtle Island (North America), sharing knowledge about resistance to the grand jury convened against water protectors at Standing Rock, and about building network capacities for defense against this instance and other cases and forms of state repression.

As extractive industries and governments escalate their repressive tactics against activists who stand in resistance, this two-hour workshop provides valuable information for everyone who struggles for indigenous sovereignty, Earth liberation, and a future without oppression.  It is open to all who have participated in the movement at Standing Rock, who have supported its on-the-ground efforts from their homes and territories elsewhere, and who fight on the many frontlines that constantly emerge across the continent.

Active resistance to DAPL has not ended at Standing Rock, as nearly 800 water protectors persevere with battles in courtrooms, some facing federal felony indictments that carry potential, 15-year, federal prison sentences.  The grand jury targeting water protectors – and resistance to it – continue.

Vibrant movements and interdependent relationships make activists and communities resilient to attempts to shut down struggles against oppression.  Join us in talking about ways to together strengthen our movements!  For further information or to print and post a PDF version of the tabloid-sized, color The Frontline Is Everywhere Workshop Flyer (with artwork by Jackie Fawn Illustrations), please contact WIRT and/or visit the website and facebook pages of the Water Protector Anti-Repression Crew and WIRT (at the enclosed links). Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: April WIRT & Allied Events, Idaho Oil & Gas Legislation, North Idaho Megaloads, Oil Train Route Defects, Spokane Coal & Oil Train Initiative, Montana-Led Lawsuit Against Keystone XL Pipeline 4-19-17

The Wednesday, April 19, 2017 Climate Justice Forum radio program, hosted by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), shares news about Earth week and climate march events, a water protector workshop and fossil fuels forum, Idaho oil and gas legislation, north Idaho megaloads, and another train-vehicle collision.  We also report on oil train route defects, a Spokane ballot initiative restricting oil and coal train cargo, a tar sands pipeline valve turner film, and a Montana-led lawsuit against the recent Keystone XL pipeline permit.  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 fossil fuel resistance and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

WIRT Outreach at Earth Week Events

Regional, grassroots, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and allied activists are excited to participate in several education and outreach events this week. During four days of “tabling,” WIRT interactive displays will feature a poster with photos, protest signs, printed materials, and possibly slide shows of WIRT actions and programs, all demonstrating the Northwest fossil fuels causes of climate change and diverse, frontline community-organized solutions and resistance.  We will distribute group brochures and event flyers about WIRT campaigns challenging the corporate and government sources of coal and oil trains and terminals, tar sands mining and refining megaloads, and oil and gas production and transportation in Idaho.  Besides requesting involvement in upcoming WIRT and allied educational events and direct action trainings and demonstrations, we will likely also offer free, packaged, chocolate and/or fruit-flavored, bargain-priced Easter candy.  If you can assist our efforts as a tabling volunteer and comrade recruiter at these informative and inspiring, community-building opportunities, please RSVP to WIRT in advance, via phone, email, or facebook or text message, or drop by the WIRT Sandpoint office or event booths.

April 19: Bike Fix and Sustainability Showcase

Wednesday 11 am to 2 pm, Idaho Commons Plaza, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho

As part of Earth Fest 2017, the University of Idaho Sustainability Center welcomes students and everyone to visit and talk with local organizations, learn about sustainability, climate change, and Vandal cycling opportunities, and get a free bike tune-up from Moscow mechanics, to assist bike riding instead of vehicle driving.

April 21: Earth Week Fair

Friday 11 am to 2 pm, Terrell Mall, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington

The Associated Students of Washington State University Environmental Sustainability Alliance cordially invites the campus community and public to join them in encouraging environmental awareness and stewardship, at their annual educational and fun event with a live band and many attendees. Event organizers are bringing together various sustainability-minded groups and individuals working on similar causes, to meet and network with interested, environmentally-concerned students and citizens, to share Earth-sustaining ideas, and to collectively make a difference for a livable world.

April 22 & 23: Earth Days & Night Spokane

Saturday 10 am to 11 pm, Sunday 10 am to 4 pm, Riverfront Park Pavilion, Spokane, Washington

Celebrating five years of honoring the sacredness of the planet and human existence and interconnections with it, this community festival is expanding into Spokane’s most iconic landmark, the Pavilion and nearby central meadow. Its tireless working group is extending the event again into Earth Night and adding second day.  A diversity of sustainability-focused groups, artists, vendors, and businesses from various cultures will showcase their work, and the kid-friendly Procession of the Species Parade will walk through the gathering at 1:30 pm on Saturday.  Other attractions include live concerts held on two stages beneath dome structures, with key musicians, dancers, and aerial performers, a beer garden featuring local brewers, and outside food and beverages.

Friday, April 14, Spokane Megaload Alert!

According to Spokane television media sources shared by a core Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) activist, one of at least three half-million-pound megaloads heading to an oil refinery near Blaine, northwest Washington, will move from the Idaho panhandle into Washington at 7 pm this evening, Friday, April 14 [1].  The Washington State Department of Transportation and the huge size of the boiler and truck/trailer combination, together weighing 480,000 pounds and measuring 213 feet long and almost 22 feet wide, require that this megaload only moves during overnight hours on a route avoiding low, interstate overpasses and bridges that may not withstand its weight.

The megaload will travel along Washington Highway 290 and Trent Avenue, south on Pines Road to the Interstate 90 westbound lanes, then exit onto Broadway Avenue in Spokane [2].  After turning south on Fancher, it will proceed west onto Third then Second Avenues past Altamont, before re-entering the westbound interstate.  Detouring through Cheney on Washington Highway 904, the megaload will take I-90 south to the Country Travel Plaza at Highways 395 and 26, where it will stop for the day.  Please see the following media coverage, megaload route map, and facebook posts, and join Spokane and north Idaho activists for multiple protests of this fossil fuel infrastructure, starting at the Trent and Pines intersection at 7:30 pm. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Brian Wolcott on Radical Movie Night! & Indigenous Zapatistas, Sandpoint Megaloads, Proposed 129,000-Pound Trucks, Idaho Oil & Gas Industry Reforms & Cancelled Lease Auction 4-12-17

The Wednesday, April 12, 2017 Climate Justice Forum radio program, hosted by regional climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), features a conversation with Sandpoint, Idaho native Brian Wolcott of RADAR and Olympia Stand, about Thursday’s Radical Movie Night! and his visit with indigenous Zapatistas in southern Mexico.  We also share updates on WIRT sixth anniversary celebrations, two Sandpoint megaloads, proposed 129,000-pound trucks on regional highways, another cancelled state oil and gas lease auction, and recent Idaho oil and gas industry reforms achieved by diverse interests.  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 fossil fuel resistance and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Radical Movie Night! Screens Noam Chomsky & NoDAPL Struggle

Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and RADAR present Radical Movie Night!, a bi-monthly, documentary series intended to inspire, challenge, and educate participants toward democracy.  From 6 pm to 8 pm on Thursday, April 13, the co-hosts present full-length and short films for a double feature with free admission, at Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters, 524 Church Street in Sandpoint, Idaho.

In the April 2015 biography Requiem for the American Dream: Noam Chomsky and the Principles of Concentration of Wealth and Power, interviews over four years with the most quoted intellectual and author alive provide penetrating insights into the defining characteristic and legacy of our time – a half-century of deliberate, historically unprecedented inequality favoring the most wealthy at the expense of the majority.  Noam Chomsky’s profoundly personal and thought provoking discourses and reflections on his life of activism and political participation offer potent reminders and hope that power ultimately belongs to the governed.

Through the first episode of Trouble – the March 2017, short video Killing the Black Snake: Behind the Scenes of the #NODAPL Struggle – grassroots, independent, media collective sub.Media looks beyond the mainstream narratives about the Standing Rock indigenous and allied resistance encampment, to understand its overlooked dynamics, including serious disagreements over tactics to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

Please join RADAR and WIRT for these screenings and discussions of radical films and videos produced to aid current, worldwide, social and environmental struggles and promote just, sustainable, shared solutions.  These events and ongoing, regional, climate activism rely on donations from viewers and supporters.  Visit the WIRT website and facebook pages for further, online, information resources, and call 208-610-5354 with your questions about this documentary series.

Climate Justice Forum: Sixth Annual Celebrations of WIRT, 129,000-Pound Trucks, Dakota Access Pipeline Flow & Sabotage, Keystone XL Pipeline Approval, Shell Oil Leaves Tar Sands, Idaho’s Changing Climate Hearing Excerpts 3-29-17

The Wednesday, March 29, 2017 Climate Justice Forum radio program, hosted by regional climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), features news about two Sixth Annual Celebrations of WIRT, an Idaho Transportation Department application to run 129,000-pound trucks on regional roadways, Dakota Access pipeline oil flow and sabotage, Trump administration approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, Shell Oil sale of its Alberta tar sands holdings, and recorded excerpts of the March 15 Idaho’s Changing Climate hearing.  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 fossil fuel resistance and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Sixth Annual Celebrations of Wild Idaho Rising Tide in Moscow & Sandpoint

March 31 & April 7 Anniversary Concerts Benefit Climate Activist Collective

Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) is celebrating its March 31, sixth anniversary as a regional, climate activist collective confronting the root causes and perpetrators of climate change through direct actions and locally organized solutions.  We invite and welcome every one of all ages to share this milestone at two Sixth Annual Celebrations of Wild Idaho Rising Tide.  These benefit concerts provided by five bands and solo musicians accompany potluck dinner and desert in Moscow, snacks in Sandpoint, beer and wine for purchase, dozens of raffle items donated by community members and businesses, and a background slide show of WIRT accomplishments.  Come and enjoy our yearly fund and action raising parties offering radical revelry for participants supporting relentless, volunteer WIRT activism among and in solidarity with frontline communities of fossil fuel resistance and an international, grassroots network of activists.

WIRT’s amazing members, friends, and allies eagerly anticipate lively musical and social gatherings between 7 pm and 12 midnight on Friday, March 31, in the 1912 Center Great Room at 412 East Third Street in Moscow, Idaho, and on Friday, April 7, in the Little Panida Theater, 300 North First Avenue (across the street from the WIRT office) in Sandpoint, Idaho.  Suggested, admission donations of $5 or more at the doors to these otherwise free, open, public events assist the dedicated work of WIRT and allies to banish new and expanded fossil fuel infrastructure from the Northwest.  Please join dirty energy resisters for a well-deserved, reinvigorating, wild evening full of shared camaraderie, spirited conversation, exuberant dancing, good food and drink, and live music of multiple genres, played by these talented, visiting, and resident songwriters and performers from Moscow, Sandpoint, and Spokane: Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: North Idaho Train Derailments, Idaho Legislators’ Climate Change Hearing, District 9 Oil & Gas Bill & Comment Repression 3-22-17

The Wednesday, March 22, 2017 Climate Justice Forum radio program, hosted by regional climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features news about north Idaho train derailments on a Moyie Springs landslide and washed-out Ponderay tracks, a public, informational hearing on climate change held by Idaho legislators, and Idaho gasland District 9 initiated oil and gas legislation hearings and citizen comment repression.  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 fossil fuel resistance and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

MRL-BNSF Empty Coal Train Derailment in Ponderay, Idaho

Rain and snow melt washed-out, BNSF train tracks above the Black Rock, lead-contaminated, former smelter site on Lake Pend Oreille in Ponderay, Idaho (Joshua Voss photo)

At 6:05 am on a dark, rainy Saint Patrick’s Day, Friday, March 17, 50 to 60 empty cars and a rear locomotive of an eastbound, Montana Rail Link (MRL), unit coal train derailed, remained upright, caused no injuries, and released no obvious hazardous materials in Ponderay and Kootenai, Idaho [1-5].  The wreck occurred on MRL’s mainline, owned and operated in Idaho by Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway, a route typically carrying mixed freight and Powder River Basin coal – rarely Bakken shale oil and Alberta tar sands crude – from the east, through Missoula, around Lake Pend Oreille, and over the 4800-foot rail bridge southeast of Sandpoint.  Railroad first responders assessed the situation, located approximately 450 feet uphill and separated from the lake shoreline by a stretch of trees, only 250 feet from modest homes and two blocks from the post office and police station in Ponderay.  They would not estimate the timing of the re-opening of their tracks, but determined that recently intense rains and rapid snow melt had washed out a section of collapsed tracks “east of the intersection of Third Street and Cedar Avenue.” [6]

One set of train tracks and a Jersey barrier were suspended over a 30-foot-tall void in the railroad’s embankment on Friday.  At the bottom of the void was a current of storm water.  Other culverts under the tracks on Ponder Point appeared to be running at or near capacity on Friday afternoon…The cause of the wash-out remained under investigation…”High water levels and ground saturation are contributing factors.” [6]

The BNSF and MRL railroad companies, respectively based in Fort Worth, Texas, and Missoula, Montana, brought dozens of crew members, semi-trucks and trailers, and large pieces of ground and track-mounted, heavy equipment to staging areas east and west of the derailment, at Kootenai Bay Road and Seven Sisters Drive on both sides of Idaho Highway 200 in Kootenai, and at Fourth Street and Elm Avenue, adjacent to the railroad right-of-way in Ponderay, all photographed by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT).  Despite overwhelming railroad presence and close proximity to Ponderay houses, businesses, and government facilities, media stories rarely mentioned Ponderay as the location of this historic mishap, instead stating a derailment “west of Kootenai Bay Road in Kootenai, Idaho,” in the vicinity of a wealthy, lakeside, residential neighborhood.

While media reporters and government officials easily accessed the MRL-BNSF derailment mitigation staging site in Ponderay, to obtain crucial information, photographs of the damaged track area, and footage of interviews, nearby, impacted, community members and fossil fuel train monitoring and opposing activists could only reach the accident scene by vehicle and on foot for miles on snowy, lakeside trails, on muddy residential streets, and through wet forests, evading railroad cops to find, observe, and ascertain the accident scene [7-9].  At about 3 pm, two black helicopters left the Sandpoint Airport, circled over Lake Pend Oreille, and flew over the incident site.  Not until the following day, March 18, the local newspaper provided comprehensive event coverage confirming additional details of the emerging story.  By 4:48 pm on that rainy Saturday afternoon, a Kansas City Southern engine trailed one of the first, westbound, mixed freight trains crossing tracks repaired over the 30-foot chasm likely filled by the multiple dump trucks seen in the area since Friday. Continue reading