Rally Friday Jan 31: Paging Doctor No!

Location: The Benson Hotel, 309 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205

When: Friday, January 31 at 5:30 PM

Questions? Email wkempferjr@gmail.com or call 503-926-3867


Back when John Kitzhaber was Governor in the late 1990’s, the Oregon Legislator, then controlled by conservative Republicans, passed one bill after another seemingly aimed at turning the State into one big paved-over clearcut. Kitzhaber vetoed them all and earned the nickname “Doctor No.” As the fossil fuel industry works to turn Oregon into a grimy thoroughfare for the transport of oil, coal, gas, and large pieces of tar sands extraction equipment, we need him to once again stand with us by saying “No!”

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Victor Habbick/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This rally is to be held outside The Benson Hotel where there will be a $500/plate fundraising dinner for Kitzhaber’s re-election campaign. The dinner starts at 6 PM. Please join us outside in front of the hotel at 5:30 PM to let John Kitzhaber, Governor of Oregon know that we would like him to support us in our efforts to prevent the fossil fuel industry from using Oregon as an industrial corridor for the transport of fossil fuels and the oversized equipment related to their extraction.

Oil Spill at Kitzhaber Power Breakfast

January 9, 2014 – At the monthly Portland Business Journal Power Breakfast, Rising Tide activist Stephen Quirke disrupted the Journal’s interview with Governor Kitzhaber after a disastrous oil spill  spontaneously occurred all over Stephen’s breakfast. Maybe it was something the Governor said (or didn’t say). At forty bucks per plate, Stephen was not too happy. Watch the video to see what happens.


Megaload Protesters Visit ODOT Office in Portland


On Friday, December 20, protesters paid a visit to the Oregon Department of Transportation office in Portland to demand that they stop permitting passage of the tar sands megaloads that Omega Morgan has been hauling through Oregon. Portland, OR, USA.

Video provided by Alex Milan Tracy.


Before leaving, they left a voice message for ODOT.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=616MxOVSGyc&w=500&h=375]
Video provided by Benji Vuong.

Protesters get mega-loud: Tribes sing, hold ceremony as second megaload begins trek

George Plavin, December 23, 2013 —  Pendleton climate activists joined in solidarity with Umatilla tribal members and elders Monday night as the second of three controversial megaloads rolls through Eastern Oregon to the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada.About 50 people gathered along Highway 395 near St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton, where the convoy was parked after departing the Port of Umatilla late Sunday.  Together, they held signs and sang songs of prayer while police kept watch over the demonstration.Industrial hauler Omega Morgan, of Hillsboro, is trucking the enormous shipment of oil refinery equipment on its route south through the John Day Valley, before crossing east over state lines into Idaho.  Protesters were attempting to block the first load in Hermiston and Pendleton, speaking out against oil extraction that damages the environment.

“We are contributing and allowing our state to be used to expand one of the most environmentally destructive projects on the planet,”said Trip Jennings, of the activist group Portland Rising Tide. “We’re assuming the risk, and seeing none of the benefit.  All we’re seeing is more carbon coming from the tar sands.”

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, meanwhile, has opposed the Oregon Department of Transportation’s decision to permit the megaloads over ceded land without proper consultation between state and tribal governments.

Protesters were active attempting to block the first load through Oregon, which finally crossed over into Idaho over the weekend. The second load is similar in size, though slightly smaller 380 feet long, 23 feet wide and weighing approximately 804,000 pounds.

Tribal elder Art McConville said they remain concerned about anything causing damage to the land and ecosystem.  Their prayers asked for safety and protection, not only for the environment but everybody involved along the route as well.

“It’s a lot of sacred area out there,”McConville said.  “There’s a lot of ceremonial activities that go on all across the land.  We’re concerned about anything that could contaminate the earth.”

Alexandra Amonette, of Richland, Wash., said climate change is the most important issue affecting everyone today.  People have to learn to stop burning fossil fuels and transition to a clean energy economy, she said.

“We absolutely can’t do these tar sands, where this megaload is going,”Amonette said.  “They’re unconventional fossil fuels. We can’t burn them up, or we will overheat the planet.”

In addition, Jennings said groups are looking to keep the route from becoming a long-term industrial corridor to reach the oil sands. Erik Zander, project manager with Omega Morgan, has said there are no plans to use the route beyond these three loads.

The megaload is only permitted to travel between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., with occasional daytime travel on rural highways under special conditions outlined in the project permit, according to ODOT. It will not travel Tuesday or Wednesday during the Christmas holiday.

Drivers can expect delays of up to 20 minutes when the megaload is on the road. Updates will be posted online at www.tripcheck.com.

Contact: George Plaven at gplaven@eastoregonian.com

Activists confront ODOT officials, demand end to tar sands megaload permits

Portland, OR, Friday December 20, 2013 — Climate justice activists entered the Oregon
Department of Transportation offices in downtown Portland to stop the movement of the tar sands
megaloads through Umatilla and Warm Springs tribal land in Eastern Oregon.

The group presented two letters to ODOT officials outlining their objections to the loads on moral and legal grounds –one by
Portland Rising Tide, the other by the Tribal Government of Umatilla (recently sent to Kitzhaber).

This is the seventh regional action in a little over two weeks against the megaloads. The actions started
December 1st, when two were arrested for successfully blocking the megaload from leaving the Port of
Umatilla. On Monday of this week, resistance continued when activists locked themselves to two
disabled vehicles in front of the 450 ton, 376 foot long megaload, blocking its route along highway 26
outside of John Day. Police arrested 16 activists that evening, violently extracting them from the
blockade and indiscriminately arresting everyone at the site. One minor was arrested and released, and
total bail was set at $150,000 for the other 15 arrestees.

On Tuesday, ODOT gave special permission for the megaloads to move during the daytime, outside the bounds

of their permits, waiving public safety concerns without public notice.
The Oregon Department of Transportation has been providing permits for the megaloads to travel
without permission or consultation from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla and Warm Springs First
Nations. In a recent letter to Governor Kitzhaber from the Umatilla Tribe’s Board of Trustees, Chair Gary
Burke challenged the megaload trespass, citing the absence of mandatory consultation with the tribes,
and the role of tar sands extraction in harming indigenous communities and fueling global climate change.
Government-to-government consultation of this kind was mandated by Governor Kitzhaber in Executive
Order 96-30 and has since become statute in ORS 182.162168.

At the 13th annualgovernment-to-government summit initiated by the order, Kitzhaber emphasized “This is far more than a
statutory obligation… for me, it is a deep personal obligation.”

After gathering in front of the building people entered and delivered the letter to ODOT staff. In their
letter to ODOT, Portland Rising Tide emphasized the actions of those arrested on Monday night,
“Monday people took this risk to do what you have refused to do: to stop the movement of materials
that damage the public good, destroy the global commons, and shred indigenous rights,” said Toby
Seldon of Portland Rising Tide.
“The fossil fuel industry is aggressively trying to transform the Pacific Northwest into a fossil fuel
corridor, with terminal proposals and now with the megaloads, and ODOT’s willingness to permit these
actions is outrageous — we will do everything we can to stop them. ” said David Osborn of Portland
Rising Tide.

Portland Rising Tide is an all-volunteer organization that collaborates with an alliance of groups
organizing to stop the megaloads. We have been accepting contributions to cover the legal expenses of
current and future resistance to the megaload shipments. Donations can be made

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16 arrested in Eastern Oregon roadblock of megaload; further resistance expected

The Oregonian– Richard Read, December 17, 2013 —

JOHN DAY, Ore. — Police arrested 16 protesters late Monday as activists locked themselves to disabled vehicles in front of a tar-sands megaload near John Day, delaying the shipment’s passage.

“Climate justice groups stopped the movement of a controversial shipment of equipment bound for the Alberta tar sands,” said a news release issued at 1:49 a.m. Tuesday by Portland Rising Tide, an activists’ network. “Police responded and arrested 16 at the two blockade sites, using ‘pain compliance’ to extract them.”

The blockade is the second pulled off by activists slowing the 901,000-pound rig as it heads for Alberta via Oregon and Idaho. The load was first blocked Dec. 1, when two men locked themselves to the truck and had to be extracted by police, which took so long the shipment canceled its nightly move…

The Associated Press — Jeff Barnard, December 17, 2013 —

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Protesters trying to slow a megaload of refinery equipment destined for the tar sands in Canada used people chained together in a disabled car and a trailer for roadblocks in Eastern Oregon, but authorities say the obstacles were cleared in about two hours.

Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer says 16 people from Oregon, Washington, Alaska and California were arrested Monday night in John Day on charges of disorderly conduct.

Portland Rising Tide spokesman Stephen Quirke says the moving company should expect “further resistance all along the route” as public awareness grows about how burning tar sands for energy contributes to climate change.

From John Day the load is headed across southern Idaho, then north through Montana into Alberta.

CANYON CITY, Ore. — More than a dozen megaload protesters are in the Grant County Jail Tuesday in Canyon City in northeast Oregon.

A woman who works at the jail says they were arrested overnight for disorderly conduct.

The group Rising Tide says 16 people were arrested for blocking the huge shipment of oil refinery equipment on Highway 26 outside John Day.

The group says they locked themselves to two disabled vehicles in the path of the megaload.

The crews moving the 450-ton shipment had hoped to be near the Idaho border Wednesday. The equipment is headed for the Canadian tar sands oil development via Idaho and Montana.

The megaload travels at about 35 mph and is allowed to move only at night.

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Standoff Between Climate Justice Activists and Cops in Lobby of Omega Morgan Building

Earth First Newswire — December 13, 2013 — Employees at the Omega Morgan corporation were surprised to find a boisterous crowd of climate justice activists in their Hillsboro office challenging their role in tar sands extraction.

The activists burst into a meeting with chants and banners, causing the meeting to disperse. One protestor then read a letter to employees of Omega Morgan demanding that they stop moving mega loads and cut ties to tar sands extraction.

An employee denied the activists’ demand to meet with the CEO, because they weren’t on the schedule, prompting Mike Gaskill with Portland Rising Tide to declare, “Omega Morgan moved mega loads through Umatilla land without asking, so we aren’t the only ones who show up without being on the schedule.”

Pictured:  18 cop cars parked outside of the office; 11 cops formed a line inside of the lobby to keep activists from leaving. Police insisted that the activists leave or be arrested,; one of the cops reportedly delivered a letter from Portland Rising Tide to the CEO of Omega Morgan.

Hillsboro police spokesman Michael Rouches said no one was cited or arrested.

“They were very peaceful,” Rouches said. “They were saying whatever they needed to say, and they split.”

This is one of several actions in the last 2 weeks, including an office occupation in Fife, WA, by Seattle Rising Tide in solidarity with protestors who stopped the Omega Morgan megaload from rolling out of the Port of Umatilla by locking down to the 380 foot long behemoth.

More Here:

AP Wire:  The Island Packet

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Umatilla Confederated Tribes Hold Megaload Ceremony, Continue Resistance

Kayla Godowa-Tufti, December 3, 2013 –  Members of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation and friends gathered tonight in Pendleton, Oregon to hold ceremony at the site where the Omega Morgan “mega load” remains.

Oregon Department of Transportation confirmed that freezing weather and last nights snow storm has prevented the load from moving tonight.
Elders and many young leaders from CTUIR came out to speak from their hearts about how this haul will threaten the values and traditions that we hold so dearly to us in the Columbia River Plateau.

The end destination for this load is approximately 20 kilometers southwest of Fort McMurray in northern Alberta, Canada, the site of Athabaska Oil Corp’s Hangingstone tar sands project.

Omega Morgan, the shipping company, is attempting to move equipment along a rural highway in Oregon, in hopes to avoid the recent controversy they faced in Nez Perce territory.

Government to government consultation has not taken place with Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation or Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs of Oregon, as required by law, to grant a permit to Omega Morgan.

The ceremony and resistance will continue as Omega Morgan attempts to make it through snow and ice within our homelands.

–Kayla L. Godowa-Tufti is an active member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs of Oregon

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Two Activists Lockdown, Stop Megaload!

Near the Port of Umatilla two people locked down to a megaload of equipment bound for the Alberta tar sands halting its planned departure at 10:00 PM as tribal members and climate justice groups rallied nearby. The equipment, a 901,000 lb. water purifier 22 feet wide, 18 feet tall and 376 feet in length was met by fifty people and was prevented from departing as scheduled. It had planned to leave the Port of Umatilla, head south on 395, then east on 26 on Sunday night.

This week’s protest was larger than a similar protest last week as news of the shipment has spread throughout the region. An estimated 50 people greeted the megaload with signs as it’s schedule departure time neared. Before it could depart two participants locked themselves to the trucks hauling the megaload, the first time they have been blockaded in this way. This is the first of three megaloads the Hillsboro, OR based shipping company Omega Morgan has scheduled to move through the region in December and January. Similar loads sparked major protests moving through Idaho and Montana including a blockade by the Nez Pierce tribe in August.

Please join on Thursday for an info and planning meeting about what happened tonight and how you can get involved! There are two more megaloads scheduled to move through Oregon over the next two months.

If you’d like to get updates or just want to be kept further in the loop about Northwest megaload resistance click here!


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Tar Sands and Megaload background information and links:

-Following years of amazing resistance by the Nez Perce and other allies in Idaho, Including Wild Idaho Rising Tide, companies shipping critical tarsands equipment (megaloads) have been forced to explore ever more bizarre and circuitous routes to get to Alberta, Canada, and the most destructive project on earth.
-The Umatilla Tribe has officially stated that they oppose the shipment.
-This load is a 900,000 lb., 380 ft long, water purifier bound for the Alberta Tar Sands. It will be making it’s way through Oregon, into Idaho, Montana and Alberta.-Omega Morgan is a shipping company based near Portland, OR and is profiting greatly off the tar sands. They have been working to establish a viable route from the Columbia River to the tar sands in order to import equipment built overseas.-The company and state have either not or only nominally consulted the Umatilla and Warm Springs Tribes and Oregon citizens in rushed decisions about this colossal venture that could degrade public infrastructure and establish a “high and wide” corridor for industrial shipments to the most destructive and outmoded, fossil fuel extraction undertaking on Earth: Alberta tar sands mining.
The megaloads  present an opportunity to confront the tar sands expansion on our home turf; as climate justice activists we must seize this opportunity.
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Protesters Show Up, Megaload Doesn’t Budge from Umatilla

November 25, 2013  —  Hillsboro-based Omega Morgan is the trucking company hired by a subsidiary of General Electric Co. to ship massive oil refinery equipment manufactured in South Korea to the tar sands project in western Canada. ODOT regional spokesman Tom Strandberg previously said the oversize loads could begin moving along highways in eastern Oregon to southern Idaho either Sunday or Monday night.

Wild Idaho Rising Tide reports that as of late Sunday, the megaload had not left the port of Umatilla. “It never budged,” writes George Plaven of Eastern Oregon, “sitting under towering floodlights while workers with Omega Morgan continued to prepare the oversized transport for its first leg south through Hermiston and east into Pendleton”.

If the shipment proceeds as planned, it will eventually reach the John Day Valley before crossing east into southern Idaho and north through Montana en route to Canada.The load is only permitted to travel between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., and no more than eight consecutive hours per night.

A working map of the route for the 650,000 pound, three-story high equipment has been posted by All Against the Haul and can be viewed here.

As promised, about 20 protesters gathered on a toe-numbing Sunday night and waited for the first of three “megaloads” to leave the Port of Umatilla hauling massive refinery equipment into the oil sands of Alberta, Canada.  Climate activists oppose providing a route on Oregon highways for a vessel they said will contribute to increased carbon dioxide emissions and global warming. Jim Powers, of Albany, also said the Oregon Department of Transportation rushed to permit the project without enough public process.

The tar sands mines of Alberta, Canada  are among the largest mines of any type in world.  Tar sands oil is the most toxic fossil fuel on the planet.   Its extraction leaves in its wake scarred landscapes and a web of pipelines and polluting refineries.  As it delays our transition to a clean energy economy, tar sands has been identified as the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions growth in Canada, as it accounts for 40 million tons of CO2 emissions per year according to Greenpeace.

Updates to the planned Omegaloads will be tracked and reported by Portland Rising Tide, Wild Idaho Rising Tide, All Against the Haul and CoalMarch.org.


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