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BREAKING: Activists Blockade Shipment of Tar Sands Pipeline

For Immediate Release: November 5, 2019

Contact: Kelsey Baker, 415.599.6672, pdxnopipelines@protonmail.com

Vancouver, WA — Community members from Oregon and Washington have shut down part of the Port of Vancouver, WA to block a shipment of pipeline that is destined for the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) project in Canada that would run from Edmonton to Vancouver, B.C. This latest action is the third in a series of actions targeting the Port of Vancouver, WA for its role in transporting dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure. In early September, activists broke the news that pipe for the TMX project’s construction is being imported by ship to the Port of Vancouver, WA and then blockaded a rail line at the Port to prevent the pipe from being transported to British Columbia.

Right now, six climbers have locked themselves to the dock where the shipment is to be off-loaded in order to prevent the pipeline pipes from making it to their final destination in Vancouver, B.C. They are supported by dozens of kayakers and other boaters who are rallying to tell the Port of Vancouver, Governor Inslee, and Prime Minister Trudeau to stop this dangerous fossil fuel project that is jeopardizing a livable future for everyone on this planet.

Activists with Portland Rising Tide and the Mosquito Fleet prevent the bulk carrier Patagonia from docking at the Port of Vancouver, Wash., on November 5, 2019. The protesters are against the ships’s cargo they say is bound for the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project in Canada which will carry oil sands bitumen from Edmonton, Alberta to the coast at Burnaby, British Colombia for export to markets in Asia and the US. (Photo by: Alex Milan Tracy)

Kiera, a climber blocking the ship dock, said, “The hypocrisy of the Port of Vancouver is embarrassing. The Port Commissioners should be ashamed — they claim to be environmental stewards concerned about climate catastrophe, yet they are enabling the dirtiest pipeline project in the world by allowing this pipe to pass through the port.”

An activist with Portland Rising Tide, Rachel Walsh, said, “I’m here because tar sands crude transported by the Trans Mountain Expansion project would require three times more water for extracting and refining and would release 15% more greenhouse gas per gallon of gasoline when compared with conventional oil.” She went on to say, “We are also taking action in solidarity with Fort McKay First Nations who are suing the Alberta government because tar sands expansion threatens sacred land that the government promised to protect.”

An Oregonian at the blockade, Jesse Hannon, wants to make it clear that, “The emissions from such an expansion of tar sands oil production could spell game-over for our climate.” This mega-project, which is larger than the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline, is opposed by Indigenous communities throughout the region, whose local waters, lands, and treaty rights would be directly threatened by project construction and the risk of an oil spill.

This action, organized by Portland Rising Tide and the Mosquito Fleet, is part of a larger fight against the Trans Mountain Expansion, which has been ongoing since 2014. Both organizations are working with other groups across the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada to pressure Prime Minister Trudeau, Govenor Inslee and the Port of Vancouver, WA, who are all complicit in this project. Groups from the United States, Canada, and around the world have joined together to demand that these elected officials act to stop the Trans Mountain Expansion project immediately, respect the rights of Indigenous groups, and halt any further fossil fuel expansion.

Activists with Portland Rising Tide and the Mosquito Fleet prevent the bulk carrier Patagonia from docking at the Port of Vancouver, Wash., on November 5, 2019. The protesters are against the ships’s cargo they say is bound for the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project in Canada which will carry oil sands bitumen from Edmonton, Alberta to the coast at Burnaby, British Colombia for export to markets in Asia and the US. (Photo by: Alex Milan Tracy)

Portland Rising Tide is a local group that is part of a global grassroots network that uses education and direct action to address the root causes of climate change. https://portlandrisingtide.org/

Mosquito Fleet is a local group that organizes on-the-water direct action to halt the export of oil, gas and coal through the Salish Sea. https://mosquitofleet.us/

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Activists Shut Down Vancouver Port to Stop Expansion of Trans Mountain Pipeline

For Immediate Release

October 17, 2019

Vancouver, WA: Community members from Oregon and Washington blockaded a rail line at the Port of Vancouver, Washington today that is transporting pipe for the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project. In early September, activists broke the news that pipe for the project’s construction is being imported by ship to the Port of Vancouver. Today’s action at the gates of Terminal 5 caused a major delay in loading pipe onto trains destined for British Columbia.

If constructed, the Trans Mountain Expansion would transport an additional 590,000 barrels of toxic, heavy crude every day from the Alberta Tar Sands to the shores of British Columbia. This boost in export shipments would increase oil tankers in the Salish Sea 700%, threaten endangered Orca whales, and violate Indigenous rights. Moreover, the emissions from such an expansion of tar sands oil production could spell game-over for our climate. This mega-project, which is larger than the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline, is opposed by Indigenous communities throughout the region, whose local waters, lands, and way of life would be directly threatened by project construction and the risk of an oil spill.

This action, organized by Portland Rising Tide and Mosquito Fleet, is part of a larger fight against the Trans Mountain Expansion that has been ongoing since 2014. Both organizations are working with other groups across the west coast of the U.S. and Canada to pressure Prime Minister Trudeau, Govenor Inslee and the Port of Vancouver, WA, who are all supporting this project. We demand they stop the Trans Mountain Expansion project immediately, respect the rights of Indigenous groups, and halt any further fossil fuel expansion.

You can support our work and donate to the legal fund here.

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Banner depicting fireman with a fire hose trying to extinguish a flaming globe.

Climate Justice Activists Protest Clean Energy Jobs Bill

For Immediate Release

February, 6 2019

Climate Justice Activists Protest Clean Energy Jobs Bill

Salem, OR: Activists with the group Portland Rising Tide showed up at the Clean Energy Jobs lobby day with a banner that read, “World on Fire, CEJ Brings Garden Hose.” Hundreds of climate activists from across Oregon gathered in Salem to lobby for climate action, including volunteers with Portland Rising Tide who are calling for a Green New Deal. As Democrats are poised to pass the Clean Energy Jobs bill with support from Big Green Organizations, grassroots activists are calling on Democrats to dramatically reform the bill or abandon it and pass stronger legislation instead.

A banner depicting the earth on fire and fireman trying to put it out with a tiny hose.  The banner slogan is "World on fire! CEJ brings garden hose."

Activists with Portland Rising Tide are calling attention to major problems within the Clean Energy Jobs bill, including no limits on the construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure, use of carbon markets and carbon trading, and the proportion of the revenue that will go into the Highway Trust Fund, potentially leading to increases in greenhouse gas emissions.  

Instead, activists are calling for a Green New Deal in Oregon that includes direct industry regulation, transformation of the food system, massive expansion of public transportation, and job programs.

“We’re out here today because we want to see serious action on climate change,” said Jesse Hannon with Portland Rising Tide. “We are very concerned that this bill is not going to do what it claims. Cap and trade has been a failure for 13 years, and with only 12 years left to significantly reduce emissions, we don’t have time to waste on policies that don’t work. We need something better and we need it now.”

Increasingly, Oregonians are concerned about climate change and calling for climate action. In response to the recent studies showing that irreversible climate tipping points could be reached as soon as 2030, people are calling for rapid carbon emissions reductions and a society-wide transition off of fossil fuels.

Portland Rising Tide is an all-volunteer network of climate justice activists organizing against the root causes of climate change.

For more information and pictures from today’s action, visit @pdxrisingtide on Twitter and Facebook.

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Illustration of banner reading Summer of Resistance

Summer of Resistance: Defending Frontline Activists

Summer of Resistance: Defending Frontline Activists

An evening of comedy & music!

Friday, June 30th 6pm-9pm

Lagunitas Community Room, 237 NE Broadway St #300

Portland, OR 97232, USA

Hosted by Portland comedian Bonesaw

Comedian lineup: Chris Johnson, Wendy Weiss, Christian Ricketts, & Jay Shingle

Featuring live music by Tom Dandelion & the Fresh Fruits!

Benefit Event for the Civil Liberties Defense Center

Tickets: $15 in advance $20 at the door

Facebook event

Currently we are representing dozens of Standing Rock Water Protectors, the valve turners who shut down the 5 pipelines bringing Canadian tar sands into the US, the 52 Break Free defendants from the Break Free action in 2016, and many other front-line defenders. With the current administration and the climate emergency the need for direct action is more important than ever. Come support our work defending front-line activists in the northwest & across the country!

Our Executive Director, Lauren Regan, will be giving an update on the cases & projects we are working on and introducing our newest staff member, Erin Grady.

 

Join us for a night of comedy, music, and fun at CLDC’s Summer of Resistance! The night will be hosted by Portland comedian Bonesaw featuring comedy from: Chris Johnson, Wendy Weiss, Christian Ricketts, & Jay Shingle and live music by Tom Dandelion & the Fresh Fruits!

 

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Ticket includes one free drink token additional drink tokens are $4. There will be beer, wine, pizza, and more food!

Purchase tickets here: https://cldc.org/product/summer-of-resistance-tickets/ or at the event! 

In solidarity,

Charles Denson

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Direct Action & Community Defense Trainings – March & April

Our capacity to resist is directly correlated to our capacity to self-organize on a massive scale. Join us for a training for people who want to develop their ability to take strong collective action in committed groups of people.

ABOUT THE TRAINING

We will introduce the basic and common non-violent direct action strategies and tactics. We will also review pertinent legal information to engaging in direct action and address how you and your group can keep each other safe while challenging those in power.

This training lasts from 10am-7pm and will thoroughly prepare your group to take strategic & tactically powerful autonomous action.

Saturday, March 18th & Saturday April 8th

ABOUT YOU

Please come in a group. A group does not need to be any kind of formal organization. It can be you and your friends or you and your family or your coworkers or fellow students or church group or chess club or step squad or really any assemblage of people with whom you have affinity. It also CAN be you and people from your formal organization if you happen to belong to one. We ask that groups be made up of at least 3 people, and encourage much larger groups to attend as well. If your group doesn’t already have a name, now’s your chance to thing of something awesome to call yourselves.

We also ask that regardless of the size of your group, *at least* 3 people from your group attend the training. There will be a lot of different information given and you might have to split up at points to absorb it all.

We will be checking at the door that you have registered and are showing up with your group. Please do not register if you do not plant to attend with other members of your group.

We will share the location with groups who RSVP.

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Break Free protesters camped on the tracks outside of Tesoro refiner in Anacortes

Help With Break Free PNW Legal Support

Break Free protesters camped on the tracks outside of Tesoro refiner in Anacortes
Small entrance to rail track blockade at Break Free, PNW Copyright (c) 2016 Alex Garland and made available under Creative Commons Attribution Generic 2.0 license.

In May of 2016, dozens of activists were arrested after blockading a train track heading to the Tesoro oil refinery outside of Anacortes, Washington. This action held the tracks for 36 hours and was coordinated with an international series of actions known as Break Free. You can help with their legal costs by donating here

Pressured by this action and years of local organizing, Shell withdrew their proposal for a rail spur to their refinery, which neighbors the Tesoro refinery on March Point. This rail spur would have doubled the amount of oil trains passing through Mt. Vernon and the Swinomish Tribal Reservation. Direct action works!

Now 39 of those activists are going to trial and they need your help! Expert witness expenses and legal costs add up quickly. Your financial support shows these activists that you’ve got their back and support the struggle for climate justice. 

We have a goal of $20,000 – any amount helps! Please donate.

This fund is administered by volunteers, so 100% of donations will go to court costs.

Thank you for your support!

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From the Dakota Pipeline Resistance

dakota-resistance_guardian_Aug'16_TomStrommeAP
People against the Dakota Access pipeline chant in opposition last week at a site where a roadway was being constructed to begin the process of building the pipeline. Photo: Tom Stromme/AP

The Inyan wakankagapi otip-Sacred Stone Camp from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is partnering with the Oectc  Sakowin- Seven Council Fires, Indians and Cowboys and anyone who wants to stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline. This pipeline would cross the Missouri River and Cannon Ball Rivers– the life lines to many tribes and non-natives. When this pipeline leaks, it will destroy the water and land.  Water is life. We are asking for financial support for water-food and blankets for the camp.  This is a prayer camp movement to save our sacred land and water. It has been entirely supported by the people and the campers. Wopila lila tanka– we are deeply grateful for you contributions thank you! 

In Spirit,

Sacred Stone Camp
sacredstonecamp.org

Background on Dakota Resistance: 

We Are Protectors. The Guardian. 8/18/16

Support Grows. Indian Country Today. 8/15/16

Dakota Pipeline. Mother Jones.8/12/16

Video from Dakota Occupation. 8/11/16

Camp of the Sacred Stones. 8/10/16

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FERN Street Theatre Flashmob

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Portland, OR — The fledgling Fossil Fuel Resistance Network (“FERN”) orchestrated a street theatre flash mob on Saturday to stand up to railway and oil corporations which continue to put our communities at risk of climate change and oil train explosions.

With more than 50 participants, those dressed in black fell to the ground and made gurgling noises as they spilled from the Tank of Doom. Those wearing red danced around them, waving scarves and shouting “Burn! Burn!”.  The performance was repeated several times as participants snaked through SE Portland’s industrial area– including one performance atop the railroad tracks near Water Avenue and SE Taylor St. Portland police responded with bullhorn threats of arrest until the group disbanded from the tracks, heading to the OMSI Science Center.

For obvious safety concerns, FERN representatives notified Union Pacific (UP) prior to the performance that the tracks would be blocked.

UP, which owns the tracks along the targeted corridor in SE Portland, resumed oil train traffic through the Columbia Gorge in June despite being found “solely responsible” for the June 8 derailment and explosion in Mosier, OR, and despite requests from Oregon and Washington state officials for a moratorium pending further investigation and public input.

Communities all along these blast zones are asking for protection from future disasters. FERN is an open and inclusive organizing body that is rising to meet this call.

Nice work, FERN! We’ll catch you at the next block party…

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Vancouver Tesoro Savage Oil Terminal Adjudication– Monday, June 27

EFSEC’s [Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council] 1st Day of the Adjudication Process for the  Vancouver Tesoro Savage Oil Terminal:
Monday, June 27, 9:00am
Columbia Tech Center at Clark College

18700 SE Mill Plain Blvd. Vancouver, WA 98683

(This is not where the April 12th Hearing was held.)

From Vancouver’s Don Steinke:

“This will be the first day of a five-week process where legal teams from both sides present evidence and expert testimony is cross examined.   

We’d like signs outside quoting resolutions of concern or opposition from various cities and a full house inside on the first and last days in Vancouver, and one day in Olympia.

We don’t want to make the EFSEC staff feel like they are walking through a gauntlet as they arrive.  They view us in a positive manner.  

EFSEC’s trial-like hearing will begin and end in Vancouver, with different parties presenting detailed evidence about why the Council should approve or deny the project. Although the general public is not allowed to speak, our presence will help to convey the depth of opposition to the Tesoro Savage proposal in Vancouver.

On the first day of the hearing, let’s give EFSEC a warm welcome and rally outside the hearing.  The hearing room can hold roughly 100 members of the public – let’s make sure it’s packed!”

DIRECTIONS

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Twenty-One People Arrested Blockading Oil Train Route in Vancouver, WA

Over 100 people stopped rail traffic by forming a human blockade across the tracks in Vancouver, WA on Saturday, June 18.  Watch a recap video and donate to their legal fund.

Organized by the Fossil Fuel Resistance Network in response to the recent oil train derailment in Mosier, OR, the action united voices from across the region in concern not only about the potential local impacts of continued oil-by-rail, but also about the immediate and critical threats of carbon emissions and climate change. During the blockade, many community members spoke about their grief and rage that corporate greed is putting our local ecosystems and communities at risk and fueling the sixth great global extinction.

The Union Pacific train that derailed in Mosier on June 3rd contaminated the Columbia River and local sewer system with crude oil fracked from the Bakken Shale, ignited a fire that released toxic oil smoke into the air, evacuated local neighborhoods and schools, and ultimately drained the city’s entire aquifer.  In the last three years alone, oil train derailments in North America have killed forty-seven people, spilled millions of gallons of oil into waterways, forced the evacuation of thousands and caused billions of dollars in property damage and environmental destruction.

Community members connected the local disaster to a greater climate crisis – ecosystems across the planet are rapidly destabilizing, confirming the worst case scenarios of climate scientists’ predictions.  “We need Governors Brown and Inslee to do more than just advocate for a temporary moratorium on oil trains!  We need them to enact an immediate just transition to a post-fossil fuel economy,” said Portland resident Audrey Caines.  “If governments are not going to take decisive and immediate action to keep fossil fuels in the ground, people’s movements like this one will.”

Speakers also addressed the social consequences of fossil fuel infrastructure, stating that marginalized communities bear disproportionate risks and consequences, as oil train blast zones, pipeline routes, and drilling sites typically exist in low-income rural areas and communities of color. In Mosier, the disaster threatened food and water sources for local Native tribes.

BNSF and the Vancouver city police tried to disperse the crowd multiple times.  In an act of pure intimidation, BNSF ran an engine within 50 feet of the protesters on the tracks and blew it’s horn repeatedly.  Despite the looming non-verbal threat, nobody sitting on the rails made any moves to leave.

The Pacific Northwest has seen a growing movement against fossil fuel transport throughout the region.  Concerned residents point out that proposed new fossil fuel terminals and terminal expansions, including the proposed Tesoro-Savage oil terminal in Vancouver, WA, could result in a dramatic increase in coal and oil trains passing through the Columbia Gorge each week. Mosier would see five times the amount of oil train traffic if these projects are approved. “This is not just the beginning!” said Portland Rising Tide activist Mia Reback. “This movement is growing and will not stop until all fossil fuel extraction projects are shut down and all known fossil fuel reserves are kept safely in the ground! Oil barons beware: we will be back!”

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