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Oil Trains Rapid Response Meeting — June 6, 2016

poster_9b0f79ab408048b89e657a84dafa86cbOn Friday, June 3rd, a Union Pacific train carrying crude oil fracked from the Bakken shale derailed and caught fire in the Columbia River Gorge near Mosier, Oregon. The surrounding neighborhood, including an elementary school, was evacuated, oil spilled into the Columbia River, and the fire burned into the night.

More than 100 citizens rallied and marched in nearby Hood River, Oregon, on Saturday to call for a halt to the practice of shipping oil by rail. Emily Reed, the city council president in Mosier, and other public officials joined us.

At the same time, the fate of the Pacific Northwest’s largest proposed crude oil transfer facility, the Tesoro Savage terminal in Vancouver, Washington, is soon to be decided. Grassroots opposition to existing oil train traffic, and to the climate devastation of the region’s five oil refineries, is growing. Train tracks leading to the Shell and Tesoro refineries in Anacortes, Washington were blockaded in May, 2016 by over 150 people for 36 hours—the strongest, longest-lasting, largest train blockade in the region to date—and people all over are ready to escalate the frequency and intensity of these actions.

How can we respond to this derailment in a way that meets the moral imperative to act immediately but also reflects long-term strategic thinking? How can we address the dangers of exploding oil trains in way that furthers our broader efforts to stop regional fossil fuel threats and protect global climate? How can we force the political-economic establishment to respond to the magnitude of the crisis it is causing for people and the planet?

Please join us on Monday, June 6, 6:30 pm, at the First Unitarian Church (1211 SW Main St.  Room A-108) to discuss rapid response options to the Mosier oil train derailment, identifying the networks of corporate and governmental power responsible for it. We will map out the points of conflict, from the offices of decisionmakers to the train tracks, where we can push back against the oil industry’s devastating presence in our lives. We encompass a rich diversity of political approaches and there is a need for multiple actions. Therefore, we can both use this space to plan as large a response as possible and also, if we desire, to organize breakout groups for smaller actions.

 

 

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Community Derailment Response Continues in Hood River, June 4

poster_9b0f79ab408048b89e657a84dafa86cbEmergency response crews continue tonight to monitor the smoldering wreckage of a Bakken oil train which derailed and ignited today in Mosier, Oregon. Following the blast, the Stand Up To Oil campaign called for denial of all oil train project proposals and an immediate ban on all oil train traffic in Washington and Oregon. Portland Rising Tide emphatically supports this ban.

Stand Up to Oil writes in a June 3 press release, “The devastation in Mosier underscores the risk that each town and neighborhood along the rail line faces: Spokane, Portland, Tacoma, and so many more”.

“The oil industry has demonstrated that they’re incapable of handling the product safely.  We cannot continue to put our communities at risk by allowing these unsafe oil trains to travel unchecked through the Northwest.”

The community is gathering together in Hood River tomorrow in response to the oil train derailment and fire, likely accompanied by a Stand Up to Oil press conference.


Waterfall Park in Hood River
115 State St, Hood River, OR 97031

(near Big Horse Brewing)

Saturday, June 4, 12 noon

10:30 – 12:00 Sign Painting, Friends of the Columbia Gorge office, 205 Oak St. #17, Hood River

12:00 – 12:45 Rally, Overlook Memorial Park (2nd Street & State Street, downtown Hood River)

12:45 – 1:30 March through Hood River, across I-84 Bridge, down to the HR Waterfront Park

Check the Facebook event, please RSVP & invite folks/share

The traffic in the area is really terrible today but we hope that by tomorrow it will have calmed down.  Please dress appropriately for the very hot weather.

STAND UP TO OIL is a growing coalition of groups opposed to new oil terminals and an increase in oil transport through the Northwest, while working to improve safety measures for oil currently traveling through the region. Learn more at Standuptooil.org

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Longview Coal Hearings: Draft Environmental Impact Statement Comment Period Closes June 13th

Public hearings were held on the draft environmental impact statement on the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals in Longview, Spokane, and Pasco in May and early June.

The comment period closes on Monday, June 13th

Please send in your comment to help block the Largest Coal Export Terminal in North America

Talking Points from Power Past Coal 

Comments can be submitted online or by mail. 
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Breakfree Oil Refinery Blockade in Anacortes, WA, May 13 -15 — We’ll Be Back!

trip_annacortes_breakfree_05-14-16

May 15, 2016 — An estimated 1,500 activists from across the Northwest gathered at the site of two oil refineries in Washington state demanding action to combat climate change. The two-day blockade of the railroad tracks leading to the Shell and Tesaro refineries in Anacortes began on Friday.  Hundreds of activists indicated they are willing to risk arrest and engage in peaceful civil disobedience to push for a just transition toward a more sustainable economy. Fifty-two were arrested on Sunday morning. Similar future actions are inevitable.

“Washington state jobs and lives are already at risk, with all the crazy wildfires we’ve had, with the problem with the salmon runs and the oysters,” Break Free Pacific Northwest organizer Emily Johnston explained to Jillian Raftery of KIRO radio. “People are definitely waking up to the fact that (climate change) is a real and local issue.”

“Anacortes, like other refinery towns, is a place that is economically dependent on fossil fuel jobs. You know, a lot of those are good jobs – they’re union jobs, they’re family wage jobs. So nobody wants to see that kind of work go away and not be replaced by something – also not have it be a really rational and careful transition” .

“And those workers are all invited to participate in the weekend’s events, which will include workshops and discussions to educate anyone who wants to know more, and arm activists with information to be part of the climate fight” said Johnston.

2The actions in Anacortes are part of the growing global resistance calling on people to break free from dependence on oil, coal and gas. So far, Break Free events have busted out in Germany, Brazil, Ecuador, South Africa, and British Columbia, as well as New York and California.

A Lummi ceremony, community workshops,  kayaktivist workshops, floatillas,  and a three-mile march near Anacortes along the shores of Fidalgo Bay past the Tesoro and Shell refineries were among the events that continued through Sunday.

According to the Skagit Valley Herald, “Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was among those at the rally on Friday getting kayak training from Kurtis Dengler and Jade Summers of Mosquito Fleet, which formed after the ShellNo campaign in Seattle”.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Phuong Le, Associated Press, 5/14/16:

In Washington state, organizers are targeting two refineries that are among the top sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the state. An environmental review is currently underway for a proposed oil-by-rail project at the Shell Puget Sound Refinery. Shell wants to build an unloading facility and a rail spur from existing tracks to handle about 60,000 barrels of crude oil a day delivered by train.

Many of the nearly 40 groups involved in organizing the Break Free Pacific Northwest event were also involved in large on-water kayak protests against Shell’s Arctic oil drilling rig when it parked at a Seattle port last year as it prepared to explore for oil in the Arctic.

Afrin Sopariwala, 30, a Seattle activist with Women of Color Speak Out, plans to participate this weekend.

“Looking at the conditions of the planet and my own family back home in India, and seeing how quickly and drastically the impacts of our decision are affecting the climate of the planet, I feel it’s my responsibility to future generations,” she said.

….

Ann Eissinger, a wildlife biologist who has studied (the bay’s herons) for years, said the timing was wrong but that organizers have done a stellar job of reaching out to police, media, participants and others to help minimize impact”.

“Our concern was on the ground, in the water and in the air. All three of those have been addressed, she said. ‘The only concern I have at this point is the unexpected.”

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Oregon LNG withdraws Warrenton project

Columbia Riverkeeper– April 14, 2016

LNG flew the surrender flag on April 15, 2016, dropping plans to build an Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export terminal on the lower Columbia River. Oregon LNG could not overcome intense local opposition, which sustained for over ten years. Not only is this an inspiring story of David versus Goliath, but an incredibly important victory for our climate and environment.

The Victory Over Oregon LNG prevents:

  • 1.2 billion cubic feet per day of fracked natural gas sent to Asia. That’s twice as much gas as the entire state of Oregon uses each day. Oregon LNG would have shipped a stunning volume of carbon.
  • A huge new driver for more fracking across the west. An LNG terminal is a regressive investment that locks us into fossil fuel transport for decades, which our climate cannot afford.
  • A bridge to nowhere. Natural gas is not a bridge fuel. We are moving aggressively toward renewables, and natural gas fracking and burning takes us in the wrong direction.
  • The destruction of critical salmon habitat by dredging a huge hole in the Columbia River for LNG tankers. Oregon LNG proposed the largest dredging by a private company in the history of the Columbia River, over 700,000 cubic feet across 135 acres. And the filling of 34 acres of wetlands.
  • A giant industrial scar and militarized zone in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, the Columbia River estuary.
  • LNG vessels competing for space with salmon fishing boats. LNG vessels have large security zones that would push fishers off the river.
  • The threat of eminent domain to take land of family farmers. If approved, Oregon LNG would have the power of eminent domain to construct a pipeline on private land without landowners’ permission.

LNG VICTORY MEME(1)

“After 10 years of fighting, we protected the Columbia River from dirty gas export. This is yet another huge victory for clean water and our climate. Tens of thousands of people stood up to protect clean water, public safety, and our climate. What an amazing effort and result!” – Brett VandenHeuvel, Executive Director, Columbia Riverkeeper

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Celilo Falls Commemoration, March 2016

An open invitation to anyone who would like to share memories, stories, reflections on what Celilo means– an invitation anyone who knows what happened in just a few hours on that day.  White people descended from the colonial immigrants. First Nations of Cascadia once gathered at Celilo this time of year, right now, to fish, trade and talk.

The event will be ‘open mike’ format, so bring your own story, whatever it might be, bring an instrument, bring your memories, dreams and songs. This will be recorded for broadcast on KBOO at a later date.

Thanks, Cheers,

Cris Andreae

The Bison Coffee House

3941 NE Cully blvd, Pdx

March 10th 5:30p

503-288-3941

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Support the Berrypickers Union! – March 18th & 19th

Familias Unidas por la Justicia (Families United for Justice) is an independent farmworker union based in Burlington, WA comprised of over 300 farmworker families. For the last three years they have been fighting at Sakuma Bros berry farm with strikes, court cases, and a boycott to bring an end to wage theft, denial of lunch and rest breaks, racist harassment from supervisors, poverty wages, exposure to pesticides, and inhumane housing conditions.
Speaking Event
Friday, March 18th, 
6 PM 
First Unitarian Church
1211 SW Main St.
 
Picket Line
Saturday, March 19th
10:30 AM
Whole Foods
2825 E Burnside St.
 

They have been calling for a boycott of Sakuma berries until the company negotiates a union contract with Familias Unidas. Sakuma responded to the effective boycott by moving their production under the Driscoll’s label. Driscoll’s is the world’s largest berry distributor and also supplies berries from San Quintin Mexico where over 70,000 farmworkers went on strike and formed a union in March 2015.

Now both unions are united in calling for an international boycott of Driscoll’s berries and the activity and formation of boycott committees has exploded all over the country! Familias Unidas is working to build upon this momentum and organize a major boycott offensive by touring the West Coast for a full month, sharing the story of their struggle with communities along the way, and asking people to take up the Driscoll’s boycott so farmworkers in Washington and Mexico can win historic union contracts this year!

Join us Friday March 18th at the Unitarian Church to hear from the farmworkers yourself and learn how you can support this historic movement to transform the food system!

Also join us in taking action Saturday March 19th, 10:30 AM for a picket line at Whole Foods, 2825 E Burnside St.

If you want more information or are interested in forming a boycott committee please reach out to the boycott coordination team at: BoycottCoordination@gmail.com.

To learn more about the campaign, visit boycottsakumaberries.com.

 

familiasunidastour

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Cracked earth with grass , metaphoric for climate change and global warming.

Community Town Hall on Climate Crisis

Volunteers in Oregon Senate District 23 (House Districts 45 and 46) have organized a Community Town Hall to discuss the climate crisis and proposed legislation around it. Six organizations, including Portland Rising Tide and Bark, have been invited to participate on the panel. It is expected that the proposed Oregon Healthy Climate Bill  will be discussed.

Where: Hollywood Senior Center, 1820 NE 40th Ave, Portland, OR 97212

Date/Time: Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016, 7 PM to 9:30 PM. Doors open at 6:15 PM.  

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Road through Paris – Portland March for Climate Justice

December 12th, the day after the UN Paris Climate Talks end, people all across the world are taking to the streets to make sure the people, not the politicians, have the last word. Regardless of what gets decided in Paris, we know that climate leadership is coming from the ground up with the grassroots and cities leading the way. 

In Portland, we’ll gather at the base of the Tilikum Bridge, the Bridge of the People, for a short rally with music and speakers, before marching across in a call for climate justice. See below for map of meetup location.

Co-sponsored by: 350PDX, Bark, Biosafety Alliance, Climate Action Coalition, Friends of the Gorge, Greenpeace PNW, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, OEC, Portland Audubon, Portland Rising Tide, PDX Bike Swarm, Soil Not Oil Coalition, the Sierra Club and more!

This peaceful, family friendly event will be outside, so dress to stay warm and dry. There will be warm drinks – tea, coffee, hot cider – and some snacks available.

11:30 AM – Gathering starts with music – Love Bomb Go Go
12:00 PM – Short rally featuring Kathleen Dean Moore & other local leaders for climate justice
12:30 PM – March across Tilikum Crossing

Here are ways you can help make Dec 12th a powerful action:

Volunteer on the 12th: 
We need your help with clean-up, warming stations, unloading signs, and other odd jobs! Fill out the volunteer form and we’ll be in touch about roles. 
http://350pdx.nationbuilder.com/dec12_volunteer

Join the Flash Mob:
Watch the video, learn the moves and then show up early on December 12th ready to dance: https://www.facebook.com/events/951273308259289/

Make a donation to help cover costs. Anything is appreciated! 
https://350pdx.nationbuilder.com/road_through_paris_donate 

WEEK OF ACTION — TURN IT OFF!!
From December 6th through 12th, Portlanders are planning a week of action targeting many of the things we are trying to TURN OFF in order to TURN ON a world of climate justice. 

Thursday December 10th: #StopTPP PDX – Road through Paris Action
https://www.facebook.com/events/720356791432359/

Friday December 11th: What LNG Means for Oregon: A Visual Representation 
https://www.facebook.com/events/979428418780332/

Saturday December 12th: March for Climate Justice

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