NRRT and Supporters Protest and Temporarily Block Conoco Shipments

Photo by Alex Sakariassen of the Missouls Independent

At about 2:30 am on Thursday morning, two residents of Missoula, MT, Carol Marsh, 69, and Ann Maechtlen, 50, sat down in the middle of Reserve St. in an attempt to halt the shipment of large, oversized loads of equipment heading to a ConocoPhillips tar sands oil refinery in Billings, MT.

Marsh, a retired journalist and grandmother, and Maechtlen, a two-time cancer survivor, attempted three or four times to block the shipments but the police refused to arrest the two women, instead opting to forcefully remove them to the sidewalk as they were cheered on by a crowd of about 100 supporters. The police cited and released one other man who sat down with the two women.

The action was the culmination of a “welcome to Missoula” street party organized by Northern Rockies Rising Tide (NRRT) in an effort to take back the streets from Big Oil.

“These megaloads are serving refineries that process oil from the Alberta tar sands, the worst ecological disaster the planet has ever faced. The tar sands undermine any effort to stop global warming. I did this because I want there to be a world for my granddaughter to grow up in,” said Marsh.

The NRRT action was preceded by two other demonstrations the same day, one of which drew about 70 people and ended in several arrests.NRRT Participates in March Earlier In the Day

As you already know, opponents of the megaload shipments are also concerned with the potentially devastating local impacts posed by the transformation of Montana’s scenic byways, specifically Hyw. 12, into an industrial shipping corridor for big oil corporations.

“Conoco is merely the first in a potentially very long-line of oil companies. Exxon is next. The construction of a high-and-wide industrial shipping corridor through some of the most remote and scenic byways in our state represents an assault on Montana, and the strip-mining of tar sands represents an assault on Alberta and on the world. Make no mistake: we are going to stop this,” commented NRRT organizer Susie Rosett.

Conoco Phillips, the third largest integrated energy corporation in the United States, operates a tar sands refinery in Billings and has a 50 percent equity interest in the proposed Keystone XL Energy Pipeline, which would cut through the Northeastern portion of Montana, transporting large quantities of tar sands crude to Texas, a project that has sparked an outpouring of opposition from Glasgow to the Gulf.[*]

This action was one of many steps in a continually escalating campaign. Let it be known: WE WON’T STOP UNTIL THEY DO.

NRRT Participates in March Earlier In the Day

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    • Claudette Ross
    • March 10th, 2011

    Courage combined with foresight is a powerful force: perhaps an unstoppable one.

    • Phil
    • March 11th, 2011

    “The action was the culmination of a “welcome to Missoula” street party organized by Northern Rockies Rising Tide (NRRT) in an effort to take back the streets from Big Oil.”

    That’s one of the most ridiculous statements I’ve ever read.

    • More ridiculous than this one?:

      “…we are committed to operating in a way that protects the environment.” -ExxonMobile Corporation

      Or this one?:

      “We recognize and respect the choice of indigenous communities to live as distinct peoples, with their own cultures and relationships to the land.” -ConocoPhillips Corporation

    • Maybe the of the idea of burning a near equal amount of natural gas (in BTU’s) to release the bitumen is more ridiculous?

      What kind of perverse economic theory would promote the absudity of a system that wastes and pollutes the common resources of the many to gain a marginal profit for a few? NOW THAT’S RIDICULOUS!

      Maybe Koch Industries paying anonymous bloggers to spread doubt about the facts of climate change is more ridiculous?

    • shelby
    • March 24th, 2011

    i love this so much right now. those banners look really really good. im really proud of you all.

  1. in an attempt to halt the shipment of large oversized loads of equipment heading to a ConocoPhillips tar sands oil refinery in Billings MT..Marsh a retired journalist and grandmother and Maechtlen a two-time cancer survivor attempted three or four times to block the shipments but the police refused to arrest the two women instead opting to forcefully remove them to the sidewalk as they were cheered on by a crowd of about 100 supporters. The police cited and released one other man who sat down with the two women..The action was the culmination of a welcome to Missoula street party organized by Northern Rockies Rising Tide NRRT in an effort to take back the streets from Big Oil.. These megaloads are serving refineries that process oil from the Alberta tar sands the worst ecological disaster the planet has ever faced.

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