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On Thursday, September 17th, members of Northern Rockies Rising Tide and Blue Skies Campaign staged a peaceful blockade in order to prevent a coal train from entering the Missoula rail yard in an act of peaceful protest against Montana coal export projects that threaten the health of rail line communities and the global climate. This nonviolent action is part of a wider nationwide movement called Flood the System, which is mobilizing people across the US this fall to call for real climate
solutions in the lead-up to December’s UN climate change negotiations in Paris.

Two community members, Lee Van de Water and Shannon Curry, locked their arms together and refused to move for the mile long coal train. With other participants, Lee and Shannon were able to hold space on the tracks for an hour, preventing it from moving towards its west coast destination. After refusing to leave and going limp, both were cited and released for trespassing.

“We refuse to let such a beautiful place be completely destroyed,” stated blockader Shannon Curry.
Lee Van de Water added, “we’re acting today because no one in power has made a meaningful effort to address the extraction and consumption of fossil fuels.

The groups present were drawing attention to the role that the state of Montana plays in curbing any further rise in global temperatures. The pool of carbon present in Montana coal is a significant portion of the remaining coal that needs to be left in the ground, which many world scientists agree is the most important step in minimizing the predicted effects of climate change.
While world leaders continue to fail to agree on a just and effective climate deal, and politicians like Montana’s US Senator Steve Daines deny the scientific reality of human-caused climate change, groups like Rising Tide and Blue Skies Campaign are confronting the root causes of the climate crisis by calling for an end to the extraction and combustion of coal, oil, and other fossil fuels.

Actions against coal train traffic have taken place twice before on railroad property in Missoula, in March and August of last year. Thursday’s action was an escalation of nonviolent tactics over those past actions.

Montana Watershed Event – Flood the System Presentation Tomorrow!

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Hello Community Members and Organizers,

This coming Wednesday, September 2nd, we will be facilitating a training, presentation and discussion in conjunction with Seattle Rising Tide about Flood the System. There will be a presentation of the graphic narrative created by Rising Tide North America, a tool used to explain how we can rapidly grow the grassroots climate movement while making it accessible to people fighting for all other forms of justice (social, political, economic). It is a grand effort to connect all of these struggles in a coherent way. There will also be a brief training on Non-Violent direct action and how it plays a role in this effort. The training will wrap up a with a localized discussion of the issues we face in Montana and how/when we can take action.

Please consider coming to this presentation. It will take place from 5-8 pm in the large meeting room of the Missoula Public Library. There will be snacks and drinks provided.

Thanks, and hope to see you there!

Flood the System Bike Ride to Kick of Season of Climate Action in the Northern Rockies

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On Saturday, August 29th, Northern Rockies Rising Tide along with Blue Skies Campaign and other groups around Montana are kicking off a season of nonviolent action to break our addiction to fossil fuels — and we need you to help.

Over the course of the fall local organizers and climate activists will be participating in Flood the System, a nationwide effort to scale up the climate movement before this December’s UN climate change negotiations in Paris.  We’re planning a series of nonviolent actions in cooperation with other groups, starting with a statewide day of action this Saturday.

There will be Flood the System actions in three different Montana communities Saturday — and I hope you’ll join the one nearest to you.  Here are the details:

In Missoula, Blue Skies and other groups will hold a Climate Bike Ride, a mobile protest against fossil fuel industries and other institutions that contribute to the climate crisis.  The ride starts at 1:00pm at FreeCycles (732 S. 1st St. W.), and should finish around 2:30-3:00.

In Bozeman, concerned citizens will hold a rally for climate solutions in front of the County Courthouse on Main St & 3rd Ave, from 1:00-2:00pm.  Please come and feel free to bring your own sign.

In Great Falls, members of the community will gather for a picket protest outside the Calumet oil refinery (on the corner of Smelter Ave & 10th St NE) from 10:00-11:30am.  Meet across the street from the refinery in the Montana Club parking lot, and bring a sign if you can.

By participating in any one of these events Saturday you can help start this fall’s season of climate action off on a strong note, and you’ll also get a chance to learn more about Flood the System and other events coming up later this fall.  Please join us in the streets!

Montanans Preparing to Flood the System

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Lets Flood the System This Fall!

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The Story So Far

Over the past year, hundreds of thousands of people have flowed into the streets to fight back.

Fast food workers in over a hundred cities went on strike, with thousands arrested demanding $15 an hour and a union. Young people in Ferguson, protesting the murder of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson, showed us the power of sustained action as they fought back against state violence for weeks, reinvigorating a national movement for Black liberation. Hundreds of thousands of climate activists marched at the People’s Climate March in New York, and the next day Flood Wall Street shut down the heart of New York’s financial district.

Across the country, and the world, powerful movements are using nonviolent direct action to to disrupt business as usual and demand lasting systemic change.

These moments show that broad mobilization and disruption are ways that we can transform our society. It is time we move beyond conventional strategies. Its time we connect across movements and #FloodTheSystem.

LETS BRING THE FLOOD TO THE ROCKIES THIS FALL — AND MOVE MONTANA AWAY FROM A FUTURE AS AN ENERGY EXPORT COLONY. WE ARE WORKING WITH INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS ACROSS THE REGION TO HELP AMPLIFY THE STRUGGLE FOR SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE. PLEASE STAY TUNED HERE, ON THE FLOOD THE SYSTEM WEBSITE or on the BLUE SKIES CAMPAIGN WEBSITE. WE HOPE TO SEE YOU IN THE STREETS, THE FIELDS, FACTORIES, FAST FOOD JOINTS, DETENTION CENTERS AND MINE SITES THIS FALL!

Video From the Megaload Rally 3/14/2014

This is a lo-fi video the how the events unfolded at the anti-megaload rally on the early morning of friday, March 14.

Local Citizens Blockade Megaload, Three Arrested

CITIZENS AND CLIMATE ACTIVISTS BLOCK MEGALOAD SHIPMENT, THREE WOMEN ARRESTED

 

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MISSOULA – Early on the morning of Friday, Marth 14th, local citizens and members of Indian Peoples Action, Northern Rockies Rising Tide and Blue Skies Campaign led a group of about 80 people in an act of non-violent civil disobedience against the latest megaloadas it passed through Missoula. Protestors occupied the street in front of the megaload, performing a traditional round dance and bringing the shipment to a complete stop for about 20 minutes. Protestors were issued a final warning and four people then chose to sit down and refused to move. Several more joined in but were forcfully escorted to the sidewalk. The action ended with the arrest of three Missoula women, Carol Marsh, Debbie Florence, and Gail Gilman. All were charged with disorderly conduct and eventually released.

 

The members of Indian People’s Action released a statement saying, “We are standing in solidarity with our cousins of the Nez Perce tribe, the Umatilla, and the cousins to the north whose lives are being drastically affected by the destructive nature of the needless extraction of tar sands. This is leaving the land uninhabitable and our people with no place to go.”

 

These particular megaloads, weighing close to 750,000 lbs., have been heading through Oregon, Southern Idaho and Montana to Alberta, Canada to be used for extraction purposes. The hauler of the equipment, Omega Morgan, was trying a new overland route to the tar sands after the preferred route over Highway 12 was again shut down to megaload traffic, due in large part to an historic blockade by the Nez Perce nation in August, 2013. This shipment was the last of three controversial pieces of massive tar sands mining equipment, originating from the Port of Umatilla, OR, to make their way through Montana this year.

Opposition to the shipment of megaloads has been gaining ground in Montana over the past 6 months, spurred on by similar campaigns in Idaho and uprisings by Indigenous communities all over the U.S. and Canada. The last megaload rally in January drew about 70 participants from all over Western Montana and Idaho and resulted in three arrests. A common thread in the megaload protests in Montana, Oregon, and Idaho has been opposition to the use of indigenous and first nations territories, without consultation or consent, in order to serve the needs of the tar sands industry.

We are at a critical point where there is no turning back. The land and water are being destroyed for a dwindling fuel source, we need to work now to transition into renewable energy sources that are already available to us and could create good jobs that can sustain and boost our economy, while also saving our agricultural land and diminishing water supplies” said, Naomi Odermann, media liason with Indian Peoples Action.

For the protestors and organizers at the action, the megaload represents a critical piece of the tar sands industry, and they vowed to confront any future shipments. Drawing connections to the construction of Keystone XL, proposed tar sands development in the U.S. and a continued disregard for indigenous sovereignty, the message at the action was expansive, but very clear – that until the tar sands are shut down people will continue to put their bodies on the line.

 

 

 

 

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