Detroit Heading to the NYC Climate Convergence & People’s Climate March

pt.2013.11.04_tarsandsDetroit, MI – Over 50 Detroiters will travel to NYC on September 18th to  represent Detroit at The Global Climate Convergence(GCC), the UN  BKM Climate Summit, and the People’s Climate March; slated to be the world’s largest march for climate and a just transition. Groups that co-organized to get folks to NYC include East Michigan Environmental Action Council(EMEAC), Detroit Coalition Against Tar Sands(D-CATS), Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands(MI CATS)-CATS, Detroit Light Brigade, and Feed Da Streetz.

Can you support us to get subway passes while we’re there? 

10464409_10203306415674678_5966048598286756864_nD-CATS water warrior woman and mother of 5, Valerie Jean, will be on a dynamic panel at the GCC discussing  the connection between our dirty energy system and the water crises in Detroit and across the globe. Detroit will be represented on the international scene by folks from EMEAC as delegates to the UN Climate Summit. Follow @planit4planet on twitter for live tweets

We have secured free and low-cost lodging while we’re in NYC thanks to the MI CATS and organizers who volunteered with Occupy Sandy. 350.org generously covered the cost of getting these frontline folks to NYC by bus. Now we need the support from you all working alongside us, and in solidarity, to get subway passes for our group while we’re in NYC for 3 days. We’ll make every dollar stretch. Every donation is directly supporting folks on the frontlines of the tar sands and fossil fuel resistance.

Any support  is appreciated!

  • $7.50 Supports 1 Detroiter with a 1 day subway pass 
  • $15.00 Supports 2 Detroiters with a 1 day subway pass
  • $22.50 Supports 1 person having access to mass transit for the entire weekend!

Rising Tide Seattle Blockades Oil Train

Mid-day Tuesday, September 2nd in Everett Washington Rising Tide Seattle activists committed a blockade of one of the oil trains that frequents the Burlington Northern Santa-Fe (BNSF) tracks. The stand-off lasted eight hours due to the precarious positioning of each person in a locked-down manner.

Abby Brockway is suspended from the tripod blocking the oil train. Photo from Rising Tide Seattle.

Details about the action have been assembled by Rising Tide North America. The story written gives many details. Statements from those in the blockade whom have been arrested for trespass, are as follows:

  • Abby Brockway  (suspended at top of tripod) – small business owner and mother

“People in the Pacific Northwest are forming a thin green line that will keep oil, coal and gas in the ground,” said Brockway, “Just one of these proposed terminals would process enough carbon to push us past the global warming tipping point – we won’t let that happen.”

“BNSF is endangering workers, communities and our environment. They should keep the conductors and lose the oil trains.”

Lac-Megantic after oil train explosion downtown (photo: The Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz)
Lac-Megantic after July 6, 2013 oil train explosion downtown (photo: The Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz)

Brockway is speaking of a tentative deal BNSF has worked with the union to reduce staff from an engineer and a conductor to a single engineer for both oil and coal trains. Note the oil train that exploded last year in Lac Megantic, Quebec leveling blocks of the downtown area was operated by a single engineer.

  • Jackie Minchew (locked to a tripod pole) – retired educator

“Exploding oil-trains running through my town are just a reminder of how out of control the fossil fuel industry really is.”

  • Patrick Mazza (locked to a tripod pole) – long time climate activist with daughter turning 18 the next day

Railroads can be part of the solution, transporting crops and people or part of the problem with coal and oil. We should make that decision, not the fossil fuel companies.”

“My last act as a father before my daughter reaches full adulthood tomorrow is to put my body on the line today,It is up to us of the parental generation to do our absolute best to leave the least climate disrupted world we can, to put our bodies on the line to give our kids a fighting chance to deal with what we have left them.”

  • Liz Spoerri (locked to a tripod pole) – a Seattle middle school teacher

“We could pass every climate initiative proposed by Governor Inslee, but if we let these terminals be built our future is on the chopping block.”

  • Mike LaPoint (locked to a tripod pole) – small business owner in Everett

“People in the Northwest are not going to allow this region to become a fossil fuel superhighway. This is just a sample of the resistance that will happen if any large fossil fuel project is permitted. Politicians play a blame game and talk about safety, but new terminals keep getting rubber stamped and built. If elected officials won’t stop the fossil fuel takeover, we’ll have to do it for them.”

This isn’t the first time for Rising Tide Seattle. On July 28 they blocked the railroad tracks of the nearby Tesoro refinery in Anacortes where the oil train was destined.

Raising Funds for Legal Defense

Rising Tide Seattle has established a legal defense fund for those criminally charged and is welcoming contributions to it.

Recent Reason For Concern

Crews work to get an oil tanker car back on to the tracks where it derailed. (Credit: Dan Loya/KCPQ-TV)
Crews work to get an oil tanker car back on to the tracks where it derailed. (Credit: Dan Loya/KCPQ-TV)

This is the second blockade committed following a July 24, 2014 derailment of two tank cars and one box car on an oil train through the BNSF rail yard, under the Magnolia Bridge. They were extremely lucky in that incident as neither tank car was leaking their load of crude oil.

Lac-Megantic oil train fire still burning more than 10 hours.
Lac-Megantic oil train fire still burning more than 10 hours.

The train was traveling about 5 mph when the derailment occurred. If the train have been traveling even a few mph faster more cars would have bucked the tracks in chain reaction to the derailment and likely cause an explosion similar to Lac-Magentic.

BNSF moves anywhere from 8-13 train through Seattle every week containing a million or more gallons of crude oil. “Even though they travel through our city, we as a city, do not have control over how the railways are used, and we must rely on the safety standards that are set at the federal level,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said in a statement Thursday. “This is an important public safety issue facing Seattle and I will continue to advocate for less oil and coal coming through our city.” A day earlier, Seattle city council members announced they sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation asking that crude oil shipments through Seattle neighborhoods be stopped. City Councilman Mike O’Brien and all eight of his council colleagues signed a letter calling for the U.S. secretary of transportation to issue an emergency order prohibiting the shipment of Bakken crude oil in legacy DOT-111 tank train cars. — Q13 Fox News

That same date, July 24, EcoWatch published an article titled “Crude Awakening From Fossil Fuel Transport“, bringing awareness up on so called “Bomb Trains” which have long strings of DOT-111 classified cars clumped together.


Resistance to the expansion of Enbridge’s pipeline 6b


This action is in solidarity with First Nations communities in Canada exploited at the point of tar sands extraction in Alberta. This action is in solidarity with everyone and everything displaced by Enbridge’s illegitimate abuse of eminent domain to seize land for this pipeline expansion. This action is in solidarity with the thousands of families and uncountable creatures in the Kalamazoo watershed that were injured and killed because of the 2010 pipeline spill. This action is in solidarity with residents in Detroit, especially those in area code 48217 where these dirty tar sands are refined, sacrificing health and life for the sake of corporate profit. This action is in solidarity with all those resisting and persisting in the face of uncertainty to #WageLove to fight the systemic extraction and exploitation of life.

micats fox

Lisa Leggio and Jarret Schlaff had the opportunity to be on Fox 2 news last night to shed some light on this dirty chapter in Pure Michigan’s history.
Watch it Here: Two arrested protesting oil pipeline extension in Oxford
Here is a link to our 2 min highlight reel video of yesterday’s MI CATS action: Michigan Tar Sands Blockade

Dylan and Duncan are both out of jail and in good spirits as they continue to wait for charges.

DONATE HERE: https://www.everribbon.com/micats

Live updates and testimonials from both of the MI CATS 2(as some are calling them) can be found here: http://michigancats.org


Detroit Coalition Against Tar Sands