Portland Activists Blockade Columbia River in Symbolic Protest Against Fossil Fuel Shipments

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28th July 2013

In a day-long affair involving hundreds of activists, the Portland Rising Tide and 350.org collaboration, Summer Heat, went off yesterday without a hitch.

Activists congregated in the morning at the Vancouver Landing in Vancouver, Washington, where the port authorities recently OKed a terminal to ship hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil carried on trains from the Bakken Shale. 

521686_555937994470298_835309442_nHosting info sessions about free trade agreements, direct action, and infrastructure resistance, the event carried a festive air into the early afternoon. By 3pm, around 250 activists in more than 100 boats took to the river for a symbolic blockade and massed under the Columbia Bridge.

More activists gathered on the bridge, and three climbers repelled down with a long, transparent banner that read, “Coal, Oil, Gas: None Shall Pass.”

“It went as well as I thought it could have,” stated one Rising Tide activist to EF! News. Although the FBI had been snooping around in the weeks prior to the event, the crowd that came out to the protest showed that they will not be intimidated.

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Police presence was relatively minimal at the protest compared to other Rising Tide and Occupy actions that have occurred. Nobody was arrested, and the message was sent: Expect Resistance.

Summer Heat was only a high point in what has been a long, hard, and in many ways successful struggle, which has seen three three proposed coal terminals shut down so far.  Today, Portland Rising Tide looks invigorated, confident, and more dedicated than ever to the mission of stopping climate change.