Protesters Block Train Tracks to 2 Washington State Refineries

News ID: 1075578 Service: Other Media
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TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Hundreds of climate activists marched to the site of two refineries in northwest Washington state to call for a break from fossil fuels, while a smaller group continued to block railroad tracks leading to the facilities for a second day.

Protesters in kayaks, canoes, on bikes and on foot took part in a massive demonstration Saturday near Anacortes, about 70 miles north of Seattle, to demand action on climate and an equitable transition away from fossil fuels such as oil and coal.

A day before, about 150 activists had pitched tents and set up camp on nearby railroad tracks to block the flow of oil flowing to the nearby Shell and Tesoro oil refineries.

"We can't wait anymore. We've got to do things now," Clara Cleve, 76, of Edmonds, said Saturday. "Direct action is very effective. My grandchildren are not going to have a place to live unless we move quickly now."

Cleve said she plans to spend another night in a tent on the tracks and is prepared to be arrested for trespassing if necessary, the Associated Press reported. 

The protests are part of a series of global actions calling on people to "break free" from dependence on fossil fuels. Similar demonstrations are taking place in Los Angeles and Albany, New York, Saturday and in Washington, D.C., Sunday.

In upstate New York, climate activists gathered at a crude-oil shipment hub on the Hudson River in an action targeting crude-by-rail trains and oil barges at the Port of Albany. A group of activists sat on tracks used by crude oil trains headed to the port. Police did not report any arrests as of midday Saturday. Albany is a key hub for crude-by-rail shipments from North Dakota's Bakken Shale region.

In Washington state, organizers are targeting two refineries that are among the top sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the state. Tesoro has started shipping Bakken crude oil to its refinery, and Shell is proposing an expansion project that would similarly bring in Bakken crude oil by train.

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