Yesterday we prevented 5 BNSF coal trains from entering BC to unload coal at Westshore Terminals. We physically stopped a 6th train on the tracks at White Rock BC at 6 pm, at which point 14 good citizens were arrested for violating a court order not to interfere with BNSF operations.
Here’s what was involved: 14 people willing to risk arrest to stand up for what they believe in. The support of prominent people like Bill McKibben, James Hansen and Mark Jaccard, who were ready to speak up in advance and say this is the right thing to do. A stoked-up group of supporters who, through their actions, helped set a tone for the day that was peaceful, creative and hopeful, but also focused and determined. A network of people in Washington State keeping us abreast of train movements. One Twitter account.
That’s all it took to stop Warren Buffett in his tracks for a full day — a very important day for him personally. We were all overwhelmed by how beautifully everything unfolded. It all seemed a bit unreal at days end — but that may have been because of the sunburn, dehydration and overall exhaustion. Still, on a sunny Sunday morning, anything seems possible.
We were never worried about our physical safety because everything was planned out carefully and announced in advance. Our interactions with the police were incredible – respectful, candid and ongoing throughout the day. The White Rock detachment of the RCMP worked hard all day in the interest of public safety while also acknowledging our right to peacefully stand up for what we believe in. It was a good day to be a Canadian citizen.
That 100 car coal train we stopped in White Rock did reach the port eventually, but it did so under the watchful eye of hundreds of onlookers and media crews. Warren Buffett’s arrangement to ship dirty Wyoming coal to Jimmy Pattison’s port — the biggest exporter of global warming pollution in North America — is firmly in the public eye. We’ve started to connect the dots between coal exports and climate change. This is just the beginning.
Thank you everyone who took part!