By Jonathan Glover
31 August 2016
(The Spokesman-Review) – Police arrested three protesters calling themselves “Raging Grannies” for standing on railroad tracks Wednesday when they refused orders to stop blocking oil and coal trains in east Spokane.
The women - all grandmothers - were3 the last of about 20 protestors who blocked rail lines near Trent Avenue and Napa Street to protest the movement of oil and coal trains through Spokane, and the burning of fossil fuels.
“People are sick and tired of the inaction on climate change,” said Kai Huschke, one of the protesters.
Trains carrying crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken region and Alberta’s tar sands pass through the city daily. Coal from the Powder River Basin heading to Northwest ports for shipment to Asia also moves through the city on trains.
“Climate change is the most urgent issue of our time. Today, short-term profit by fossil fuel corporations is coming at the cost of environmental destruction and our children’s future,” said Margie Heller, an oil train blockade protester.
Heller was one of the women arrested. The others were Deena Romoff and Nancy Nelson. All three are members of the activist group Raging Grannies – an international non-violent group that began in 1987 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada to protest U.S. Navy boat’s impact on the environment. Membership is restricted to grandmothers, though there is no age limit.
Across the United States and Canada, members in “gaggles” – chapters – have protested similar issues of climate change and fossil fuel usage, including the local chapter in Spokane.
“We were willing to be arrested to stop climate change,” Nelson said. “And with the oil and coal trains coming right through our city, this is a very serious issue, which we have to address.” [more]