Drop Charges Against Oil Train Protesters

Derailed oil train

Target: Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway President and Chief Executive Officer Carl R. Ice

Goal: Drop criminal trespassing charges against protesters fighting the practice of shipping crude oil by train.

Twenty-one anti-oil protesters were recently arrested and charged with criminal trespass for blocking rail cars near the BNSF Railway and Amtrak Station in Vancouver, Washington. This protest was in response to yet another oil train derailment that spilled crude oil in a nearby Oregon town. The spill dumped 42,000 gallons of oil directly into the Columbia River and caused a dangerous fire.

Reports of oil train derailments and spills are becoming more and more common, prompting protests and calls for an end to the practice of transporting this substance via train. Local Oregon officials including the mayor of Portland and the Oregon Department of Transportation have asked for an indefinite moratorium on the practice at least until rail companies can ensure that failures in the rail system can be detected before a spill happens.

These protesters were only trying to prevent dangerous disasters near their homes and other communities in order to protect themselves and the environment that all people rely on. They do not deserved to be punished for standing up to greedy companies that would threaten their communities for profits. Sing our petition to demand that all charges against each of the 21 protesters be immediately dropped.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Ice,

Recently, 21 protesters were arrested for blocking Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway cars as part of a demonstration against the practice of shipping oil via railway. This protest occurred because of the oil spill in Mosier, Oregon due to the derailment of one of your trains.

Shipping oil by train is clearly unsafe with the current state of the rail system. More and more reports of derailed oil trains and spills are coming in from all over the country, resulting in polluted water and dangerous fires. The protesters arrested by your police and charged with criminal trespass were merely trying to protect both their communities and the environment threatened by oil spills and increase use of crude oil for energy, which is expected to cause increasing rates of global warming and subsequent environmental devastation.

The protest in Vancouver was the result of the irresponsibility of your company. The proper way to address this is to fix your broken railway system, not try to punish those who are standing up to your bad behavior. You can be sure that protests will continue and the bad press will keep rolling in until you stop shipping oil and stop pressing charges against protesters. Immediately drop all charges against these 21 protesters.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: NTSB

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