Update 1:58 pm: We just wanted to share this awesome photo from DAM Collective of this quick-thinking comrade. After one tripod had been extracted with this cherry picker, this slick thinker hopped onto the cherry picker and delayed the overall extraction process for at least 90 minutes, stretching the overall blockade time to nearly the full day. With maybe only 10 times as many people, we could use non-violent direct action to shut down this mine completely and forever!
update 11:05 am MDT (GMT-7) 12-8-15: US Oil Sands stock dropped 17.8 percent between Monday morning and right now.
Here’s some of the news about Monday’s action:
Protesters disrupt work at tar sands mine — that headline really undersells the wide breadth of this very good enterprise story from the Moab Sun-News. Lots of good background information regarding water.
US Oil Sands project disrupted by protesters in Utah Demonstrators concerned about impact on Colorado River – by the Canadian Press and reproduced all over Canada even US Oil Sands’ homebase of Calgary.
Tar sands protesters on tripods arrested in Uintah County – Salt Lake Tribune
Oilsands companies feel the pain as Canadian oil price falls – CBC, Alberta companies at break-even point or losing money as heavy crude sinks below $24 US a barrel – it’s not about us, but it’s great news!
Tar Sands Protesters On Tripods Arrested In Uintah County – Popular Resistance
Protestors opposing mining arrested in Uintah County – Deseret News same as on KSL
Environmental protesters opposing US Oil Sands mining operation arrested – The Associated Press wrote-up a small blurb that’s all over the nation today, like in this link to the Seattle Post Intelligencer.
There are so many more! Find your favorite and leave it in comments below!
update 10:27 am 12-8-15 — All our jailed friends are released. Their bails ended up being $1,900 each, not what we were told earlier. They do not have formal charges yet. We’re working on posting the numerous links to news articles about the action. For now, check out our twitter and facebook as there are some photos and other details from the day that are there that we haven’t posted here yet.
Update 12:20 am 12-8-15: All land defenders have been bailed but our accounts are really low after this flurry of resistance! Help build news funds for more camps, more actions and more climate justice! Use the donate button below:
Update 3:59 pm: Bail is set at $3,900 per person for each of four people in custody, based on obstruction charges. We’re currently negotiating terms of a bond as we can not pay that $15,600 cash bail. That means the movement will pay fees that could be avoided if someone could pay the refundable bond amount. (update 12-8-15: what is posted is here is what we were told on the phone, but it turned out to be only $1,900 per person bail)
Update 2:19 pm: Four land defenders are being delivered to the Uintah County Jail and we’re trying to determine their bail amounts. The jail is not providing any information as yet.
We’ll need your help to get our friends out of jail and show people who are able to take risks that the world is with them and will support them (left button)! Also, donate to the larger tar sands campaign programming, which supports things like the ongoing permanent protest Vigil, Climate Justice Campaign Field School and the Book Cliffs Action Camp that just ended (right button).
Update 12:46: all sides–police, mine officials and the land defenders–are regrouping and looking at the second half of the day. Work on the site has not resumed.
Update 12:15: The cherry picker was freed from it’s lock down and a second person atop a tripod has been extracted.
Update 10:16: One person atop a tripod has been removed by police via a cherry picker but the blockade across the sprawling mine site continues. Someone has locked down to the cherry picker before it could extract anyone else.
Update 09:55: Reports are that police have called in a cherry picker in hopes of extracting people perched in tall tripods.
Update 09:40: Police have arrived at the scene but have not advanced on any people present for the blockade. Police from two state agencies as well as Grand County and Uintah County are on site.
Update 8:39: two tripods as well as other blockade tactics are being used to disrupt work at the tar sands mine.
Update 08:25: blockade is in place!
Update 08:15 MDT (GMT-7) 8/10/15: two tripods have been erected blocking construction of a major haul road at the strip mine site. Police became aware of the action only after everything was in place and workers began arriving.
August 10, 2015 | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Breaking: Land defenders strike back against mining industry for Colorado River poisoning
PR SPRINGS–Several dozen climate justice land defenders will enforce a shut down at the US Oil Sands tar sands mine today in the Book Cliffs of Utah. The action comes just days after a century-old mine poured millions of gallons of toxic sludge into waterways that sustain 40 million Americans.
Calgary-based US Oil Sands is amidst an $80-million construction phase to assemble processing equipment, clear cut more land for more strip mine pits and ultimately to turn tar sands rocks into liquid fuels. The company operates on land traditionally inhabited by Ute people and is now managed and leased to private corporations by the state of Utah.
The Animas River in nearby Colorado Wednesday was doused in toxic heavy metals from a long-abandoned gold mine–lead, arsenic and other poisons turned the river bright mustard yellow for several days. Many people risk drinking water contamination and water shortages. Thousands of mines across the region are in similarly dangerous condition.
Peaceful Uprising and other critics say tar sands and oil shale mining as well as oil and gas fracking open a new era of looming mining-related environmental disasters in the Upper Colorado River Basin. As well ongoing fossil fuel development contributes to climate catastrophes.
“Thousands of mines like open wounds tell the story of a century of exploitation, destruction and violence–against the people of this land and the land and water themselves,” said Melanie Martin of Peaceful Uprising, on behalf of the crowd. “US Oil Sands continues that sick tradition by squandering precious water in a thirsty region and saddling future generations with a toxic legacy there is no way to clean up.”
US EPA has attempted to intervene in construction of the tar sands mine in “Indian country,” but the company has stubbornly rebuffed the federal regulators. The state of Utah Division of Oil Gas and Mining recently approved an expansion of the the US Oil Sands strip mine operation, but also demanded the company begin monitoring its toxic water emissions into the Colorado River watershed. That came after a University of Utah study found US Oil Sands mining plans are dangerously unsafe to the aquifers and water systems of the East Tavaputs Plateau.
The action comes on the heels of a week-long action training camp that the US Bureau of Land Management sought to stop. Organizers persisted and put on the training camp nevertheless. People-enforced shut downs of operations have plagues the company for years and campaigners from Utah Tar Sands Resistance and Canyon Country Rising Tide, and others, vow some day to shut down the tar sands mine completely and forever.
For updates on the action, as well as photos and videos as they become available, stay tuned to http://www.peacefuluprising.org/ACA2015