Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Coal Train Protest Leads to Arrests

More than a dozen protestors, including a Nobel Prize-winning economist, were arrested May 5 after setting up a blockade on train tracks in White Rock, British Columbia to stop BNSF trains from delivering shipments of coal from the US to local ports for export to Asia.

The demonstrators, which included Nobel winner Mark Jaccard, had camped out for most of the day on the tracks to protest the mining of the coal, which they said affects climate change.

The protesters, who were from the anti-global warming coalition British Columbians for Climate Action, began gathering near the White Rock pier Saturday morning, but the arrests didn’t come until about 6 p.m. after some of the demonstrators walked onto the rail line just east of the pier and erected a banner that said “Stop Coal – Keep It in the Ground,” according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Thirteen of the protesters, 12 men and one woman, were each issued $115 tickets violating the Railway Safety Act code against trespassing, and were later released from police custody.

According to protestors, five incoming trains from Blaine, Washington were prevented from entering British Columbia to unload at Westshore Terminals that day and the arrests occurred after a sixth train entered the protest area.