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Washington State: 52 Arrested Blockading Tracks to Oil Refineries

HeadlineMay 16, 2016

Protests against the oil, gas and coal industries erupted across multiple continents over the weekend as part of the global campaign to “break free from fossil fuels.” In Washington state, 52 people were arrested after blockading railroad tracks leading to two oil refineries. Protesters pitched their tents on the tracks and occupied the BNSF Railway tracks from Friday afternoon until police broke up the encampment early Sunday. Ahmed Gaya spoke out on Saturday.

Ahmed Gaya: “This has been one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever been a part of in my life, I have to say. We need to break the grip of fossil fuels on our economy. World leaders agree that to have a stable climate we need to limit temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius. There is no current plan anywhere in the world to do that. The only thing that has been proven time and time again to bring about rapid and massive social change are mass disobedient movements.”

Meanwhile, hundreds of “kayaktivists” took to the waters around the Shell and Tesoro refineries. They displayed a banner in front of the refineries that read “Transition Together.” Liz Lafferty spoke out about why she decided to take to the waters.

Liz Lafferty: “I’m here today because for the last hundred years we’ve been spending our children’s children’s resources. And it’s been an insane act on our part to take resources that really belong to future generations, and spend them as if we can replace them, because they’re irreplaceable resources. So I’m out here. And the other reason I’m out here is because for democracy to work, you have to have an informed populace. And we’ve been asleep, I’ve been asleep, for too long.”

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