Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Olympia Rail Protesters Issue Public Letter to Port


By Janine Gates

An autonomous group of protesters at the rail blockade on Union Pacific tracks in downtown Olympia has worked on a public letter to the Port of Olympia and issued it early this morning to Little Hollywood.

The communication is not from Olympia Stand.

The blockade has garnered the support and efforts of a revolving group of activists exhibiting different strengths and styles of communication and organizing efforts.

Under contract with Rainbow Ceramics, the Union Pacific train was leaving the Port of Olympia on Friday for North Dakota, where the ceramic proppants are used in the process of hydraulic fracking to allow for oil extraction from the earth.

While some are concerned and wondering whether or not the action is or is not expressed as an effort in solidarity with the water protectors in Standing Rock, there is no doubt they are working collectively for one purpose: to stop the shipment of proppants from leaving Olympia.

The letter is as follows:

Public Letter to the Port

“We, the residents of Thurston County, demand the Olympia Port Commission no longer allow oil fracking sand or any cargo related to the extraction of fossil fuels to enter our Port.”

1.     Institute genuine public involvement in all Port operations and policies based on the understanding that the Port serves all of the interests of  the residents of Thurston County

-         create a transparent operations environment
-         open all operations, policies, communications to public inspection to the extent allowed by the law
-         build respect and trust in the community as an institution by being honest in all internal dealings and in all interactions with the public and other governmental bodies.

2.     Improve the Port’s environmental record

-         create a vibrant waterfront with substantial public space and enhanced access to the waterfront
-         shift to operations based on environmentally-sustainable products and actions
-         engage in thorough environmental cleanup and restoration prior to development
-         develop a sea-level rise adaptation plan that does not place an economic burden on the taxpayers

3.     Improve the Port’s economic development capability

-         concentrate on economically benefitting the larger community and small businesses by focusing on manufacturing, production and alternative energy and energy efficient projects
-         openly evaluate projects to determine their economic effectiveness before committing public funds

-         enhance a recreation-based and restoration-based economy


For photos and more information about the rail blockade, ceramic proppants, and the Port of Olympia, go to Little Hollywood, www.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.com, and type key words into the search engine.