Oil train protester blocks track in Portland

Oil train protester blocks track in Portland

Oil train protester blocks track in Portland

Print
Email
|

by Associated Press and KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on June 30, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Updated Monday, Jun 30 at 11:18 AM

PORTLAND -- A Portland woman cemented her hand inside a barrel to block some railroad tracks Monday morning in a protest of oil trains.

The group Portland Rising Tide said it intended to shut down a terminal that ships oil to West Coast refineries. The group said oil trains are a safety hazard and fossil fuels threaten the climate.

Irene Majorie, 22, attempted to use herself and the barrel to block the path for trains leading into the facility, said Portland Rising Tide spokeswoman Emma Gould.

"Majorie's arm is locked to a piece of metal rebar embedded in the concrete," Gould said in a statement. "Attempts by law enforcement to move her and the barrel simultaneously would likely result in grave injury; likewise, any train traffic would threaten her life."

Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said officers were called to the Northwest Portland tracks at 5:17 a.m. and they found Majorie and about 15 or 20 supporters.

He said a bomb squad responded and used specialized tools to cut Majorie free. She was arrested for criminal trespassing, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.

Working with Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Simpson said police determined Majorie was on a side track and didn't block any rail cars or impact the line.

Gould disagreed.

"(Majorie) was cut out of the barrel by the Portland police and arrested after successfully blockading the tracks for four hours," she said. "Immediately after her removal a train engine approached oil cars nearby on the tracks demonstrating the effective blockage of the oil transport during that time."

Print
Email
|