Trains coming from the Port of Olympia in Washington State are at a standstill. A year on from Olympia Stand, the camp that sprung up in support of Water Protectors at Standing Rock is back. The blockade, on the corner of 7th St and Jefferson, is about a mile from the Port. Like last year, they are blocking trains carrying Tar Sand Proppants to the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota.
The camp as of Sunday is on its third day. Last year it lasted for six days before being surrounded by riot police in the dead of night who violently evicted brave Water Protectors, arrested some and removed the barricades.
In protection circles in which every moment counts, their efforts were an undoubted success. Stopping those who would put our future at risk by destroying the environment that sustains us is, for Water Protectors, a calling.
An Olympian November
10 years ago this month, women led a protest against the Iraq War by blockading military shipments at the Port of Olympia. That event made headlines as police started to arrest nonviolent woman protestors. A backlash followed after they started to pepper spray protestors. Click here to read more about that.
Then one year ago, Olympia Stand formed the camp on this street intersection. November, it seems, is a good month to get work done in Olympia.
It’s no surprise then that this month, in part to mark those anniversaries but also in response to the massive Keystone 1 leak in South Dakota, the camp is back. Protectors are all in, always and all ways.
‘We trapped it in the Port!’ said Katy, one of the protectors who spoke to us on the live feed. She was talking about a train in the Port carrying Fracking Proppants. Another protector made clear that people at this camp have stood in solidarity with indigenous fights around the country. “There are some folks who stood in solidarity with indigenous folks in occupied Ojibwe and Dakota territories also known as Minnesota top stop Line 3 expansion.”
“We’ll be here for as long as the police don’t raid us, last time we lasted 6 days,” Katy told us.
We will be following this story as it develops.