September 30, 2016
SPOKANE – After an one hour blockade of a BNSF oil train by protestors, three people were arrested by Spokane City Police for refusing to leave the tracks. The three arrested were George Taylor, Rusty Nelson, and Maevea Aeolus. All three are members of the Spokane chapter of Veterans For Peace and all three occupied the tracks in the name of climate change and the burning of fossil fuels as the main accelerant of climate change.
During the protest the eventual arrestees read prepared statements. The following are excerpts from each:
“As a Veteran For Peace Member of Chapter 35 in Spokane, WA, I sit here with my brother veterans today, knowing we’ll be arrested. I am willing to take this stand for the greater good. We must protect our beautiful city and earth, from the few who only seek profit at a great cost to the many. Will you the people of Spokane stand with us? We are sitting on the tracks for all of you.” - Maevea Aeolus, member Veterans For Peace, Chapter 35, nurse, and counselor
“These fossil fuel trains must be stopped by citizens who are concerned that coal and oil extraction companies are putting short term profits ahead of the long term health of the planet that we all live on and are charged to take care of for future generations so that our children and grandchildren to the seventh generations will have air to breath, water to drink and food to eat. This is what Holy Scripture invites us to and common sense demands that we do all in our power for future generations by acting now before it is too late.” - George Taylor, member Veterans For Peace, Chapter 35 and visiting pastor, All Saints Lutheran Church
“I am here for you, whoever you are and whatever part you play in corporate rule, social and economic justice and injustice, and the plundering of the earth's resources. You need me here only as much as you need drinkable water and breathable air; as much as you need sources for energy and shelter that won't cause earthquakes, exacerbate violent weather, or precipitate war and oppression; as much as you need sustainable infrastructure and wise governance.”- Rusty Nelson, member Veterans For Peace, Chapter 35
Veterans For Peace is an international organization made up of military veterans, military family members, and allies. Their focus, through chapters including one in Spokane, has been about speaking out against the true impacts and costs of war. However, Veterans For Peace recently released a statement in support of the protest at Standing Rock in North Dakota against an oil pipeline saying, “We understand that different nonviolent struggles for social and ecological justice are linked by the common thread of resistance to subjugation and oppression.”
Direct Action Spokane stands in solidarity with on-going actions around the country working to stop the burning of fossil fuels. Direct Action Spokane is also committed to stopping the transport of oil and coal trains through Spokane and calls on other communities, up and down the rail line, to do the same.