Protesters holding signs with victims names
  • Rick Rappapport
  • Protesters holding signs with victims' names

About 60 people on Monday temporarily blocked the rails outside ARC Logistics in NW Portland to mark the two-year anniversary of a Canadian oil train explosion that killed 47 people.

Much of downtown Lac-Megantic, a Quebec town of about 6,000, was destroyed in a raging fire that started after an unattended train with 72 oil tankers derailed as it rolled downhill and into the small town.

The 47 protesters held signs with the names and ages of the people killed in the blast.

Reverend Kate Lore, social justice minister at First Unitarian Church; Reverend Jayna Gieber from People of the Heart; and community organizer Bonnie McKinlay spoke to honor the lives lost in Lac-Megantic and to call attention to the risks from the fossil fuel industry in Portland.

“It’s corporate greed versus the common good, whether its rail safety or climate change,” says long time activist Lowen Berman.

Today’s action coincides with others across the United States and Canada for “The Oil Train Week of Action,” a project sponsored by Forest Ethics and Oil trains travel weekly through North Portland to get to ARC Logistics.