About that “Debris” Left on the Tracks:
On the morning of the raid, we were allowed to pack up our belongings for about fifteen minutes; we managed to fill two pickup trucks with people’s tents and clothes. After that, the state troopers repeatedly refused to allow us to continue getting the rest of our things.
In only 15 minutes we were able to calmly remove 90% of our gear and belongings, according to BNSF’s own estimates. What police did not allow us to remove was cleared from the site by the afternoon. We commend those camping on the tracks for their peaceful, calm and organized response to jarring and aggressive police behavior. We are deeply disappointed by Law Enforcement’s destruction of people’s property and Skagit County’s perpetuation of misinformation.
When Bob Barnes, our Police Liaison, arrived, he asked Sergeant Chris Baldwin of the Skagit County Sheriff’s office when we could finish gathering our belongings; Sgt. Baldwin told him that he’d give him a call later that day. By mid-afternoon, Bob hadn’t heard anything, so he called again: Sgt. Baldwin told him that everything had been taken away and compacted.
The statement that this was “trash” that was “left behind” is simply incorrect; it was expensive gear that we very much wanted to take. We have asked the County for a retraction of the incorrect statement by its public information officer, and we’ll update this page when we hear back.
We are further disappointed in some media outlet’s preference to spread sensationalized misinformation as opposed to doing real reporting.
Break Free is a nonviolent civil disobedience action, with components that are ceremonial, educational, and family-friendly. We do not break the law lightly; we believe that such actions are necessary to ensure a livable planet for our children and those in the global south. Climate change is a matter of extreme urgency, and the current system is badly failing to protect us.
Because of safety concerns, we will not be blocking workers from getting to or leaving the refinery.
We have also established a set of action agreements, here, that all participants agree to abide by. We have both police liaisons and peacekeepers, and the safety of all participants and community members is our top concern. We will make every possible effort to ensure that Break Free participants understand and adhere to the action agreements.
Local groups have expressed important concerns about the March Point heronry and the fragility of the local eelgrass, which is an important habitat for young salmon and herring. We take these concerns very seriously, and have modified our actions as a result. Here are more details.