Thursday, July 13, 2017

Justice for Lac Megantic

July 11, Citizens for a Clean Harbor held a benefit for the Harding Labrie Defense Fund, and raised $135. Thank you to everyone involved!

For background on the case, listen to this radio interview from Your Rights at Work! via Pacifica Radio
Herbert Harris Jr (Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers &
Trainmen) reports on a local fundraiser to support Canadian rail workers being blamed for management’s mistakes in the 2013 Lac Megantic disaster.
Interview begins at 14.40
Our own Donna Albert sang this song for us.

Special thanks go to Fritz Edler of Railroad Workers United, for all his help and insightful discussion via Skype.

The Evidence is in: The Train Crew did not Cause the Lac-Mégantic Tragedy
Music Benefit for Lac-Mégantic Rail Worker Defense a great success!
Over $1700 raised kicking off fund drive for defense of the scapegoated rail workers and fighting for safe rails everywhere.

How many more have to die?

July 6th this year marks four years since a runaway train carrying volatile Bakken crude crashed and burned in the small town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, killing 47 and destroying half the town. It’s time to recommit to making sure tragedies like this don’t happen again. It’s also the right time to speak up against the criminal trial beginning September 11th this year, that unfairly and inaccurately hangs the Lac-Mégantic crash on two railroad workers, Tom Harding and Richard Labrie.
Railroad managers push hard to squeeze every dollar they can out of every train run. The Lac-Mégantic train had a dangerous cargo, overlong train, defective equipment, a single crew-member and work rules that cut the margin of safety down to just about zero. The result was a disaster that still impacts the Lac-Mégantic community.
Multiple government safety investigations and independent journalists looked at what happened in Lac-Mégantic and came to the same conclusion. Railroad management policies made this kind of runaway train crash likely to happen sooner or later. Lax government oversight looked the other way until it did.
You would think that four years later there would be stronger safety regulations on every railroad, with extra layers of protection for dangerous cargo. Sadly, this is not the case. Railroad policymakers are still cutting corners and government regulators are still looking the other way. They want people to believe that the big safety problem is a few careless railroad workers.  But in Lac-Mégantic, SINCE the wreck, the supposedly safely restored wreck curve has now deteriorated and keeps that community at risk.  Everyone there tightens up when a train passes now.
Even after all the reports and exposes, the Canadian and Quebec governments are still not going after the railroad policy makers and their unsafe policies. The managers who made the critical policies will not even get a slap on the wrist. That’s just wrong, and it guarantees that the danger continues. Every year since the crash, the number of reported runaway trains in Canada has increased. That’s a sign of a reckless culture, not the actions of two rail-road workers one night in Quebec.
Whether your main issue is the environment, community safety, rail safety, or worker’s rights, it comes down to stronger government regulations and stronger railroad safety policies, with real community and labor enforcement. The two railroad workers were not the cause of the Lac-Mégantic crash or any of the runaway trains since then. They are not the ones still running trains right through the town of Lac-Mégantic, ignoring the demands of the survivors for a simple rail bypass. The people in Lac-Mégantic know that sending Harding and Labrie to prison won’t address any of their problems with the railroad. But if that happens, you can bet the government will close the book as the official verdict on Lac-Mégantic and railroad management will be standing there with them.
When you hold public commemorations this year, we ask you to make this point your way. Blaming Harding and Labrie for the Lac-Mégantic tragedy weakens all of us and all our causes. So all of us have to speak up.

Justice for Lac-Mégantic requires Dropping the Charges Against Harding & Labrie

see page 2 for more from Lac Megantic

Rich Johnson  via The National Post  (click to article for zoomable image)

Lac-Megantic residents marking 4th anniversary of rail tragedy

Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press Via CTV News
LAC-MEGANTIC, Que. -- Four years after the rail disaster that killed 47 people in their town, a group of Lac-Megantic citizens renewed the call for the construction of a bypass that would steer trains away from the core of the community.But Bellefleur said dangerous goods continue to be transported through the town on a section of rail track that has been rebuilt with an even steeper curve than before.
"What we want, the citizens' coalition, is that we build the bypass as quickly as possible," he said."We want an announcement this summer, and while we're waiting for it to be built, we want them to fix this death curve."

Lac-Mégantic residents are divided over new rail route that would bypass the town
via The Star
“I understand they are traumatized. Even I still have difficulty with sirens and the noise of the train, so I understand them, except that even if they move the tracks … they’re just moving the problem into someone else’s yard.”

James Moore Speaks For The Dead In Lac Megantic Quebec

Via The Straight Goods
There he is, a dirty rotten foul-mouthed bastard, his name is James Moore...He is part of Stephen Harper`s cabinet, ...Today James Moore said probably the most disgusting piece of slimy verbiage ever uttered by a Harper Conservative, now that`s saying something.
"The people of Lac Megantic wished they had pipelines instead of rail
also, The Vancouver Sun

A state ravaged by oil: 745 oil spills reported in North Dakota in just one year
On average a spill occurred every 11 hours and 45 minutes
North Dakota, a state that was the forefront of national protests for months over environmental concerns stemming from the construction of a major pipeline, reported 745 oil spills since last May, according to the state’s Department of Health.
List of Oil Spills via Wikipedia


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