Port Shipping Proppants for Petroleum Hydro-Fracking

Yes, the Earth has been fractured for extreme oil extraction

MV Aracari in Port. This is one of the most recent shipments of "proppants" to support the North Dakota petroleum hydro-fracking industry of the Bakken Oil Formation.

Port of Olympia Marine Terminal, view of the ship unloading proppants, some of which have been stored in the warehouse.

The proppants are used in very deep wells, in the Bakken Oil Shale formation of North Dakota. Because of the extreme pressures in the wells (some are greater than 8,000 feet deep,) the proppants are used to prop open fissures (that have been blasted open by the hydraulic fracturing process.)

The practice of hydro-fracking has come under fire from social and environmental activists, based on several known harmful aspects of the industry, including local to global environmental impacts, harm to Native American communities, and harm to agricultural efforts.

MV Aracari Arrow
The proppants have been imported from China, notorious for non-existent labor and environmental protections. People have asked whether the material might be contaminated with toxins from the manufacturing process, and no clear answer has been provided for how the materials have been tested for toxic contaminants.

[update, correction:

Labor Dispute

Labor Dispute
Carpenters' Union protest, these guys are at Percival Landing from 10 to 2pm during the week.

They have a flyer explaining their position, it says, among other things that Quigg does not pay all of its employees, on all of its jobs, the Area Standard Wages. "In our opinion the community ends up paying the tab for employee health care, and low wages tend to lower general community standards, thereby encouraging crime and other social ills."

more info at

Kiss My Eyman!

from the Friday 8 April 2011 We Are One rally to put people first:

We Are America

Walkers Have Arrived in Olympia

Welcome to Olympia, the walkers have arrived, and word is they will be fasting this week, in hopes of impressing upon the legislature the need for moral solutions, and human rights.

Why We Walk - Robbie Stern , more videos available from the SEIU youtube account

plus bonus Bernie Sanders "Robinhood in Reverse" video below the break:

Popular Uprising of Resistance

Egypt, Wisconsin, Washington! Enough is enough! No more business as usual! Government institutions—public institutions—need to serve the public interest, not private and special interests! Common interests, like jobs for all and a healthy environment with stable ecosystems, go first. Special interests, like private profit, last! Toward a popular uprising of resistance to unjust and immoral policies! Nonviolent democratic revolution!

Saturday 26 March 2011, Olympia Washington Worker Solidarity Rally and Rally for the American Dream

This rally was to demonstrate solidarity with union workers in Wisconsin, many of whom are currently defending against an aggressive assault by special interests to destroy the right to collective contract bargaining. Many people believe there is an effort by private companies to bankrupt the public sector, in order to take-over public insititutions.

Another rally at WA State Gov't HQ in Olympia is planned for next week: Thursday 17 March, Noon, on the steps of the Legislative Building. For more information about that from fuse, here.

Solidarity with Wisconsin in Washington State

update 6: I have removed previously posted update notes. And I would like to acknowledge the many groups involved in making this event happen, including many labor unions as well as fuse and MoveOn Washington.

Saturday, 26 February, 2011, Olympia—Mark Forseth of Renton, member of NATCA (Airtraffic Controllers) and Brian Brandt of Tacoma, both former Wisconsinites, stand on the steps of the Washington State Capitol Legislative Building to express solidarity with workers.

I also had an opportunity to talk with a few Tea Party people, and it was interesting. The ones I talked with were quite unaware of the political activities of Koch industries and their relationship, for example, with Governor Walker.

From Washington State Capitol Campus Rally, Olympia, Saturday 26 February 2011

"We the Corporations" from the Backbone Campaign

More photos and videos below the fold

Rally to Protect Our Future

Washington State Rally for Environment, Education, and Labor

Monday, February 15, 2010

Olympia, WA — Thousands of people, the crowd size was estimated to be 6,000, rallied on the steps of the Washington State Capitol Legislative Building.

The rally was for the Environment, for Education, and for Labor - as well as against budget cuts that would hurt people.

There were a lot of people advocating for single-payer health care, and also for substantial reform to the tax system. Washington State has the most regressive tax structure of any state in the USA. Some of the proposals in the legislature, like increases to sales taxes, would actually make the tax system even more unfair.

Many of the speeches talked about the need to protect the social safety net, the importance to maintain structures that make society a caring place, and to focus on fairness, equity and justice in the areas of labor environment and education.

None of the speeches during the hour or so long rally touched on the topic of how to raise the revenue.

After the rally I attended a Sisters Organizing for Survival (SOS) meeting. SOS is part of the Radical Women organization. This group is currently organizing an effort toward a progressive state income tax. During the meeting people talked about their experiences at the rally and lobbying for a couple bills that would establish an income tax in the state.

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