Friday, November 20, 2015

Mosque Support Rally - Response to Protest

Please attend a Mosque Support Rally on Nov 22, 2015 from 12-3pm at Portland Rizwan Mosque, located at 9925 SW 35th Drive, Portland, OR 97219.

We will meet in front of the Portland Rizwan Mosque to offer peaceful community support following the terrible, xenophobic protest that occurred on Sunday Nov 15, 2015.

Volunteers will work with the neighborhood watch program in an effort to respond more effectively if future harmful protests occur. 

Our messages are "Mosque Safety Now" and "Freedom of Religion". 

Matt Landon of Vancouver Action Network says, "It is crucial that we defend Muslims from xenophobic protesters and government repression and allow them to worship in peace." 

Please bring a jacket, chair, water, and some sunglasses.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Emergency/ Earthquake Response Commitment and Post Disaster Media Team

VAN volunteers are engaged in Earthquake Prep for the massive category 9+ Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake that WILL hit the PNW in the next 50+ years. Please take this seriously folks as your life may well depend on your preps, knowledge, and luck. 

Emergency / Earthquake Response Commitment-- VAN is following in the footsteps of Mountain Justice by creating an Emergency Response Commitment. –

“Although we are not a trained emergency response organization, VAN volunteers wish to support fellow residents in their time of need. In the event of a disaster we will do our best to help affected residents with cleanup, recover, and public awareness.”   

As a Mountain Justice volunteer, Matt Landon enacted this commitment during the TVA Coal Ash Disaster of Dec 22, 2008 in TN.

Today, 10-15-15, is International Earthquake Awareness Day and folks all over the world are ducking and covering as part of their earthquake planning process.  While duck and cover is good there is so much more to do.

We have spent the last several months doing intensive internet research to learn about the various aspects of earthquakes and their aftermath.  We can tell you that no one source has all of the answers and the majority of the government websites are sorely lacking in actually helpful information.

We're screwed!

The Oregon Public Broadcasting Unprepared series does a pretty good job of laying bare Oregon's unpreparedness. This 1 hour video is sort of a condensed version.

If you watched this video then you learned that our modern Pacific North West Coast society is pretty much screwed and Bridgetown (Portland) will be in shambles for at least a year, probably longer. Are you willing and able to live for a year without piped water, electricity, and access to grocery stores or pharmacies?

The question then becomes to stay and help rebuild or to evacuate. Evacuation via car will be nearly impossible due to the failure of all of the bridges along i-5 and across the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. I have not found an app that routes you around all over passes, under passes, and bridges. Also there will be many landslides in the mountains and hills and liquefaction of soils near the rivers which means more destroyed roadways. The rivers aren't likely to be safe due to spillage of chemicals and sewage upstream and collapsed bridges. A motorcross motorcycle with knobby tires or a bicycle will likely be your best bets for getting around town. Here is a cool idea using cargo bicycles.

The only other alternative for evacuation is by air. I found Global Rescue which coordinates helicopter rescues during disasters. They are a bit expensive ($650-$1,200) per year per person but how much would you pay for a ride out of town following a once in a lifetime disaster? Even if you wanted to pay A LOT for a ticket you likely wouldn't be able to secure a seat. This insurance policy is a small price to pay when compared to the alternative. You will need to contact these folks to let them know you want to be evacuated.

Cellphones, landlines, and internet will likely not work.

So even if you decide that you will Mad Max it here in Portland for a year or more of rebuilding you will need to communicate with the outside world to let your friends and family know you are ok. All of the websites that we have read say that Ham Radio is the communication method of choice by governments and Ham Radio operators. Well you can have your Ham Radio, we're going with the Delorme Inreach 2 way satellite communicator.  It costs $300, $20 activation fee, and $10 a month to keep it on with a few texts per month. Following a disaster an unlimited texting plan costs $60 a month and can be upgraded at any time. This little unit is able to provide 2 way text messaging, linking to a smart phone for easier typing, posting to a previously linked Facebook / Twitter account, and SOS rescue features. This unit is handy for solo hikers as well, though we don't think that anyone has currently used it for post disaster organizing.

Post Disaster Media Team

VAN will set up a volunteer Post Disaster Media Team with various volunteers using their Delorme Inreach communicators to help get word out to friends and family of neighbors and each other and to flood Facebook / Twitter social media with updates as well. After securing your family and then going door to door to immediate neighbors to check-in about gas leaks (so your neighborhood doesn't burn down) we would set up bulletin boards in existing parks which will already be functioning as gathering and distribution points following a disaster. People can write their messages and contacts onto sheets for “outgoing messages” on the outgoing message board, VAN volunteers then text it out and upon receiving a text response the information is posted onto the “incoming message” board. This way VAN volunteers will set up the only functioning disaster “post offices” that I have seen described yet.

We hope to have SW Portland and Vancouver covered by the end of the year (which means one Delorme Inreach unit in each area) so we are looking for volunteers across the greater Portland / Vancouver area to set up “post offices” as well.

While the government is spending days, weeks, or months trying to get communications back and running VAN volunteers will be providing real time updates from day 1. Yeah!

Portland Hazard Maps

Do you live or work somewhere that has been deemed as a hazardous location by the city of Portland? Please check the above maps to learn more.

Here is a list of earthquake prep items which we have been compiling--
    ***** CASH***** Keep at least $400 in twenties at all times

    Important Docs-- Keep scanned on a flashdrive or hard copies of identification and financial documents including passports, birth certificates, marriage license, property deeds, social security cards, ect.

    a) Flashlight – Energizer weather ready LED radio crank flashlight or similar crank flashlight radio combo- because batteries will die eventually, this radio picks up AM/FM, weather, and has a nice little annoying siren

    b) leather gloves

    c) dust masks, bicycle helmet or hard hat for head protection from falling debris

    d) Sawyer Mini Water Filter (or other camping water filter) and several 2 liter soda bottles

    e) bottled water- lots of bottled water/ at least 1 gallon a day per person for at least 3 weeks.
    ****Possible Alternative Drinking Water sources that should be filtered and or boiled before use- 1) Columbia Springs in Vancouver, WA, 2) Crystal Springs in Reed College SE Portland, OR, 3) Small springs that feed Tryon Creek (not the main stem of Tryon Creek!) in Tryon Creek State Park SW Portland, OR --- DO NOT drink ANY unfiltered water or even filtered water from the Willamette or Columbia Rivers. Always make sure to get your water from a point closest to the source where the water comes from the rocks or ground not downstream.

    f) tent

    g) larger tarps

    h) good quality rain gear

    i) warm wool or synthetic clothes, hat, gloves

    j) paper maps- Gazetteer Maps for Oregon and Washington and large scale maps of your city

    k) hand trucks / dollies or cargo bikes

    l) tie down straps, rope, and duct tape

    m) shovel / ax / maul /crowbar / bow saw

    n) personal protection equipment

    o) hand powered winch and accompanying nylon wench straps and heavy chains

    p)electronics cords and chargers to use with a car- such as charging your cellphone / Delorme Inreach

    q) car emergency jumper battery as a portable power source

    r) solar panel and or bike powered generator

    s) lots of clean 5 gallon buckets with lids

    t) contractor trash bags

    u) toilet paper, lots and lots of toilet paper, toiletries, toothbrushes / paste, soap- lots of soap, first aid kits

    v) Food- long term shelf stable foods that contain lots of potential room for growth.
    Go to Winco as they are employee owned and have the lowest prices on most food items, ½ gallon glass mason jars filled with listed food and oxygen absorbers which are stored in plastic 5 gallon buckets to protect from breakage, lentils / mung beans for sprouting- 1 pound of seeds produces 6-10 pounds of sprouts, Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP)-soy based, white rice- its not as healthy but is more shelf stable than brown rice, fermented foods, canned foods and 2 can openers, also foods that you eat everyday, Jerusalem artichokes / sunchokes- make sure these are planted in something that will contain them but they take care of themselves and grow exponentially, mealworms- they almost take care of themselves and can be used as a possible protein source, plant fertilizer and they reproduce exponentially as well ****** FIRE starters********* stainless steel cooking pots / utensils

    w) paper phone books- to know where stuff is located without the google

    x) walkie talkies

    y) bicycle

    z) hand powered siphon pump and gas can

    ****CASH***** Always try to have at least $400 in twenties at all times.
Never let your gas tank get below half full in your car.

Secure heavy items in your home such as water heater, book shelves, cabinet doors, tv. Also secure your home to its foundation.

WikiHomes has some nice earthquake resistant building designs. Also cargo trailers or RV's could work as a dry home in a pinch if your home is unlivable.

The only bridges in Portland that are likely to survive are the new Trimet Orange Line bridge, the new unfinished Sellwood Bridge, and possibly the downtown i-5 bridge over the Willamette river (you can see the earthquake bridge retrofits when driving southbound) though the on ramps and soils supporting the on ramps and columns are not earthquake proofed, doh. Since downtown Portland is completely surrounded by bridges it appears that the only potential escape route is south under the i-5 bridge unless you don't mind walking over rubble.

The tank farm along Forest Park is toast which is bad news for anyone living in NW Portland or downstream or downwind.

Make sure you have sturdy shoes stashed beside your bed along with your gas turn off / water turn off wrench, flashlight, and crowbar or fireman's ax.

You need a bug out bag packed and ready to go at home and a get home bag packed and ready to go in your car and at work.

It is time that we faced that facts about the ground which we live upon here in the PNW.  We wish you the best of luck with your life, activism, and disaster prepping. Feel free to call / text us if you have any questions or concerns or want to volunteer to be part of VAN's Post Disaster Media Team. Be safe out there, VAN volunteers  

Thursday, July 23, 2015

VAN supports two youth activist training camps in Oregon

VAN activist Matt Landon will volunteer with the 7th annual  Youth Empowered Action Camp  (YEA Camp) at Camp Adams located in Molalla, OR from July 25 thru Aug 1, 2015. 

He is also helping with the 2nd annual Next Generation Climate Justice Action Camp (Next Gen Camp) at Apserkaha Park at Howard Prairie Lake north of Medford, OR from August 4-8, 2015.  

There is still space available at both camps and scholarships are available. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Clarity about the use of the b**b word when describing oil trains

VAN volunteers are pretty concerned with the use of the b**b word to describe oil trains since it is an automatic red flag alert for government surveillance. Also it could be construed as a command or order.  It is neither.

Vancouver Action Network, VAN volunteers, and the Oil Train Movement are completely dedicated to non violence (including no property destruction) and the budding Oil Train Movement doesn't need to provide ammunition for additional government repression at any stage.

This change in wording is also about providing safety and clarity for our families ,friends, and oil train data. In the most correct sense the trains carry oil, not b**bs.  As citizen scientists we strive to provide the highest quality data possible.   

Please discontinue the use of the b**b word when describing oil trains.  Thanks, VAN

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

VAN protests during International Oil Train Week of Action July 6-12

All events are listed at
Please join VAN volunteers as we organize protests against explosive oil trains.  July 6 is the second anniversary of the tragic Lac-M├ęgantic, Quebec, oil train catastrophe that killed 47 people. The Stop Oil Trains week of action will call attention to the growing threat of oil trains across North America.
There is NO safe way to transport extreme tar sands and Bakken crude. Two years after Lac-M├ęgantic, oil trains keep exploding and carbon pollution keeps rising. Oil trains are a disaster for our health, our safety, and our climate.

In July 2014, thousands gathered at 63 events for the first Stop Oil Trains Week of Action. In 2015, we will demonstrate the growing power of our movement and organize more than 100 events across the US and Canada to demand an immediate ban on oil trains.
Oil Train Week of Action July 6-12, 2015
Monday July 6 – 10amNustar Protest – don't ship crude oil

5420 Fruit Valley Rd, Vancouver, WA 98660
VAN will likely invest in a selfie stick.

****UPDATE***Nustar Protest
Tuesday July 7 – Twitter Oil Train Watch (ongoing)

Wednesday July 8 – 11am Union Pacific protest – demanding their hidden Crude Oil by Rail disaster risk documents and demanding they stop shipping crude oil via train – call in, email in, write a letter actions, banner drop meet on Burnside Bridge and i-5 signage and flyers write letters to-- 19th & SE Holgate Blvd., Building 1825, Portland, OR 97202

Call Union Pacific

submit emails via this page

****Update**** No Oil Trains banner drop on Burnside Bridge at I-5 northbound

12pm tabling on Portland east side of Steel Bridge on the Eastbank Esplanade

****Update**** Tabling in front of the Union Pacific railroad office in the blast zone

Thursday July 910 am DOT Vancouver – give us our rights back to know about oil train shipments and don't allow oil to be shipped in DOT 111 railcars

11018 NE 51st Circle
Vancouver, WA 98682

***Update*** The DOT's in Portland and Vancouver  communicated about the protests today. 

3pm DOT Portland – give us our rights back to know about oil train shipments and don't allow oil to be shipped in DOT 111 railcars

 ***Update*** A representative from the Oregon DOT came out to speak with us and take our list of demands. 

123 NW Flanders
Portland, OR 97209

Phone: 503-731-8200

Friday July 1010am BNSF protest Vancouver – demanding their hidden Crude Oil by Rail disaster risk documents and demanding that they stop shipping crude oil via train  – call in, email in, write a letter actions and banner drop meet near the cross streets of W Mill Plain Blvd and Lincoln Avenue in the Fruit Valley area of NW Vancouver with signage and flyers
write letters to--
    1310 W 11th St
    Vancouver, WA
    Call BNSF (360) 418-6303

Submit emails using this form

***Update*** The largest of the protest crowds attended this event on W Mill Plain in Vancouver.  Thanks to Pam for making calls to help turn folks out. 

***Update*** BNSF police were not to happy to see us.  There were more police than protesters but we delivered our list of demands.

12pm Federal Railroad Administration Vancouver- don't allow oil to be shipped in DOT 111 railcars and give us our rights back to know about oil train shipments

500 Broadway, Suite 240
Vancouver, WA 98660 phone: 360-696-7536

***Update*** When we arrived at the FRA there was already a group of protesters upstairs talking with a Department of Homeland Security agent who was monitoring the protest last year.  Everyone came downstairs to the street for a pic. 

***Update*** We had a short conversation with an FRA rep and delivered our list of demands.  We were assured that he was creating a report including pictures he took to alert FRA headquarters that they were under protest.

1pm tabling on Vancouver Riverwalk near 170 SE Columbia Way

Saturday July 112pm Lemon Island, Oregon Camp out "planning meeting" for oil train focused 2016 PNW Climate CampJuly 6-12, 2016 (boat in event)

Sunday July 12 – 10am Lemon Island, Oregon Camp out "planning meeting" for oil train focused 2016 PNW Climate Camp (boat out event)

Friday, June 26, 2015

Matt Landon offers oil train workshops via Skype

Matt will present the Oil Train Railside Listening Project and Twitter Oil Train Watch workshops.
Please join regional activists at Matt Landon’s Skyped, two-hour workshops in Spokane, Washington, and Sandpoint, Idaho, this weekend, July 27 and 28. Converge at 10:30 am on Saturday, July 27, in Meeting Room 1B, at the street level of the downtown Spokane Public Library, at 906 West Main Avenue in Spokane, and at 2:30 pm at the East Bonner County – Sandpoint Library, 1407 Cedar Street in Sandpoint. Do not miss these opportunities to attend these Inland Northwest Climate Activist Training Workshops that will enhance your personal and collective capacity to thwart the fossil fuel onslaught currently rampaging the Northwest. WIRT and SPORT welcome your questions and suggestions about these events and your confirmation of participation. Thanks to Helen for organizing these trainings.  If you would like to schedule an in-person or Skyped training for your community please contact us at

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Oil Train Blast Zone bike rides / protest for Pedalpalooza 2015 with Updates!

June 7, 2015 Vancouver Oil Train Blast Zone bike ride leaves at 11am for a 6 mile ride.

Pedalpalooza event page

 Oil trains hauling Bakken crude oil and Tarsands oil have been exploding across the US and Canada for the last two years. The Port of Vancouver is proposing to have two operational oil terminals (Tesoro-Savage and Nustar).
Additional oil trains are traveling through Vancouver to other terminals. We will take a leisurely paced 6 mile ride starting in Marine Park.

SE Marine Park Wy & Columbia Way
Vancouver, WA
Meet near the playground.

We will be riding along the Columbia River on the river walk, near railroad tracks where oil trains travel, and on public side streets.

The ride will end with an optional protest at the proposed Nustar oil terminal located at 5420 Fruit Valley Rd Vancouver, WA.

***Update*** The protest bike ride was awesome today!  Thanks to the bike riders who showed up during the 90+ degree weather.  Also thanks to the Portland Mercury newspaper for featuring this bike ride.  

June 20, 2015 Portland Oil Train Blast Zone bike ride leaves at 11am for a 10 mile ride.

Pedalpalooza event page

Oil trains hauling Bakken crude oil and tar sands oil have been exploding across the US and Canda for the last two years. The Port of Portland currently has one oil shipping terminal, Arc Logistics. Additional oil trains are traveling through Portland to other terminals.

We will take a leisurely paced 10 mile ride starting at the corner of N Willamette Blvd and N Ida Ave and riding to 2020 SE Bush Street.