An estimated 150 protesters, mostly of the Nez Perce tribe, blocked the delivery of an Omega Morgan megaload at the reservation boundary on U.S. Highway 12 in Idaho early Tuesday morning.
Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee members Silas Whitman, Albert Barros, Joel Moffett, Leotis McCormack Anthony Johnson and Samuel Penney were arrested as part of the protest, according to lmtribune.com.
Police reportedly used their cars to hinder protesters as the 644,000-pound, 255-feet-long water purification vessel made its way toward Montana.
The Nez Perce opposed the delivery of the megaload “based on impacts to treaty-reserved resources, tribal commerce and governmental functions, federally-protected historic and cultural resources and Nez Perce national landmarks located along U.S. 12, and tribal member health and welfare,” according to a press release.
Wild Idaho Rising Tide – a climate change activist organization – was also present during the protest and provided real time updates on its Facebook page:
Photo courtesy Wild Idaho Rising Tide Facebook Page.
The Idaho Transportation Department approved of the shipment and announced that “travel would be from from 10 p.m. to about 5:30 a.m. between Lewiston and Kooskia, and from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. between Kooskia and the Montana state line. Weather permitting, the shipment is anticipated to take four nights.”
The megaload reportedly made it past the protestors.
Related Story: Nez Perce Oppose Mega-loads Through Reservation