Trials down the line for protesters against coal trains

EVERETT — A battle over coal and oil trains in Everett is moving from the rail yard to the courtroom.

Five protesters taken to jail Tuesday after blocking a stretch of rail line could face more than trespassing charges. They also were booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of obstructing a law enforcement officer and delaying a train.

One was bailed out Tuesday night while the other four spent the night in jail.

“They refused to post bail,” said Delaney Piper, a spokeswoman for the protesters.

The four appeared in Everett District Court on Wednesday morning before being released pending trial, Piper said.

Among the five people arrested were retired Everett teacher Jackie Minchew and Everett cafe owner Mike Lapointe, who lost a congressional bid in the August primary election.

They were among more than two dozen people opposed to oil and coal shipments to demonstrate near a Burlington Northern Santa Fe yard Tuesday morning. Protesters erected an 18-foot-high tripod across the tracks along the Snohomish River in north Everett.

The five people arrested were either on or attached to the tripod. Before the afternoon was over, they were in handcuffs and being driven away in police cars.

The demonstration was announced by the group Rising Tide Seattle to protest shipments of oil, coal and gas by train and proposed shipping terminals in the Northwest.

An increase in the number of trains carrying oil from the northern Great Plains, and the possibility that coal shipments also will increase in years ahead, have raised fears among environmentalists and local officials.

A protest in Anacortes in July targeted the Tesoro refinery where crude oil shipments arrive by rail.

At the same time, there has been a proposal for a coal shipping terminal at Cherry Point.

The protesters also cited safety concerns. Last year, a train carrying oil from North Dakota derailed in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. Several cars exploded and 40 buildings were leveled.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, stevick@heraldnet.com

More in Local News

Bicycle tour raises money for dialysis patients

Volunteers also shared health information and put together care packages for homeless women.

Elderly couple escape serious injuries in crash with train

The driver drove down tracks instead of a road, hitting a slow-moving train near Stanwood.

In Uniform

A collection of news and events about and for active duty military and veterans.

Boeing reaches out to schools

Company employees helped Everett students at recent reading and Manufacturing Day events.

5-vehicle collision sends school bus into ditch; no injuries

No students were hurt when a school bus crashed into… Continue reading

Fire crew returns early from wildfires in Northern California

Four Everett firefighters returned from battling California wildfires late Thursday… Continue reading

Theft lands former insurance salesman 50 days in jail

A former insurance salesman is expected to report to jail… Continue reading

Soroptimists honor Navy Junior ROTC commander

Soroptimist International of Everett recently recognized Everett High School Navy Junior ROTC… Continue reading

For happy, nervous teens, it was a big day to be in the band

Nearly 2,000 students from 17 schools gather in Everett for the Puget Sound Festival of bands

Most Read