Participants in the Great March for Climate Action conduct a short vigil in the BNSF railroad dept to protest shipping of Bakken crude oil via rail. The group will also protest the Keystone XL pipeline, designed to haul the same crude oil, when it reaches eastern Nebraska.
McCOOK, Neb. -- On their way from LA to DC to inspire actions on the climate crisis, dozens of marchers with the Great March for Climate Action visited the BNSF Railway Station in McCook to hold a short vigil.
The vigil commemorated the one year anniversary of an oil train explosion in Lac-Megantic, Quebec that killed 47 people. Marchers entered the station quietly, sat in a circle, and took turns ringing a bell as the names of the 47 victims were read.
"We want to honor the people who lost their lives in Quebec last year, but we also want to call attention to the dangers posed by the increasingly common practice of shipping oil by rail," said Mary DeCamp, a climate marcher who is also a native Neligh, Nebraska.
Participants in the Great March for Climate Action march in the Culbertson Fourth of July parade on Friday.
(Lorri Sughroue/McCook Gazette)
BNSF Railway ships more Bakken crude oil than any other railway. "They want to keep details about their oil train traffic through Nebraska confidential. Nebraska's state emergency responders plan to honor the railway's request by keeping such information secret," according to a release from the marchers.
The vigil is part of a national week of action to bring attention to the dangers of shipping oil by rail. Called the North American Week of Action to Stop Oil by Rail, residents from Lac-Megantic and grassroots organizers from across the continent hope the events will heighten people's awareness of oil trains and inspire them to take action to protect their communities.
More information is available at www.climatemarch.org or http://stopoiltrains.org