14 activists arrested for blockading Zenith oil terminal
Reports on social media and from a wire service photojournalist indicate as many as 14 people were arrested Sunday, April 28 after planting a second garden on the rail spur leading to a Zenith oil terminal on Front Street.
In a follow-up news release, the Portland Police Bureau said it charged 14 people with one count of second-degree trespassing after giving them three warnings to leave.
"When they refused to leave, they were handcuffed and escorted off the property," according to the release. "No force was used during the arrests."
The activists used a dump truck to add topsoil and a new garden around 6 a.m., according to their accounts. Squad cars were spotted by 9:30 a.m., and the arrests appear to have concluded a few hours later.
"Zenith continues to build out its infrastructure," said well-known local activist Ken Ward, in a video. "Our political leadership, despite some expressions of concern, has done nothing — nothing."
The demonstrators also returned their tiny house to the area surrounding the terminal, where crude oil is stored until it can be shipped to foreign and domestic refineries.
Graffiti reading "From this moment despair ends and tactics begin" appeared on the new cinderblock wall Zenith is building around its property.
Activists supporting the short-lived blockade say Zenith has dramatically increased rail shipments of Canadian crude oil to its terminal after quietly purchasing the property in 2017.
Portland City Hall banned new or significant expansions of oil terminal facilities in 2016, but Zenith is using old permits approved in 2014 to add more infrastructure. The expansion will allow Zenith to unload as many as 44 rail cars at a time.
A representative for Zenith says the company strives to operate in an "environmentally responsible manner."
"While we respect the protestors' First Amendment right to express their opinions, for their safety, the safety of the facility and the safety of the community, we ask that they follow the law, and treat our employees, contractors and vendors with an appropriate level of respect," the company said in a statement.
Here's the list of people Portland Police say they arrested:
• Jan Zuckerman, 60
• Richard Peppers, 63
• Michael Horner, 69
• Deborah Romerein, 67
• Lorraine Heller, 86
• Margaret Butler, 62
• Kenneth Ward, 62
• Joan Kirchhoff, 67
• Tim Norgren, 45
• Patricia Freiberg, 74
• Kyler Liu, 30
• Steven Goldstein, 73
• Mary Vanzant, 61
• Emily Carl, 19