(C) 2014 Luke T. Bush
PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY - Saturday 7/5/14
Local activists promoted awareness of the oil bomb train problem with a sign-carrying march and then speeches at a location near the Saranac River.
The event received great coverage — but not only from the media.
TV, newspaper and radio journalists were there. Even someone from the Voice of Russia Radio in Washington, DC.
Meanwhile the Homeland Security helicopter kept circling the downtown Plattsburgh area. Police officers stood guard under the Smith-Weed Bridge. Yellow tape marked with POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS restricted any close approach to the tracks.
I followed one group of activists who carried signs and also a long banner — BAN THE BOMB
TRAINS — through the downtown area, stopping at certain locations to let their
message be seen and heard.
This group walked over the Smith-Weed Bridge and then crossed to the other side of the river via the pedestrian footbridge that runs parallel to the railroad trestle. They joined others waiting at the speakers area that had been set up for the event.
At one point I looked over at the giant bronze eagle, a symbol of
freedom, atop the towering obelisk of the Macdonough Monument while the
Homeland Security helicopter made another wide loop around downtown.
While the speakers made their presentations —
peacefully — I asked one participant about the helicopter. He said it made him "nervous."
I spoke to someone else who said that a representative of the protest
group had contacted the Plattsburgh Police Department about the event. The story goes the police chief expressed
concern that maybe a protester would try to block a train carrying tank cars
loaded with highly-explosive Bakken crude oil.
Those damn hippies! They'll try
to put LSD in your drinking water!
(Does the term "McCarthyism" mean anything to you?)
Questions: How much taxpayer money was spent on fuel for the circling
helicopter? Was it well-spent?
After the event wrapped up I noticed the whirlybird watcher was gone.
Maybe the crew got called to help out with a cat stuck in a tree up dere in