DUMONT, N.J. -- Nearly 100 climate activists and community leaders from New Jersey will gather in Dumont to rally against "bomb trains" on Wednesday, July 6, and to remember the 47 people killed in a train wreck involving such a train three years ago.
That disaster occurred in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. It killed 47 and destroyed much of the downtown. This rally is one of over 100 similar actions being held around the U.S. and Canada, to raise awareness of the risks associated with freight trains carrying Bakken crude oil through communities.
The event will include a reading of the names of the Lac-Mégantic victims, music by the Solidarity Singers, residents chanting and holding signs, and speeches from community leaders and environmental groups -- including the Sierra Club, Food & Water Watch New Jersey, Clean Ocean Action, 350NJ and the Bergen-County-based Coalition to Ban Unsafe Oil Trains.
"Daily, long unit trains filled with highly flammable Bakken crude oil -- often called 'bomb trains' -- roll through populous towns in Bergen, Essex and other counties of New Jersey, within feet of schools, playgrounds, EMS offices, major highways, businesses and vital water supplies," organizers note.
"Bakken crude oil is volatile and dangerous to people living along the train lines. Every town and city on the CSX rail line in New Jersey is in the danger zone," said Paula Rogovin, a founder of the Coalition to Ban Unsafe Oil Trains.
"We are gathering on July 6th in Dumont to say, we don't want to be the next Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, where 47 people were incinerated when a train carrying Bakken crude derailed and exploded. We demand an immediate ban on the transport of Bakken crude by any means -- it's just too dangerous."
"On the third anniversary of the oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, we're not any safer," said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. "Every day thousands of these train cars are going through our communities. In New Jersey, we have over 50 a week going through the most densely populated parts of our state. If we were to have an accident here in New Jersey, such as Newark, Teaneck or Trenton ... it would be a tragedy threatening the lives of thousands."
The rally and memorial will be from 5-6 p.m., at the Post Office, 138 Veterans Plaza, in Dumont.