350 NH members and friends recognized the anniversary of the oil train explosion in Lac Megantic, Canada on July 6, 2014, by holding an “Oil Train Hazards!” Protest Rally in downtown Dover, NH. On July 6, 2013, an oil train that was parked near the town of Lac Megantic rolled into town, derailed, and exploded. The explosion and fire killed 47 people and destroyed some 30 homes, a library and a busy bar. The train had been carrying volatile Bakken crude oil from North Dakota, which is also the kind of crude being shipped through Dover.
As we gathered in Dover, at a site just blocks away from the tracks where oil trains regularly travel, our goals were to raise awareness of the hazards of transporting oil by rail, and to keep the memory of the Lac Megantic disaster alive.
Several of us wore hazmat suits and wielded mops and buckets to clean up a simulated oil spill, while others displayed posters to the constant stream of traffic. Two local news sources covered the event: Foster’s Daily Democrat here and Seacoast Herald here.
The rally concluded with a solemn remembrance of those who died in Lac Megantic a year ago. As we stood circled in a nearby park, each name and age was read aloud and a gong sounded. We left feeling renewed determination and dedication to work toward shifting our nation from fossil fuel dependence to sustainable sources of energy that do not cause climate change.