Fighting Fossil Fuels in Idaho with Organizer Helen Yost

Happy Greenwashing Day (i.e. Earth Day)!

In our Earth Day episode, flying solo, Scott talks with Wild Idaho Rising Tide co-founder and organizer, and host of Radio Free Moscow’s “Climate Justice Forum,” Helen Yost.

Listen in: https://bit.ly/WildIdahoGandR

In 2011, Wild Idaho Rising Tide launched with a direct action campaign to stop the “Tar Sands Megaloads,” huge pieces of oil drilling equipment being shipped by the oil industry from the Pacific Coast to Alberta’s tar sands. Scott and Helen discuss that campaign and all of the climate and political organizing in Idaho that has come since 2011. This includes scrappy campaigns against fossil fuel transportation, infrastructure and extraction that has led to unusual alliances between environmentalists, Indigenous groups and property rights advocates. And the backlash that Helen and other activists have faced from industry, the state government and the feds. Most notably, the FBI visits of anti-fossil fuel activists in 2014. We even listened to a voicemail left for Helen by an agent.

Helen shared a story about living in Northern Idaho during the 2020 uprisings. As high school students organized small peaceful marches around the murder of George Floyd, they were harassed by local white supremacist militias. The harassment led to the town organizing and mobilizing against the militias each time the students had a march or rally.

Described as a “one woman army,” Helen Yost is co-founder of, and an organizer with, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT). She is also a citizen journalist, producer and host of the weekly Climate Justice Forum program on KRFP Radio Free Moscow. Her academic background is in conservation of resources, wilderness, wildlife, and environments She has served during her 14 years in north Idaho as a social sciences research assistant, education and outreach director, board member and president, canvasser, and organizer for regional groups. WIRT and allied, grassroots activists effectively confront the root causes of climate change through locally crucial and creative, direct actions and solutions, including peaceful protests, protective monitoring, public processes, and defensive litigation

 

Author: Sparki

Scott Parkin is a Senior Campaigner with Rainforest Action Network and organizes with Rising Tide North America. He has worked on a variety of campaigns around climate change, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, mountaintop removal, labor issues and anti-corporate globalization. Originally from Texas, he now lives in San Francisco.

Leave a Reply