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Dozens arrested in Washington state environmental protest

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Dozens of people were arrested in Washington state on Sunday, two days after protesters set up a blockade on railroad tracks leading to a pair of oil refineries as part of a global protest over dependence on fossil fuels, authorities said.

The protesters, camping out on BNSF Railway [BNISF.UL] tracks at Anacortes, Washington, about 70 miles (113 km) north of Seattle, refused police orders to disperse, said Katie McCulloch, a spokesman for the Skagit County Department of Emergency Management.

All of the 52 protesters under arrest were charged with trespassing, while one person was also charged with resisting arrest, according a statement on the department’s website. No injuries were reported.

Billed as Break Free 2016, the protests on six continents are part of a 12-day campaign to call attention to climate change and to demand a transition to clean energy, according to the organization’s website.

“Break Free is about pressuring the system so we get the change we need, but it’s also about imagining an alternative,” said Ahmed Gaya, an organizer for Break Free Pacific Northwest.

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About 150 people began demonstrating on Friday night in Anacortes on tracks leading to Tesoro Corp and Royal Dutch Shell refineries. Tesoro spokeswoman Destin Singleton said operations at the refinery were not affected.

The protesters had about 40 tents on the rail property, said BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas. The rail line was shut down during the protests but reopened on Sunday, he said.

“We are happy for them to voice their opinion but we ask them to do it off railroad property,” he said.

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Law enforcement officers and BNSF railway police went on to the tracks at about 5 a.m. PDT (8.00 a.m. ET) to remove the protesters, Melonas said.

Some protesters remained in the area after the arrests, though not on the tracks, McCulloch said. Some were in kayaks and in canoes on nearby waterways, she said.

In Albany, New York, about 1,500 people gathered on Saturday to protest against trains carrying crude oil into the Port of Albany, said Aly Johnson-Kurts, a spokeswoman for Break Free Albany.

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The Break Free website on Sunday said the Albany protest was completed but that protests were underway in Chicago near an oil refinery and in Washington D.C., where the group is asking President Barack Obama to stop offshore oil drilling in the Arctic, the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

(Reporting By Kevin Murphy in Kansas City Additional reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Alan Crosby)


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The real problem wasn’t the racism — it was the Trump taking ‘the Lord’s name in vain’ twice: supporter

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President Donald Trump was widely condemned after supporters at a campaign rally in West Virginia turned his racist "go back" message into a "Send Her Back" chant against one of a woman of color in Congress.

One Trump supporter in West Virginia also criticized the speech, but not for the racist targeting of Rep. Ilhan Omar.

State Senator Paul Hardesty, a Democrat, wrote to the White House to complain about Trump's use of the word "goddamn."

The letter was republished by the Montgomery-Herald.

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Tongue-tied GOP strategist crashes and burns on-air while trying to deny Trump’s racism

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Republican strategist Amy Tarkanian crashed and burned on CNN on Saturday while attempting to deny President Donald Trump's racism.

"I do not believe that the president’s tweets were racist. I do believe they were not well thought out. He needs that extra, 'Are you sure?' button on Twitter," Tarkanian argued.

"I'm a black man, I'm a Republican and a black man," the Rev. Joe Watkins interjected. "My mother's an immigrant, I would be angry if someone said that to my mother."

"Oh, it’s very offensive. But he did not say, because you are this color, go back to where you came from," Tarkanian argued. "I’m not supporting that tweet. Was it racist? No. Was it stupid? Yes."

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Trump supporter blames Democrats for being targeted by the president: ‘Why is that racist?’

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CNN interviewed a supporter of President Donald Trump in Eau Claire, Wisconsin who refused to acknowledge the racism in the president's "Go Back" attacks on four women of color in Congress.

The network interviewed Kerri Krumenauer of Wiersgalla Plumbing & Heating Company about Trump's attacks.

"How is it racist?" she asked.

"If you don't like this country, get out," she demanded. "Leave!"

She then showed how misinformed she was about the incident.

"He didn't use any names -- they stood up," she falsely claimed. In fact, Trump did use names and the targets did not stand up as they were not at his North Carolina campaign rally.

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