SPOKANE, Wash. – Three grandmothers were charged for obstructing a train on Wednesday. The three are known as the “Raging Grannies.” They blocked BNSF train tracks in protest because they want Spokane to stop oil and coal trains from going through downtown.
The grandmothers said they tried to talk to city officials about fossil fuels and fracking but when that did not work, they decided to protest.
"Even one person can stop a train it's very easy to stop a train," Raging Grannie Deena Romoff said.
Romoff and the other two “Raging Grannies” wrote letters and tried to get the Spokane City Council to stop oil and coal trains from going through downtown but the measure failed.
"People are getting frustrated that our government is not doing anything, that the world isn't doing anything," she said.
Romoff and several others decided to take matters into their own hands.
"When you have one city along the track that says 'you can't come through here,' what happens? It stops," she said.
BNSF railway officials said the protest group stopped 11 trains, one was fully loaded with coal.
"Even for that short period of time it gives us that much more time on this planet in my looking at it," Romoff said.
The “Grannies” said their time behind the bars will not be in vain. They said they are joining forces with other environmental protests across the country and will go out every day if they have to.
"You don't have to get arrested,” Romoff said. “You can be out there. If you believe in having a life for your children and your grandchildren"
BNSF said this in a statement in regards to ordinance to stop oil train operations:
“There are a number of better options to promote safety, including collaboration with industry and federal regulators to further enhance safety. We stand ready to work with federal, state, and local leaders to continue to improve safety while maintaining the efficient flow of commerce to and from Spokane.”