Protestors Using “Protest Device” on Missoula Train Tracks Removed by Police
This morning, September 17, Missoula Police officers were called to the scene of a protest on the railroad tracks that cross Madison and Spruce streets near the Rattlesnake Valley.
Eyewitnesses report hearing some of the protesters saying "leave the coal in the ground" as others gathered to watch and take pictures.
"Officers had been called to the location and they asked the people to leave the tracks for their safety, but they refused," said Missoula Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh. "There were two people that were using some sort of protest device to sit on the tracks. They were actually lifted up by the officers, taken off the tracks and set back down. Everyone else was peaceful, everyone else voluntarily left the tracks."
Welsh says the protest resolved peacefully, but there could be charges.
"Potentially, if the railroad authority elects to press charges for criminal trespass that is a possibility, but I am told from the scene, at this point, that that has not occurred."
Eye witnesses report seeing around 12 police officers and claim that the two protesters, which had to be carried off the train tracks by the police, appeared to have locked themselves into a contraption built from PVC pipe.