Grandmother arrested after megaload protest


MISSOULA, Mont. - A grandmother in Missoula was arrested for disorderly conduct early Wednesday morning for protesting a megaload.

Carol Marsh, 71, sat in the middle of Reserve Street and refused to move when a megaload carrying oilfield equipment drove through Missoula. Police asked her repeatedly to get up, but Marsh said she told them she didn't plan to. So she was handcuffed and taken to the Missoula County Detention Center where she was booked and released.

"The police treated me like a 71-year-old grandmother, which I am," Marsh said. "They were sweet."

She knew she'd be arrested but didn't care.

"Sitting in the back of a police car, with your hands behind you held by metal, it's not fun," she said. "But I intended to get arrested."

This isn't the first time Marsh has been arrested for protesting.

"The Vietnam War, the coup in Chile, I got arrested with four nuns and two priests, the day the first Iraq War started."

Her list is long, but this cause may be the most important. She says she's doing it for her 11-year-old granddaughter.

"This monster megaload is part of the problem," she said. "The world she's growing up in is already worse than the world I grew up in."

Marsh, like other protesters, believes the Omega-Morgan load headed to the tar sands in Alberta should be stopped. Protesters say the tar sands project is one of the most destructive to the planet, saying it takes a toll on the climate, air, water and public health.

"It's only going to get worse," Marsh said. "We have to do what we can and we have to do it as soon as we can."

She's not slowing down anytime soon. While the megaload that passed through Missoula early Wednesday is currently sitting at the former Bonner Mill site, another megaload might make its way through Missoula Wednesday night or Thursday. Marsh said she'll be there to protest that truck as well.