Canadian Tar Sands International Solidarity ActionTagged as: environmentalism repression social_struggles
Dateline: US Embassy, Grosvenor Square, London, UK, 11:00-12:00, Sunday 06 November 2011 – British environmental activists stage an international solidarity action right outside the American Embassy in the heart of London UK, as thousands of American and Canadian environmentalists throw a symbolic cordon around the White House in Washington DC. Big Oil wants US President Barak Obama to collude in the world’s single most destructive industrial climate crime: the Canadian tar sands atrocity. People the world over expect better of him – the whole world is watching to see whether or not he’ll permit the construction of a transcontinental Keystone XL pipeline, to carry Canada’s blood oil all the way to the Gulf coast, from where it can flow in bulk across the Atlantic to the UK and Europe. And the most concerned among us are taking action to strongly encourage a “NO WAY!” decision – which you can join in with too: see ‘Online Actions’ below.
CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN?
Many environmentalists voted for Barack Obama on his promise to stand up to Big Oil, and now he has a chance to do so, by declining to collude in the world’s single most destructive industrial climate crime: the Canadian tar sands atrocity. Transcanada need a permit signed by President Obama to allow the construction of a transcontinental Keystone XL pipeline, to carry Canada’s blood oil all the way to the Gulf coast, from where it can flow in bulk across the Atlantic to the UK and Europe. This potential escalation of what is already a devastating ecocidal crime scene has provoked fierce resistance from North America’s indigenous people and environmental activists, 1253 of whom have been arrested at a series of anti-Keystone-XL protests in August and September.
Here’s what some of our transatlantic sisters and brothers have to say:
“We are extremely concerned about the lack of consultation we have experienced in the dealings of the US State department on the Environmental Impact Review of the project. In his election, President Obama promised a new deal between Native America and the White House, saying no to the Keystone XL is a good place to start.”
~ Tom Poorbear, Oglala Lakota Vice President
“Love for Unci Maka (Grandmother Earth) and our generations are the bedrock of my resistance to the Transcanada oil pipeline. I have come here to be part of this peaceful circle of people to shine a light on President Obama to be visionary and deny a corporate plan whose promise of destruction of our lands is certain. President Obama will be an Earth Warrior, standing in the way of something bad coming toward the people, or he will step aside for Transcanada to foul our water, land, and health for generations to come. It is a decision of global magnitude, all over Unci Maka, we will forever see if he is to shine in the light of love and life, or if he will disappear into the darkness of greed and deceit.”
~ Debra White Plume, Oglala Lakota Nation grassroots activist
“If we’re serious about climate change and we are honest with ourselves about the issues we face as a world … then we have to face this issue head-on, and exploding the tar sands is not the way to do it. What we really need for energy independence is a renewable energy platform, a plan that’s going to start taking us away from oil, not facilitating its use.”
~ Mark Ruffalo, actor-activist, speaking on CTV’s Question Period in the USA on Sunday morning
“It is not simply poetic to say the earth is alive. I was raised in the Fort McMurray area, the heart of these current tar sands projects. We, all of us, are protectors of the land and water. If you were to see with your own eyes the incredible destruction of our ecosystem, I believe you’d understand that blind greed is destroying our land, water, and way of life. This is why President Obama has the moral imperative to say no to the Keystone XL Pipeline.”
~ Tantoo Cardinal, Cree/Métis actor-activist
A VOICE FROM THE HEART OF THE TAR SANDS ATROCITY
Here is an Open Letter from indigenous environmental activist George Poitras, of the Mikisew Cree First Nation, to President Barak Obama, on the contentious issue of the Keystone XL pipeline. George is from Fort Chipewyan, in northern Alberta, Canada – and the hunting, fishing and trapping grounds of his people have born the brunt of the tar sands atrocity’s ecocidal impact.
“Mr. President Obama:
I live in the tar sands. I, and generations before me, have seen the devastation of our lands, water, air, animals, fish, and more recently our people’s health; and in the in worst cases the loss of young lives to rare and aggressive cancers. Prominent scientists have said our cancers are potentially linked to petroleum products. We have never said that with certainty.
We live in the Peace-Athabasca Delta, one of the largest freshwater deltas in the world. We are a UNESCO designated world heritage site. We live on the boundary of the Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada’s largest national park.
We know now through the science of Dr. David Schindler that this is all at risk because of the tar sands production in the past 40 years. The Albertan and Canadian governments have done virtually nothing to protect our waters, land, air, its citizens, etc. And to think that over these 40 years, in which our environment and our people’s health have been so negatively impacted, just 3% of the total deposit has been mined is scary to say the least. What is even sadder, President Obama, is the fact that my generation, which is also your generation, will not be able to hand down to our children and children’s children, and future generations, what our ancestors were able to hand down to us. That is sad, President Obama. All our leaders have ever said was that we want the ability to hand to our future generations a healthy environment for a healthy living.
Your approval, President Obama, of the Keystone XL Pipeline, will only compound an already dismal situation for our people, who have the most at stake from this out-of-control development. Your approval will mean with certainty that we will continue to see our waters poisoned, our lands contaminated, our skies polluted, our fish deformed, and our people die unnecessarily. Your approval will guarantee the continued daily repeated infringements on our Constitutionally protected Treaty Rights to hunt, fish, and trap. Or, President Obama, your non-approval will mean a chance for my people to survive but more important a non-approval will mean that perhaps the governments of Alberta and Canada and the oil companies will take notice and begin to clean up the way they have been mining the tar sands.
I watched your election with hope. I wore your t-shirt that said “yes we can” on your election day while I was at my job in Canada. You stood for hope not only for Americans but for citizens all over Mother Earth. Your decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline could define your record of what you stand for in terms of climate change. The choice is yours alone, and I know that you know, from one marginalized person to another who have seen our lands and peoples annihilated, that the choice to approve this pipeline is not in anyone’s best interest.
Two days ago, we buried Mr. Jack Layton, my hope for a Canadian solution to tackling environmental issues in Canada. Not only are we missing an incredible man in himself, but we are missing out on a leader who could one day have been our Prime Minister. You are still among us, and many of us still hold onto that hope we had during your elections, on your election day, your inauguration and now in your term as President.
On behalf of my community of Fort Chipewyan, of the Cree, Dene, and Metis, we appeal to you. It’s a sad day when we who live in the tar sands have little to no say in these decisions, that you have a greater say than I do on a decision that will have impacts on my people and our lands for generations to come.
We appeal to you to make the right decision!
Former Chief, Mikisew Cree First Nation
Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, Canada”
• UK activists surround miniature White House as pipeline protests go global
• When the going gets tough on Keystone XL, Obama goes … golfing
• Lakota Tribes "Refuse to Cooperate" With Tar Sands Proponents
• Tar Sands on fast track to the UK?!
Washington DC Actions:
• Video: Anti-Keystone XL protest draws thousands at the White House
» video, 2:32 – http://blogs.canada.com/2011/11/06/video-anti-keystone-xl-protest-draws-thousands-at-the-white-house/
• Video playlist: Keystone XL Pipeline Direct Action – 02 Sep 2011
» 5 videos, 14:10 – http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE3AC39F2BD5CF71C
Find information about and allies opposed to the Canadian tar sands ecocide atrocity from these places.
• Tar Sands-Free: Washing our hands of dirty oil
• Indigenous Environmental Network
• UK Tar Sands Campaign - Open group, 976 members
• No Tar Sands - UK Non-profit organisation, 1,758 like ...this, 45 talking about this
• Tar Sands Action - US Community organisation, 21,968 like this, 4,205 talking about this
• Keystone XL Project Presidential Permit Application - PLEASE SEND YOUR OBJECTIONS TODAY to President Obama
— from the Indigenous Environmental Network
• White House Facebook Picture Campaign
— from No Tar Sands
— Thousands have encircled the White House to convince President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. Now you can join the action!
- Go to the White House Facebook page –» http://www.facebook.com/WhiteHouse
- LIKE it
- Post this image LINK –» http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=260433274007544&set=a.222368614480677.78441.204724712911734&type=1 – see ‘A2. Facebook Campaign Image’ above
- Add your comment about the Keystone XL pipeline
Beaver Lake Cree – UK Speaking Tour, November 2011
From November 8-16, Crystal Lameman-Cardinal and Chance McPherson, young people from the Beaver Lake Cree Nation in Northern Alberta, will be in the UK to share stories about life in the tar sands, at a time when our Government is helping Canada to undermine EU environmental regulation on behalf of the tar sands industry. The pair will speak in London, Oxford, and Birmingham, about the impacts of the tar sands industry on their environment, health and the treaty rights which are meant to protect their traditional ways of life. If you want to hear them speak, meet them yourselves, or help spread the word, they will be at the following events:
• London – Wednesday, 09 Nov 11, 18:00-21:00 @ Greenpeace, The Boiler House, Canonbury Villas, London N1 2PN
— Speaking at ‘A First Nations view on keeping tar sands oil out of the EU’
• Oxford – Sat 12 Nov 11, 10:45-12:15 @ Oxford Town Hall, Oxford OX1 1BX
— Speaking on the ‘Shared Planet’ Climate Change plenary and ‘Tar Sands-Free’ breakout workshop
• Oxford – Sun 13 Nov 11, 10:00-11:00 @ Oxford Town Hall, , Oxford OX1 1BX
— Speaking at the opening plenary of the 2nd day of ‘Shared Planet’ (alongside award-winning activist Lauren King)
• Birmingham – Sun 13 Nov 11, 19:30 - 23:00 @ the Underground, University of Birmingham.
— Speaking at ‘Drop Beats Not Bombs’, with Lowkey and Logic
• Birmingham – Mon 14 Nov 11, Event details to be determined
• London – Tue 15 Nov 11, 17:00-18:00 @ Tent City University, at St Paul’s encampment, OccupyLSX
If Chance and Crystal’s voices can be amplified on this trip, it will help ensure the UK’s pro-tar sands lobbying will not undermine the EU’s proposed tar sands ban when member states vote on it in December. So come and hear their stories and spread the word that the UK’s support for the tar sands industry is killing people, fauna, flora and whole ecosystems in Northern Alberta, Canada.
Up the Revolution,
Tim Dalinian Jones
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