Denver Tar Sands Action Visits Obama Speech

News — the tar sands action team September 29, 2011 @ 12:02 am

This post was written by Brad, one of the lead organizers of the Denver event. To join the growing movement to stop the Keystone XL pipeline in DC on November 6th, sign up here:

On September 27, 2011, twenty opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline greeted attendees at President Obama’s speech in.

We circulated a petition to the President to deny the pipeline, and we got 100 signatures, which we will forward to the White House, and will also use for future organizing at events by Denver Tar Sands Action.  We also circulated and explained a Canadian Indigenous Network poster of the tar sands that helped people understand what the pipeline is, and what those crazy people across the street with the bullhorn and the big banner were yelling about.

Many people had never heard of it, and our pre-event planning should have taken that more into account.  Although we were unable to catch the President’s eye, we did make it so that the next time any of the 6,000 attendees hear the words “Keystone XL Pipeline”, they’ll go, “Oh yeah, that’s what the protesters at the Obama speech were talking about.”

Also, one of our photos made it into the Denver Post online edition about the event, but not the print edition: Unfortunately we were not interviewed, but at least the photo is there with a caption.  Also, after the event, a few of us were able to catch the Obama’s motorcade with our signs.

We were honored to be part of the Tar Sands Action movement and look forward to defying conventional wisdom and getting this affront to sensible environmental stewardship killed once and for all.


Minneapolis Marches in Solidarity with the Ottawa Action

News — the tar sands action team September 28, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

This post originally appeared on The Uptake.

The Twin Cities Tar Sands Action group marched in downtown Minneapolis on Monday, Sept. 26, and called on President Obama to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would transport synthetic crude oil from the Tar Sands of Alberta, Canada, to refineries in the Midwest, and southward to the Gulf of Mexico. Native American leaders and local environmental activists — some of whom were arrested as part of Keystone Pipeline protests in front of the White House this summer — warned that the pipeline would destroy wetlands, continue to feed our addiction to global climate change-inducing fossil fuels, and hurt indigenous peoples’ lands.

The demonstrators marched from the Royal Bank of Canada in Minneapolis to the Canadian Consulate, where they sought to speak with consular officials about their grievances. Speakers included Clyde Bellecourt of the American Indian Movement, Marty Cobenais of the Indigenous Environmental Movement and Michael Noble of Fresh Energy. The rally was staged to coincide with a demonstration in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, where hundreds were arrested for opposing the Keystone pipeline.


Over 1000 people already signed up for Nov 6th Action

News — the tar sands action team @ 2:29 pm
]I have a few important updates to add to the letter I sent around earlier this week.I’m incredibly pleased by the group of folks on board to support this next phase of our work together – any time you have someone like Tim DeChristopher, who is still sitting in jail for his brave stand against the oil industry, joining with a former White House official like Gus Speth, along with the incredible other organizers and movement leaders who co-signed with them, you can be sure that something special is in store.

It’s very important that we continue thinking and acting big, because we don’t have much time: the President will be making a decision by the end of the year. I wanted to send you another note to help explain in a little more depth what we have planned:

First: Over 1000 people have already signed up for our big action on November 6th, one year from the next election, when we’re going to try to encircle the White House in a giant, solemn protest. We’ve never tried something this big before – our goal here is to make it clear just how big this movement is, as a reminder to the President that this pipeline is a threat to both our communities and his reelection chances.


Follow the Money: Tar Sands Protest in Scotland

Uncategorized — the tar sands action team @ 1:30 pm

The Royal Bank of Scotland, like most banks these days, likes to tout its green credentials. But PR flacks and fancy brochures can’t hide the fact that RBS is investing $7.5 billion into tar sands production. In fact, UK banks have underwritten 17% of all the tar sands related deals over the last three years (for more info check out this article in the Independent).

Cutting off the Keystone XL tentacle is one way to weaken the tar sands beast, cutting off the cash flow is another. Check out this video of our allies at Friends of the Earth Scotland taking the message straight to RBS in a creative — and downright musically impressive — way. Who’s going to write the next tar sands jam?


Cornell Global Labor Institute Study Finds Keystone XL Pipeline Will Create Few Jobs

News — the tar sands action team @ 12:40 pm

Previous Studies Are Misleading; Project May Kill More Jobs Than It Creates

ILR’s Global Labor Institute today released a report examining the job impacts of TransCanada Corporation’s Keystone XL Pipeline.

In Pipe Dreams? Jobs Gained, Jobs Lost by the Construction of Keystone XL, the institute says more jobs could be destroyed than created by the pipeline.


Maude Barlow: I Got Arrested For The First Time

News — the tar sands action team @ 9:56 am

Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson for the Council of Canadians and a participant in Monday’s Ottawa Action. This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post

I got arrested today for the first time today. Just before noon, I walked hand in hand with colleagues and friends, the steady and haunting beat of First Nations drums behind me, to a four-foot barrier near the front of Parliament Hill, erected to keep me and other protesters away from the doors of Parliament. I took a deep breath, stepped on the barrier and crossed over.


3 Incredible Tar Sands Actions – and more to come

News — the tar sands action team September 27, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

Sunday and Monday local organizers led 3 incredible Tar Sands Actions targetting the President and one of his top advisers. Seattle, Mountain View, CA and Cambridge, MA all made their voices heard with rallies at Presidential events.

Click for more photos and a reportback from the events:


If You See Something at the State Department Hearings, Say Something Here

News — the tar sands action team September 26, 2011 @ 6:56 pm


Today marked the beginning of the State Department hearings, and our expectations were confirmed: the Keystone XL’s corporate backers are paying to bus in pipeline supporters to to attempt to tilt the process in their favor and keep opponents of the pipeline from making their voices heard.

We don’t yet have any confirmed reports of serious issues, but to help monitor the process, we’ve set up a hotline where anyone at the hearings can leave us a message reporting on any problems they see.

Call or text (402) 937-1473 with any reports of issues, and we’ll do our best to spread the word and hold the State Department to their promise to create an open dialog about Keystone XL.

UPDATE: This report comes from Kathy DeSilva from Port Arthur, TX:

“I attended and spoke at the Port Arthur State Dept. meeting last night. I left with the feeling of being scammed. We arrived 45 minutes early to sign up, & found hundreds of oil field workers already in line (having been bused in) wearing navy blue or orange matching t-shirts, bold lettering: BUILD KEYSTONE XL NOW! GOOD JOBS! U.S. SECURITY! Once we were allowed to sign up to speak (at a table staffed by Cardno Entrix, according to their name tags) we entered the room to find the first 8-10 rows, (left side:suits, right side: oil field workers), filled by these individuals and their slogans. This after being told we could not bring any signs into the meeting? The 2 microphones were set up in the middle, just behind the last rows of bright shirts. When one stood up to speak, these were the only people in the field of vision. The first 40 or so speakers were for the pipeline (having been bused in & stood in line to sign up first). They were told their time limit was 3 minutes, but it was not strictly enforced. Once people started speaking in opposition, we were told it was getting so late, the time was now 2 minutes (strictly enforced). On the sign up table, there was a stack of papers entitled, “Fact Sheet, Keystone XL Pipeline”. No where in this publication is tar sands oil referred to, just “crude oil”. The paper ends with these words: ABOVE ALL ELSE, THE DEPARTMENT IS COMMITTED TO MAINTAINING THE INTEGRITY OF A TRANSPARENT, IMPARTIAL, AND RIGOROUS PROCESS. After driving 4 hours to attend and speak at this meeting, I feel like it was a scam and in no way transparent, impartial and rigorous.”


200+ Arrests at Ottawa Action

News — the tar sands action team @ 6:16 pm

Maude Barlow arrested Today on Parliament Hill in Ottawa over 200 people were arrested in an act of civil disobedience in protest of the Alberta tar sands. Arrestees included Maude Barlow, Tantoo Cardinal and dozens of environmental movement leaders from Canada. This was one of the largest acts of civil disobedience in Canada in decades, and a powerful start to the parliamentary session in Ottawa. For photos of the action, click here:


An Invitation to Join the Tar Sands Action in DC, Nov. 6th

News — the tar sands action team @ 2:10 pm

This call to action was issued by a diverse group of movement leaders to bring together a massive rally on November 6th in Washington DC. To join the rally, sign up here:

Dear friends—

Once again, we’re sending you another long letter to ask for your help.

It’s been several weeks since the last people got out of jail in Washington DC, at the end of two weeks of civil disobedience that led to 1253 brave people ending up in handcuffs to stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. It was the largest such action in decades, and because of their leadership lots has begun to happen.


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