It has been one helluva week in the world of tar-sands-stopping. The EU Commission has come out and approved the inclusion of a separate tar sands value in the FQD! This is a victory – but only of sorts – because we now need member states to agree. The UK government, egged on by Canada, continues its opposition. So we thought it was time to up the ante.
- ‘Oily Orgy’ erupts at Energy Roundtable
- Mock trial finds Tar Sands execs guilty of Ecocide
- Tar-Free Towns launch!
- UKTSN welcome for Canadian minister at LSE
- Putting a spanner in the Keystone XL Pipeline Plan
Peace not Tar,
Sue and Emily
1. ‘Oily Orgy’ erupts at Energy Roundtable
On Tuesday 100 or so delegates attended the London Energy Roundtable to see how the UK and Canada could “share strategic thinking on the commercial opportunities” presented by Canada’s resources. The attendees consisted of oil execs, opportunistic businessmen, high level government officials such as Canadian High Commissioner Gordon Campbell – whose self-styled job description includes lobbying against the ‘quality fuels directive’ [sic!] – and, as it happened, undercover activists.
The delegates didn’t know what had hit them when only half an hour into the conference Emily and performance poet Pete the Temp, dressed as Canada and the UK, climbed onto a table and descended into a messy, vocal ‘oil orgy’. The protest demonstrated quite visually what has been happening for over two years now: a foul intimacy festering between the UK and Canada over their mutual desire to sabotage the Fuel Quality Directive. The footage had more than 27,500 hits in 48 hours and been picked up by the Washington Post, Huffington Post and Vancouver Sun! Pete and Emily were detained for 11 hours and charged with criminal damage – boo! We will let you know how they are doing in the next few weeks.
2. Mock trial finds Tar Sands execs guilty of Ecocide
A few drops of molasses spilt on the carpet pale in comparison to what the real criminals are getting away with. The good news is that oil executives themselves may soon be held liable for the criminal effects of tar sands operations. Last month we celebrated an awesome achievement for international lawyer Polly Higgins, who is working to get ‘Ecocide’ recognised as the fifth international crime against the peace. A mock trial held on 30th September found the CEOs of two fictional companies operating in Alberta’s tar sands guilty of ecocide, for their tailings ponds devastating boreal ecosystems and killing wildlife. This shows just how powerful such a law would be! Support Polly on Facebook.
3. Tar-Free Towns launch at Transition Heathrow
Today we will be celebrating the first Tar-Free Town in the UK…. Transition Heathrow! Come and celebrate the beginnings of a tar-free future at the resistance jam! Transition Heathrow is the first of hopefully many communities to become Tar-Free. Get in touch if you want to learn more about becoming tar-free. We will have a shiny website coming soon to tell you all about it…ooooooh.
4. UKTSN welcome for Canadian minister at LSE
Canada appears to be upping its PR offensive, sending Joe Oliver, Canadian Natural Resources minister to give a free public lecture at London School of Economics on October 20th to discuss Canada as a “responsible” provider of energy. Oliver has been notorious for denying the impacts of tar sands on the lives of First Nations communities and recently declaring war on the Fuel Quality Directive. We don’t want to let him get away unchallenged, so we’re going to attend and present some alternative perspectives. Drop us a line if you fancy coming with us to thwart this pro-tar-ganda.
5. Putting a spanner in the Keystone XL Pipeline Plan
Put November 6th in your diaries: we’re planning a solidarity action with people in Washington D.C. who will be circling the White House to give Obama one final shove to come to his senses and not let the Keystone XL Pipeline be built. Read more about what Keystone will mean for Tar Sands entering the UK, yuck!
Phew, tar sands stopping never stops! If you ever want to get more involved we would love to meet up and have a chat. Email firstname.lastname@example.org