Did you hear about London’s oil spill?

Dear Tar Sands Craftivists,

There is much to update you on! But first – what is craftivism, you ask? Why it is what we did last week, with the wonderful felt-artist Lucy Sparrow!

Dead caribou made by felt artist Lucy Sparrow - photo by Scott CadmanLast Tuesday saw Canada House hosting another one of their oily Energy Roundtables, a chance for the Canadian and UK governments, along with high-level reps from the oil industry, to talk about their energy strategy (read how to make sure Europe doesn’t block imports of tar sands oil). We felt that the people in these meetings are a little detached from what is going on on the ground, and so can easily ignore the real impacts of what they are doing to ecosystems and First Nations communities.

What can we do to make them understand? Bring these impacts to their doorstep of course! Instead of bringing actual bitumen and dead animals (imagine the logistics around that!), Lucy created a huge tar sands oil spill out of felt, blocking the entrances to Canada House.

While we didn’t really expected them to suddenly change their minds, we did get plenty of interest from the public and the media, while making many of the delegates walk over an oil spill to get to the meeting! Read all about what happened here.

You can see more photos in the Facebook album (you don’t need to login to see it), or check out this awesome video to see how it all went down.

In other news:


IMG_8020As you may remember, George Poitras – former Chief of the Mikisew Cree First Nation – was in the UK last month to testify to policymakers and MPs about the impacts of the Canadian tar sands industry on Indigenous Peoples in Alberta, and to encourage the swift implementation of the Fuel Quality Directive. During our Parliamentary event, he gave a moving speech, and we wanted to share it with all of you. We have uploaded his speech – as well as comments by energy expert Jeremy Leggett and Greenpeace EU transport policy adviser Franziska Achterberg – to our website, where you are welcome to download them and listen to them in the comfort of your own MP3 player.


Funding the tar sands trial

This week the Beaver Lake Cree Nation smashed through their target of raising $25,000 for a scientific study of impacts on their community, to The Tarsands Trialback up their ground-breaking court case against the tar sands. They have raised nearly $30,000 so far in their crowdfunding drive. Huge thanks to any of you who donated, and if you haven’t yet, please do. They still need to raise millions for their legal challenge which, if they win, could stop the tar sands industry in its tracks. Find out more, and donate, here.


Harper protesters off the hook

Back in June, Canadian PM Harper’s visit to London was greeted by a storm of protest, with a large demonstration, a recreation of the ‘Stop Harper’ page protest and the arrest of five protesters – some of whom blocked the gates to parliament and others who scaled the roof. We’re delighted to hear that the arrestees – who were rebailed five times and not allowed to go within 200m of Parliament for five months – will have no charges pressed.


Action corner!Take Action

UK people: if you haven’t done so yet please ask your MP to sign the Early Day Motion in support of a default value for tar sands in the FQD. It sounds like a small thing, but if enough people contact their MPs, we can show the British government that we don’t want tar sands oil coming to the UK!


Finally, this will be the last UKTSN newsletter signed off by Jess, who is leaving us in several weeks to pursue exciting projects of her own. Jess’s expertise and passion will be greatly missed but we wish her all the best with her future endeavours – we’re sure she’ll continue to kick oil company ass!

Stay creative!

Jess, Emily, Ruthi and Sue

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