Pipelines, Propaganda and Personal Stories

Rise Up from Nancy Boulicault on Vimeo.

Dear Mini-White-House-Occupiers,

Momentum is building for the Tar Sands Action this Sunday. In the US, over 5,000 people have signed up to surround the White House to encourage Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. We’ve planned a miniature action in London – see below for details. While the pipeline is dominating the agenda in the US, here in Europe all eyes are still on the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) – important legislation discouraging tar sands oil from entering the EU, which is STILL being stalled by the UK. In other news, People and Planet’s Beaver Lake Cree Youth Exchange culminates next week with Crystal and Chance coming to talk at a variety of events around the UK.

  1. Keystone Solidarity Action: Stop the Pipeline!
  2. Challenging a tar sands propagandist
  3. Fuel Quality Directive debate goes local
  4. Chance and Crystal visit from Beaver Lake

Love and solidarity,

Emily and Sue

  1. Keystone Solidarity Action: Stop the Pipeline!

This Sunday 6th November, from 11am, we will surround our own miniature White House outside the US Embassy in London. The anti-pipeline movement in the US has been incredible and for the first time Obama has commented publicly on the issue, letting on that “my general attitude is, what is best for the American people? What’s best for our economy both short term and long term? But also, what’s best for the health of the American people?” It is now essential not only to support the protesters in Washington, but to show that as far away as Europe this pipeline is a matter of controversy – particularly as we face the possibility of future tar sands imports to Europe.  More details about the solidarity action on our website and facebook event.

  1. Challenging a tar sands propagandist

Understandably, the FQD is a source of much dismay within the Canadian government, and the latest propagandist sent here to ‘fight’ it was Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver. Keen to not let him speak unopposed, we turned up with banners, critical questions, and a “Greenwash Propagandist of the Year Award” to present to the minister. As it was, the audience was so critical that we were met with a whole gang of tar-stoppers in the audience! This shows that word is getting out about tar sands and university students will not be convinced by government spin. Many thanks to People and Planet for their help in making this happen. Check out some excellent media coverage we received.

  1. Fuel Quality Directive debate goes local

One of the key things for us to focus on in the next few weeks will be challenging Norman Baker, the minister responsible for the UK’s uncompromising position on the FQD.  The amazing people in his local constituency of Lewes have started to up the pressure to hold him accountable to his previous commitment in the community to the climate movement. A group of people attended his surgery, questioned him on the FQD, distributed Tar-Free-Lewes posters to Norman and held a protest outside.  A friend of Norman Baker’s writes her powerful version of events here, explaining how she feels personally let down by his moves to stall the FQD. We are planning further action in Lewes on November 12th.  If you would like to take part please contact us at the usual address [email protected].

  1. Chance and Crystal visit from Beaver Lake

People and Planet are hosting a visit from two young members of a community affected by tar sands. Chance and Crystal will be speaking at a variety of events, including in London on 9th November, at Shared Planet in Oxford on 12th November, and in Birmingham on 13th November. This will be a powerful opportunity to hear 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. See you there!

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