Stop the moose abuse!

Dear pop-up protesters,

Last Wednesday, we held a candlelit vigil outside the Canadian High Commission, which suddenly turned into a noisy protest when we discovered there was a meeting going on inside, involving oil company reps and tar sands investors! Read on for the full story.

Meanwhile, our favourite social engagement of the year is coming up – the BP AGM! We’d love you to be involved. Read on for all this plus some thrilling upcoming events.

1. Vigil over Canada’s tar sands lobbying unexpectedly turns into full-blown protest
2. BP AGM – help counter the inevitable greenwash deluge
3. Upcoming events

Love not aggressive lobbying,

Jess, Emily, Ruthi and Sue

PS In case you didn’t know, the Keystone XL pipeline – which got killed off by Obama last month (and the month before) – did a Dracula and rose again in the US Senate last week. But don’t worry, it was firmly staked through the heart. Hopefully it’ll now remain just a pile of dust, though we’re not prepared to bet actual money on that…


1. Vigil over Canada’s tar sands lobbying unexpectedly turns into full-blown protest

Last Wednesday’s vigil outside the Canadian High Commission was one of 20 that took place in cities across Europe and North America. The aim was to highlight the damage being done by Canada’s multi-million dollar lobbying initiative, which is aggressively promoting their filthy fuel to our governments. As a result, the Fuel Quality Directive – an important piece of EU climate legislation – is under threat. We also wanted to expose the UK government for being Canada’s top cheerleader in this strategy.

We joined with members of the Occupy LSX Energy, Equity and Environment group to hold a sombre candlelit vigil on the steps of the High Commission in Grosvenor Square. But then someone spotted that there was a meeting going on inside the building. As we peered through the window, we saw a huge sign promoting links between UK and Canadian business, and as people started leaving, they told us there were oil industry reps and tar sands financers inside. So we got the megaphone out and started chanting ‘No Tar Sands’, ‘Stop the Moose Abuse!’ and ‘Canada, BP, RBS and Shell – if you dig up the tar sands we’ll raise hell!’ More details, photos and videos here.

It was great to be able to catch them in the act. Next week, our lobby-busting efforts will escalate. We will be welcoming to London a delegation from Canada, including Dene Nation Chief Bill Erasmus. The delegation are going to be touring European capitals, meeting with governments and countering the Canadian government’s dangerous campaign of misinformation. Stay tuned for how their meetings go with UK politicians.

2. BP AGM – help counter the inevitable greenwash deluge

This year, BP’s AGM is taking place on the 12th April in London. Once again, we plan to be there in force, inside and outside, to make sure that the BP Board, shareholders and the media are in no doubt that we are not ok with their plan to keep extracting fossil fuels until the planet burns.

Here’s what we did last year – and it got global media coverage for the issue of tar sands. If you would like to be involved this year, we are looking for people willing to be both inside and outside. Please email [email protected] and let us know if you’re available.

In the meantime, you may have noticed that BP has launched its Olympics advertising campaign with a series of TV ads apparently claiming that they are fuelling 5,000 Olympic vehicles with advanced biofuels. They’re not. So if you see this advert, you could do us a massive favour by noting down the time, date and channel, and letting us know.

3. Upcoming events

Unveiling the Olympics
Friday, 16 March, 5pm – 8pm, B102, Brunei Gallery, opposite SOAS Main Building, Russell Square, London
Panel discussion aiming to address the many contradictions of the London games. The first part will focus on the Bhopal gas disaster, Justice for Bhopal Movement and the controversy surrounding Dow sponsorship. The second panel, which will include UKTSN’s Emily Coats, will focus on other controversial sponsors, like Rio Tinto and BP.

‘Tate à Tate’ Launch Party
Friday, 23 March, 6pm – 9pm,  Calder Bookshop & Theatre, 51 The Cut, SE1 8LF 
Platform, Liberate Tate and Art Not Oil invite you to come and celebrate the audio unveiling of Tate à Tate, a site-specific sound artwork themed around the issue of BP sponsorship of Tate. It is is a permanent installation inside Tate galleries that is created by your participation. From Thursday 22nd March the audio tour will also be available for free download.

Ecocide Trial – The Sentence
Saturday, 31 March, Institute for Democracy & Conflict Resolution (IDCR) at the University of Essex
The Ecocide Trial in September found two fictional CEOs guilty of ecocide for their operations in the tar sands. Now it’s time for the sentencing! This will use ‘Restorative Justice’ – putting the CEOs face to face with individuals who speak on behalf of the inhabitants of the territory they have been convicted of extensively damaging. The event is open to the public. There will be breakout sessions, debates and speakers during the day.

Oxford screening of Taking on Tarmageddon
Sunday, 6th May, 7-10pm, Downstairs, East Oxford Community Centre, 44b Princes Street (corner of Cowley Rd) Oxford OX4 1HU, £5/£3
OARC Sunday Screenings are pleased to be holding a screening and debate of the brand new Taking on Tarmageddon, a Campbell Road Productions film about People & Planet’s tar sands youth exchange with the Beaver Lake Cree Nation in 2011. The UK Tar Sands Network, People & Planet, and the film makers will be present to talk about the film, the tar sands and their experiences.

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