Tell Harper: we don’t want your dirty oil!

Harper memes-1

Facebook event:

Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, is coming to London, en route to the G8 summit. He’s been invited to give a prestigious address to Parliament. This rare honour is normally reserved for the most highly-respected dignitaries, such as Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama.

Harper does not deserve this honour. He has spent the last few years promoting the destructive tar sands industry, eroding Indigenous rights, weakening environmental regulations, muzzling scientists, and helping keep the world fixed on a collision course with runaway climate change by pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol. His government is currently mired in scandal and sleaze. What was the UK thinking in extending this invitation?

Perhaps it’s a sign of how close our two governments have become in recent years. When David Cameron visited Canada in 2011, the two Conservative leaders got on like a house on fire, and have been buddies ever since. This is important, because Canada is desperate to start exporting its toxic tar sands oil to the rest of the world – even though, if we are to have any hope of avoiding runaway climate change, we need to leave tar sands in the ground. At the moment, the EU is standing in Canada’s way, by attempting to pass a piece of climate legislation that will label tar sands oil as much more carbon-intensive than conventional oil, and discourage its import into Europe. Harper’s government has responded by orchestrating an unprecedented lobbying campaign in the EU, with the energetic support of the UK government and British oil companies like Shell and BP. It stalled the legislation, and may yet kill it off completely.

We need to challenge this destructive ‘special’ relationship, and make sure Harper does not get the warm welcome he is hoping for in London. We will stand in solidarity with First Nations in Canada whose territories and communities are being devastated by tar sands extraction. We will make it clear that we are determined to keep tar sands oil out of Europe. We will protest together for a cleaner fairer energy future. We hope you will join us.

When: Thursday 13th June, 11.15am
Where: Parliament Square, opposite Parliament, Westminster, London <- UPDATED
Why: to show Harper, as he drives past, that there is huge opposition to tar sands in the UK and he does not deserve the honour of addressing Parliament!
Bring: placards with your message to Harper. We are expecting a lot of interest from the Canadian media so please take the time to figure out what you want to say!

Supporting organisations:
UK Tar Sands Network
Greenpeace UK
World Development Movement
Earth Peoples
Campaign Against Climate Change
Healthy Planet UK
Occupy London Energy, Equity and Environment Group
Quaker Peace and Social Witness
Lush Cosmetics
Council of Canadians
Canadian Youth Climate Coalition
Sierra Club Canada
People & Planet
Push Europe
UK Youth Climate Coalition
Shift Campaign
Earth in Brackets
Pembrokeshire Friends of the Earth
Greenpeace Canada
Canadian Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign
Extreme Energy Initiative, HRC, University of London
Climate Justice Collective
Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Fast for the Earth
London Rising Tide
Climate Rush
Turkey Creek Community Initiatives
Gulf Coast Fund
Young Friends of the Earth
Christian Ecology Link

Facebook event:

Possible placard ideas to get you started:
Stop Harper
Keep tar sands out of Europe
No tar sands
Harper: we don’t want your dirty oil
Cameron and Harper: oily buddies/partners in grime
Tar sands = game over for the climate
No honour for climate criminals
Respect Indigenous rights
Leave the tar sands in the ground
Hands off our climate laws
Harper: climate criminal