Submitted by Derek Leahy

Tomorrow, Europe will finally know what the words "tar sands" mean!


BERLIN, GERMANY - What a week. What a month. What a summer! At the beginning of June, it looked like we were only going to have two small demonstrations (London, England and Berlin, Germany). Instead tomorrow  Berlin and London will be joined by Copenhagen, Denmark and London, Ontario. In fact, International "Stop the Tar Sands!" Day already started today with actions in BC and Utah (near site of proposed tar sands project). In Amsterdam, Vienna and Paris groups are eager to launch their actions this September. Tomorrow is only the beginning.

It is hard for me to believe that this is all happening. I honestly did not think that any of the demonstrations were going to happen.  I got my first phone from an environmental organization at the beginning of May (thank you Naturfreunde!). I felt like I was running on ice up until that point and making very little progress. To get through it I told myself and told the people who were helping me that the demonstrations do not need to happen to raise awareness about the destructiveness of the tar sands. The fact that a handful of average Joe's were attempting a project of this magnitude would in itself raise awareness. The journey is just as important as the destination.

And what a journey it has been! What began with an idea during the UN Climate Change Summit in 2009 in Copenhagen, the enthusiasm of an activist in the UK, the encouragement of my family and the support of my friends in Berlin turned into something that spread to five different nations and will continue to spread to more. It was their energy and excitement about the idea that kept me going.

For all of you who participated in International "Stop the Tar Sands!" Day, and who will be participating tomorrow or sometime in the future you have made me feel like the luckiest guy on Earth!

Let's see what tomorrow brings.... 

(International "Stop the Tar Sands!" Day Logo created by Francis Luta)

International "Stop the Tar Sands!" Day: