Tanker Free BC is issuing an Action Challenge for Vancouver for the 18th, check it out here
Things are getting really interesting!
As we enter into “crunch time” (less than three weeks until the big
day – JUNE 18TH), it looks like Canada and the US are in a race to see
who can hold the most events for International Stop the Tar Sands Day.
Nothing wrong with a little friendly competition between neighbors:)
Last week, Steph (USA contact person) broke the fantastic news that
groups in the US are working on 10 actions in 10 major US cities for
ISTS Day (actually, I found out today it could go as high as 20!).
This week I am very happy to inform everyone that six actions have
popped up out of nowhere in Canada (see contact list below) and we
expect more in the coming weeks!
Of course, we could not be happier right now. We did not expect
anything from Canada this year because most Canadian groups and
concerned Canadians had thrown themselves into the recent Canadian
federal election. When the election was over, a lot of these same
groups and people were pretty disappointed and exhausted.
But during the second week of May, I found a post on our facebook
group wall for something I had never heard of before; Calgary Tar
Sands Action Group. Someone was going to hold an event in Calgary,
Alberta for International Stop the Tar Sands Day (thanks Mike!). We
were going to have at least one event in Canada this year. What better
place than in Alberta, where the movement to shut down the tar sands
From that point on, things just took on a life of their own.
Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, London, and Ottawa quickly followed
suit. It was great to see people getting into the spirit of
International Stop the Tar Sands Day by realizing it does not have to
be big, it does not have to be fancy to raise awareness about the tar
sands. You just have to try to make it happen.
Link to Greenpeace Canada - International Day of Action
Little European update. Last Saturday, Team Berlin held a pre-ISTS Day
event called “Kids Paint the Planet”. We got local Berlin kids
together to paint one of our banners for our demonstration on June
18th. We asked them to paint a happy, healthy environment and then let
them lose on a 3 meter long banner. We even made up a story to inspire
them – “Dr. Renewable and the Tar Monster”. Check out the photos on
our facebook group to see what the little ones came up with.
Good luck to everyone with their prep for the big day!
CANADIAN CONTACT LIST:
Vancouver, British Columbia – Phil – firstname.lastname@example.org
Calgary, Alberta – Mike – email@example.com
Edmonton, Alberta – Mike – firstname.lastname@example.org
London, Ontario – Steve - email@example.com
Toronto, Ontario – Renee – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ottawa, Ontario – Clayton – email@example.com
Regina, Saskatchewan - Mike - firstname.lastname@example.org
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - Mike - email@example.com
This week our update is focused on the US where things are looking up
for June 18th. As of today, 4 demonstrations are confirmed! Chicago,
New York, Portland Oregon and Sierra Student Coalition of Southern
Washington will be hosting Stop the Tar Sands Days. Adam Gaya at
ForestEthics is hitting the phone like crazy, and he expects another 5
demonstrations to confirm soon.
The Sierra Club Northwest chapter is also planning to release a report
focused on Minnesota oil consumption on the 18th. I think this is a
good example of another type of actions which can take place on June
18th to raise awareness about the tar sands.
I want to highlight a few groups who are working hard in their own
ways, to fight tar sands importation in the US.
The Great Plains Tar Sands Pipelines website is out of South Dakota
and represents concerned citizens in a state where Keystone is already
in place. They are currently blogging about Keystone spills. Few
people are aware that on May 7th about 500 gallons of oil leaked out
of a blown valve at a pump station in North Dakota. An interesting
quote in reference to the accident,
A County Commissioner, Bill Anderson praised the company's response to
the spill. However, he said, "I have to confess: I did not anticipate
that we would have a problem this soon."
What does this say about TransCanada's operations in the US? That
they are expected to insight "such problems".
Bold Nebraska is also an active group in an area where the pipelines
are already affecting the population. This site is dedicated to
stopping Keystone expansion, and is just one of many examples of
citizens in the US fighting against the importation of this
On top of our June 18th focus, we have also created a petition asking
the US House and Senate to stop policies of expansion concerning tar
sands oil importation. This move focuses on the role the US plays in
legitimizing and financially supporting Canadian tar sands
development. Without the neighboring US as a convenient consumer,
Canada would have to find other markets, and therefor take to the seas
for exportation. Cutting off TransCanada's largest customer most
likely will equate to stopping the eco-crime itself. Stopping the
Keystone XL pipeline is therefore imperative. Please sign the
To end on a high note, the great film 'SPOIL: Tar sands in the Great
Bear Rainforest' will be premiering at the Hollywood Theater in
Portland, Oregon, 7-9 PM! Organized by the Portland Rising Tide,
National Wildlife Federation and Columbia Riverkeeper, it looks like
this will be one of many public screenings, highlighting beautifully,
exactly why the tar sands have to be stopped.
Thank you all for your support and work, 3 weeks to go!
All the best,
The US team