NEWSLETTER No. 27: Solidarity Dots and Melbourne's Idea

April 27th, 2012

Nearly one week to go! 

I think for international days of action like ISTSDay, Climate Impacts Day or Occupy it is important to do that one thing to brings it all together. Yes, we are demanding an end to the tar sands and extreme energy but I am talking about a common act or activity. There is something about knowing people all around the world are doing the same thing as you on that very same day that leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling:) 

This year is going to be different from previous years since we are coordinating with two other networks/movements - and the Freedom Train . I would like to see solidarity acts for both. I am open to suggestions for what we do for the latter (Mary from Winnipeg has suggested water ceremonies). For Climate Impacts Day, I am recommending organizers and participants do something with a dot. 

Vague eh? Well, the up side to this vagueness is it allows for many possibilities. In fact has provided a fantastic list on all the different ways you can make and use a dot on May 5th. Click here for the list.

Still too vague? At the end of this edition of the newsletter is a description on what we are trying to do with our two meter tall climate dot here in Melbourne on May 5th as an example. 

Whatever your act or activity of solidarity is it would be great to get photos of it to reinforce that warm fuzzy feeling I was talking about before. We are still sorting out who is going to upload ISTSDay pics to the website and you will know shortly who to send your photos too (when in doubt, just send them to me). It would also be great if you could send the photos to Click here for instructions . 

Push Europe has released a brilliant toolkit on how to bring ISTSDay and Climate Impacts Day together in one event on May 5th. I suggest everyone takes a look at it even if you are outside of Europe because they really did a fantastic job of explaining simply how the two Days can be represented in the same event. There is something SOOO stereotypical about the youth explaining to us just how simple something like this can be. I think the EU Fuel Quality Directive is in good hands. 

We are looking good in Canada, USA, Europe and even here in Melbourne. Climate Impacts Day is looking good all over the world. The Yinka Dene Alliance's Freedom Train looks like it is going to be a moment for the Canadian history books. 


European Organizer 


Credit for the idea has to be given to Cheree (Australian organizer), Joel (Melbourne 2011 organizer) and Bronwyn (Melbourne co-organizer). The idea is to travel through the city of Melbourne with one massive (ok, maybe 2 meters is not massive, but it is still big!) dot stopping at all the banks, & energy companies that are driving tar sands extraction in Canada and the coal seam gas (similar to shale gas) industry in Australia. 

We do not just want to talk about the problems though. Much like a coin our dot has two different sides to it. On one side we want to paint a large spiral representing the craziness of extreme energy like tar sands and CSG. The other side, a beautiful mural of the earth. One side is clearly the problem and the other side is perhaps in an indirect way the solution. 

The same will apply to our tour through the city. We will highlight the problems but we also want to talk about the solutions. This would entail stopping at the state parliament (healthy democracy = healthy environment), community gardens, transition town projects, local markets, city bike rental depos, etc. 

It is actually going to be more of a film than an action. Do not get me wrong, by rolling around a giant dot through the busiest parts of the city we will definitely get people's attention and we plan on raising awareness on the day. Ideally though, we want to create a short film that could be used by just about anyone as an example of the problems of and solutions to extreme energy and also an example of how to create an action or event by being creative, staying positive and having fun. 

What will happen to the dot in the end? Well, you will just have to watch the film to find out! 

For more info, contact Cheree @ stoptarsands[at]

NEWSLETTER No. 26: An ISTSDay Idea from Portugal

APRIL 17th, 2012

Less than three weeks to go!

Our latest idea for ISTSDay comes from Lisbon, Portugal, but before we get to that a very quick update. We have confirmed events in Canada, the US, Europe, Australia and maybe, just maybe Africa will again join
us this year. I should point out this only includes ISTSDay events and not the literally hundreds of Climate Impacts Day events that we will be working together with on May 5th. Where it is possible we are doing our best to bring the two days for change into one.

Lastly, a message from Norway. Today at 13.00, the Norwegian oil company of Statoil will receive a letter signed by 28 Norwegian organizations and political parties demanding Statoil withdraw from the tar sands. Mette from the Norwegian Grandparents Climate Campaign wants to make  sure that as many Canadians, Americans and Europeans as possible know that Norwegians are with us on this journey to stop the tar sands. She was nice enough to send us a press release which you will find at the bottom of this message.

On to Joao's idea!


The pedal generator concert is to show people that it is possible to live without oil and that it is possible to use machines without oil, or gas. And if I can do it - I am pretty disorganized, and have no skill for machinery - then anyone can.

The concert is going to be in a small park, near the water museum (can bring up the water issue), and the office of PortoEnergy, which is the company that wants to explore fracking for natural gas in Portugal. A
friend of mine as offered to perform.

We will pass through the tourist area, and stop in front of the Canadian embassy. I would love to find a place close by to have a little fair with homemade stuff for the daily life, debates like bringing permaculturalists to share their knowledge, and other groups that work every year to escape the world's dependence on oil or others
unconventional fossil fuels. I am still looking for a suitable spot for this.

I want to spend some time sharing ideas with people and listening to presentations of sustainable projects in Portugal. Perhaps something like a presentation from small environmental group, or just people sharing their concerns about severe natural destruction in Portugal and around the world.

Joao Vinagre
Lisbon ISTSDay Organizer
Lisbon facebook event


Grandparents head  demand from 28 Norwegian organizations and political parties: Statoil must withdraw from Canadian tar sands.

-  We can not accept that our grandchildren shall  inherit an unsustainable  world, plagued by serious climate changes.  Therefore, we implore Statoil to  be the  first to withdraw from the dirtiest of enterprises. These oil resources  must  remain in the ground,  if we are to avoid  catastrophic climate changes, says Halfdan Wiik, the
leader of the Norwegian Grandparents Climate Campaign

Tuesday April 17th, Statoil's board of directors will receive a letter from 28 different Norwegian organizations and political parties, requesting the board to withdraw Statoil from Canadian tar sands.Fronting the initiative is the Norwegian Grandparents Climate Campaign
- GCC.  A large number of grandparents will present the letter at 1300 hours at Statoil's main office in Oslo.

The letter is written jointly by Greenpeace Norway, WWF Norway, Concerned Scientists Norway. The organizations are appealing directly to Statoils board because the Norwegian government and the major parties in parliament so far have refused to instruct Statoil to withdraw from Canadian tar sand.

The Norwegian Grandparents Climate Campaign represents many men and women with former prominent positions in Norwegian society or who held high political office.
- We shall show Norway  an elder boom out of the ordinary: Grandparents that will not tolerate that Statoil recklessly carry on with such dirty projects. As the Norwegian state owns  67 % of Statoils shares, all Norwegian citizens are in fact shareholders of Statoil and ought to be heard. We believe that it is necessary that our our generation makes a forceful stand on such  serious and essential matters, problems that todays decision makers seems to close their eyes to, Halfdan Wiik concludes.

For further information, please  contact the following representatives of the Norwegian Grandparents Climate Campaign :

Mr.  Halfdan Wiik, leader of GCC          mobile: (cc:0047)  971 96
Mrs.Mette Newth, member of GCC's steering committee,  mobile: 984 14
Mr.  Inge Johansen, member of GCC and former chair of Statoil's board,
mobile:  957 57 731,

Release date: April 17

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