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Your chance to own a bit of BP!

December 14, 2010

Dear Reindeer-Lovers,

BP may have decided to go into the Tar Sands, but we’re not going to take it lying down. (Well, some of us might lie down on petrol station forecourts, but you know what we mean…) Last weekend saw the first spate of actions against BP’s destructive decision – report-back below. Now we’re getting organised to table a shareholder resolution and attend BP’s AGM – we’d love you to become a shareholder and get involved. Details below, get in touch if you’d like to help us crash BP’s party.

  1. Action report: BP accused of wiping out reindeer this Christmas!
  2. Stirring up BP from the inside – buy a BP share
  3. Buy some postcards, fund some art-action

Love and a long life for Rudolph and all his caribou friends,

Sue, Jess and Emily

1. Action report: BP accused of wiping out reindeer this Christmas!

On Saturday December 11th a number of People & Planet groups decided to let BP know just what they thought of the plan to go ahead with the Sunrise-Toledo project. In Edinburgh, around 20 student activists wearing reindeer antlers unfurled banners at a local petrol station. Mari Jones from the group explained:  “We are outraged that BP has decided to ignore First Nations, shareholders and environmentalists, and go into the tar sands. The Sunrise project could spell the end of the local woodland caribou herd, not to mention the impact on the climate of 3 billion barrels of oil. It’s time the people of Britain started holding this out-of-control company to account.”

Read a fuller report here: http://peopleandplanet.org/navid11637

2. Stirring up BP from the inside – buy a BP share

At our strategy meeting a couple of weeks ago, we decided to target BP around its AGM again next year. We are hoping to help table another shareholder resolution, and have more of a presence inside the AGM itself. But we need help!

Do you fancy entering the heady world of high finance and buying a BP share? We can give you everything you need to do so, and in return, you can help us co-file the resolution (we need 100 shareholders) and join a crew of people inside the AGM in April 2011. Which, we guarantee, will be a lot of fun. If so, email us at tarsandsinfocus@gmail.com and we will give you the number of our stockbroker (!) and all the details of how to go about it. We need to move fast as the resolution needs to be tabled asap. Then, in the new year, we’ll organise a meeting about what we’re going to do around the AGM itself, for shareholders and non-shareholders alike.

In the meantime, you can learn more about the on-the-ground impacts of Tar Sands developments: Ben Powless from the Indigenous Environmental Network recently traveled to Fort McKay which is located close to the Sunrise-Toledo project to see the impacts that Tar Sands are already having on their community: http://redroadcancun.com/?p=883

3. Buy some postcards, fund some art-action

What an amazing year it’s been for our friends at Liberate Tate, who’ve pulled off some incredibly audacious and beautiful actions to highlight the dirty world of oil industry sponsorship of the arts. Now you can help support more of such things – and get a wondrous Christmas present at the same time.

In 2010, in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, art activists staged a dramatic series of performances in cultural institutions to protest against oil companies like BP and Shell sponsoring gallery spaces like the Tate. Gushing from floral skirts, spilling elegantly from giant white eggs, jetting from paint tubes across the floor of the iconic Tate Turbine Hall, the flood of oily resistance that followed has generated a fierce debate in the art world around oil, ethics and sponsorship. This collection of beautiful postcards, made in collaboration with PLATFORM and Art Not Oil, documents both the striking images that the performances have generated, as well as a number of choice quotes that have come out of the ensuing public debate.

Please  make a donation on the www.indiegogo.com/licencetospill site and they will send you a collected set of the post cards. All the proceeds generated from the sale of these postcards will be used towards a participatory exhibition in a London-based arts space in 2011 that will further the campaign to liberate art institutions from the clutches of some of the most destructive multi-national companies on the planet. You can also join them on ‘End oil sponsorship of the arts’ on Facebook.

Briefing on BP’s decision to enter the world’s most destructive project.

December 8, 2010

For those of you who might be planning on visiting BP this weekend  here is a handy briefing on BPs’ controversial decision to enter the Canadian Tar Sands

BP Briefing

CALL TO ACTION, SAT DEC 11th: BP MUST BE STOPPED!

December 6, 2010

Last week, BP revealed that, against the wishes of First Nations, shareholders and environmentalists, it has decided to sanction its first Tar Sands extraction project. The ‘Sunrise- Toledo’ project will produce around 3 billion barrels of carbon-intensive oil, fuelling climate change. It will devastate the local environment, further damaging the health and livelihoods of local First Nations communities.

It is proof that BP has learned nothing from the Deepwater Horizon disaster but remains committed to a business model that disregards human health and safety, and gambles with all our futures. It is time BP was stopped. It will be another four years before the first drop of oil flows from Sunrise. We are determined that it will never get to that stage. As a first step, we are calling for a day of action against BP on Saturday 11 December. Some protests have already been planned at petrol stations around the UK. Some will have a ‘don’t kill Rudolph’ theme, reflecting the fact that the woodland caribou which live around the Sunrise project are under threat of extinction due to Tar Sands operations.

We encourage you to voice your opposition to BP loudly and clearly this Saturday!

If you plan to do something, let us know at tarsandsinfocus@googlemail.com

Are You Ready to Give Big Oil a Crude Awakening?

September 16, 2010

Tar Sands are a sign of  just how insane the quest for oil has become.  Everyday vast amounts of fresh water, and land are sacrificed in order to find a short term energy solution. Now is the time to shift gears and move away from an energy course that is devastating traditional homelands, decimating one of the world’s last remaining Great Forests and pushing us to the edge of climate chaos. The UK Tar Sands Network will be joining the Crude Awakening Crew on October 16th to send a clear message to the oil industry that their time is up! See you there!

We are demanding the immediate end of the destruction of our lands, lands that sustain our caribou and our people. It is difficult for me to express the anger I feel at the loss of this noble animal in our territory. Our traditional land is dwindling. We need habitat for our animals to ensure there is a healthy surplus. These animals sustain us and, as they die, our future becomes uncertain. We must act now to take care of Mother Earth.

Chief Al Lameman of Beaver Lake Cree Nation

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First Nations Activists at the Edinburgh Fringe rally RBS to leave the Tar Sands in the Ground!

September 8, 2010

The UK Tar Sands Network and the Indigenous Environmental Network  joined forces with the Camp for Climate Action this Summer to raise awareness about UK investment in the Alberta Tar Sands. Indigenous activists Jasmine Thomas and Riannon Ball from British Colombia, Canada  are resisting the sprawl of the world’s most destructive project into their territories.  They  brought their message loud and clear to RBS that investments in the Tar Sands are destroying their traditional homelands and pushing the planet further into Climate Chaos. Learn more about the communities resisting the giga-project with the IEN Tar Sands Campaign and how UK investment is fuelling the Tar Sands Monster

UK Tar Sands Activities at Climate Camp – “Break the Banks” Edinburgh 2010

August 17, 2010

Hi there Banker-Botherers!

The UK Tar Sands Network is busy getting ready for this year’s climate camp, and a visit from two very special First Nations women.

We’re about to head up to Edinburgh, to join thousands of UK climate activists in targeting the Royal Bank of Scotland for its financing of destructive fossil fuel industries, particularly the Alberta Tar Sands. RBS is the UK bank most heavily involved in
providing loans to tar sands companies, and in doing so trashing the climate and destroying Indigenous communities.

RBS is also financing the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, which will affect over 50 First Nations’ territories and allow for the export of tar sands oil to China, which in turn will fuel a massive expansion of tar sands operations. Another of
Enbridge’s pipelines has just sprung a massive leak in Michigan, spewing 800,000 litres of oil into the local river system. No wonder local First Nations are opposed to allowing Enbridge to cross their territories.

We’re jumping up and down with excitement about that fact that representatives from two of the First Nations currently resisting the Enbridge pipeline are coming over to join us at the camp! Jasmine Thomas and Riannon Ball are from British Colombia, and we hope lots of you will join us in welcoming them to Edinburgh to raise a racket together about the role of RBS in financing the Alberta Tar Sands. Below is a schedule of our programme. Come and find us, say hello, and lend a hand!

Can’t wait see you all up there!

Sue and Jess

Tar Sands activities at Climate Camp – Edinburgh 2010

FRIDAY 20th AUGUST 2010

7:30 – 9:00 pm – Opening Plenary
Jasmine and Riannon will talk about Tar Sands, the Enbridge Pipeline, Indigenous
resistance and direct action.

SUNDAY 22nd AUGUST 2010

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 pm – Workshop
RBS and Financing Fossil Fuel Extraction and Community Devastation.

4:30 – 6:00pm – UK Tar Sands Network Workshop
What are Tar Sands, why do they need to be stopped, how can we work in solidarity with Indigenous communities?

8:00 pm – Thames Valley Neighborhood marquee
UK Tar Sands Network meeting – Campaigning on Tar Sands beyond climate camp – Ideas and planning session

MONDAY 23rd AUGUST 2010

DAY OF ACTION to shut down RBS global headquarters!

TUESDAY 24th AUGUST 2010

2:30 – 4:00 p.m. Workshop
International Solidarity and the Climate Movement

7:30 – 9:00 p.m. Closing Plenary

For more info on RBS investments in Tar Sands
http://blog.platformlondon.org/rbstarsands

UK Tar Sands Network
www.tarsandsinfocus.wordpress.com
www.no-tar-sands.org

Indigenous Environmental Network
www.ienearth.org/tarsands.html

Camp for Climate Action -http://climatecamp.org.uk/

Canada Day celebrations in London, England call for an end to tar sands destruction

July 2, 2010

July 1st 2010 – Canada’s international reputation took a further beating     today as Canada Day revelers in London, home of at the largest celebration outside Canada, raised their voices against tar sands development. The UK Tar Sands Network issued a call to the Canadian community in London to join them at the celebrations to help ‘Save Canada from the Tar Sands’ [1]. The group strung banners and collected video messages from Canadians against the tar sands, which will be sent to the Canadian High Commissioner to the UK, James Wright.

“We are here to send a clear message to the Canadian government that the world is now aware of the environmental destruction being caused by the tar sands, and that there is a growing international movement of solidarity with the First Nations communities who are experiencing the devastating impacts of extraction”, said Iman Kaur of the UK Tar Sands Network.

The gala event featured performances by musicians such as Sarah Harmer and the Canadian Tenors, and is sponsored by companies involved in the tar sands, including Royal Bank of Canada and Nexen Energy [2]. Mike Johnson, a Canadian expat who joined the celebrations in Trafalgar Square,
said: “This Canada Day I would rather be celebrating the incredible biodiversity and communities that make up Canada. But with Canada now becoming known abroad as the home of the tar sands – a project that devastates the environment and tramples indigenous rights – it’s getting harder and harder to be a proud Canadian”.

The Canadian government has a long history of promoting Canada in London as a green nation with a commitment to diversity and human rights. However, the world’s largest and most destructive industrial project is currently taking place in the pristine Boreal forest of Western Canada, on the traditional territories of First Nations communities. Tar sands development is creating a sprawling network of toxic lakes and contaminating drinking water and traditional food sources of indigenous people. First Nations communities, together with Canadian and international environmental organisations, have called for a moratorium on new projects until there is a full assessment of the health and environmental impacts of tar sands [3].

At the G8 in Toronto last week, 1,500 indigenous activists demanded political recognition of treaty rights and an end to the environmental destruction of their land for tar sands and other forms of resource extraction [4]. A network of pipelines and refineries is planned to stretch across Canada and the US,
shipping tar sands oil as far as Russia and China.

ENDS

For interviews, photo and video footage contact:
UK Tar Sands Network – 07708 794 665 / tarsandsinfocus@googlemail.com

www.tarsandsinfocus.wordpress.com
www.no-tar-sands.org
www.ienearth.org/tarsands

NOTES FOR EDITORS

  1. www.tarsandsinfocus.wordpress.com
  2. www.canadadaylondon.com
  3. www.ienearth.org/tarsands
  4. www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/jun/25/g20-g8
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