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Climate Camp Edinburgh 2010

UK bank is funding the destruction of our home”: Indigenous campaigners join UK “Climate Camp” to target Royal Bank of Scotland in anti-Tar Sands action

For interviews and further information contact:

Jess Worth in the UK on +44 7946645726 or tarsandsuk@gmail.com

From Friday – Jasmine Thomas and Riannon Ball in the UK 07500205313 from overseas 011447500205313

Adam Thomas – Saik’uz Carrier Sekani First Nations – in Canada 250 570 9140 or athomas@unbc.ca

Tom Goldtooth – Executive Director of Indigenous Environmental Network – In USA 218 760 0442 or ien@igc.org

Two indigenous representatives from Canada’s First Nations representing the North American based Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), will be joining the Climate Camp in Edinburgh, Scotland this week [1]. They are coming to team up with UK climate activists, to stop the Tar Sands development in Alberta, Canada and the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline in British Colombia.

The Camp for Climate Action is one of the biggest annual gatherings of climate activists in the UK. The Camp frequently hits the headlines by choosing iconic targets for direct action, which in the past have included Heathrow Airport and Kingsnorth coal-fired power station. This year the Camp is targeting the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), and plans to take direct action to shut down its global headquarters on Monday 23rd August. The bank has been singled out for its role in financing fossil fuel developments around the world – including the Canadian Tar Sands. In 2008, RBS was bailed out by the British government and is now more than 80% owned by the UK taxpayer.

Since the taxpayer bailout of RBS, the bank has arranged financing more than US$5.2 billion in debt for companies operating in Canada’s Tar Sands, earning the bank an estimated US $18 million in fees [2] for financing what is often called ‘the most destructive project in the world’. One of these companies is Enbridge [3], whose proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline would be laid through British Columbia, across more than 50 First Nations’ territories and pristine ecosystems. Members of two of these First Nation communities – who have committed to resist the construction of the pipeline – will be attending the Camp in Scotland to talk about the direct link between RBS and this threat to their traditional territories [4].

Jasmine Thomas, a member of the Frog clan from Saik’uz, which is a member of the indigenous Carrier Nation, said “Tar Sands is a global phenomenon. It is the largest industrial project in the world. It is also the dirtiest. Tar Sands extraction produces three times as much CO2 per barrel as conventional oil. There’s enough under the ground to push us over the edge into runaway climate change. It should be everyone’s concern.”

Riannon Ball, a member of the Crow clan from the Indigenous Tahltan Nation, said “We are determined to prevent the Enbridge pipeline from passing through our territory. A spill from Enbridge’s Michigan pipeline has just released over 800,000 gallons of oil into the river system. We cannot allow this kind of risk to our sacred rivers and the salmon that our people depend on for our culture and subsistence. It is shocking that the Royal Bank of Scotland is using British taxpayers’ money to finance such a destructive project.”

Riannon and Jasmine will be at the Camp from Friday 20th August to Tuesday 24th August and will be available for interview throughout that time. If you would like to do so, please contact Jess Worth on +44 7946645726 or email tarsandsuk@gmail.com

The trip has been organized by the UK Tar Sands Network (http://tarsandsinfocus.wordpress.com) and the Indigenous Environmental Network (http://www.ienearth.org/tarsands.html).

ENDS

[1] For more information about the Climate Camp, download the Press Pack at http://www.climatecamp.org.uk/actions/edinburgh-2010/RBSCampPressPackFinal.pdf

[2] For more information about RBS’s investments in the Tar Sands, see: http://platformlondon.org/files/cashinginontarsandsweb.pdf

[3] Enbridge operates the world’s longest crude oil and petroleum products pipeline system. This transports approximately two thirds of Canada’s crude oil, much of which is derived from tar sands. The company is expanding rapidly with four new projects, which will result in an additional 851,600 barrels per day of crude oil. RBS underwrote a loan to Enbridge worth $166.67 million in December 2008.

[4] Jasmine Thomas is a member of the Frog clan from Saik’uz, which is a part of the Carrier Nation. She has inherited the ancient practice of traditional medicines from her late great-grandmother, Sophie Thomas. She is completing her Environmental Planning degree at the University of Northern British Columbia. She also participated in the World’s People Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia to speak on issues related to the destructive tar sand developments and the Enbridge Pipeline Project that proposes to cross her traditional territories. She is a field representative for the Indigenous Environmental Network

Riannon Ball is a member of the Crow clan from the Tahltan Nation. She inherited her Tahltan name Cowunshowit from her Grandma which means “the time when the leaves turn yellow”. She recently graduated from UNBC with a degree in Environmental Studies. She has been involved with the Defenders of the Land initiatives, as well as committing to her nation’s Tahltan Land Stewardship Committee. She is a field representative for the Indigenous Environmental Network

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

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