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BP bombshell and meeting venue change

Dear BP-botherers,

Bad news. Very bad news.

On Tuesday, BP announced that they’ve decided to go ahead with the Sunrise Project. In other words, they’re diving into their first big Tar Sands extraction venture, which will pump out a planet-destroying 3 billion barrels of oil, whilst polluting the local environment and making life even tougher for local First Nations communities. We’ve been campaigning for over a year to prevent this, so we’re feeling a mixture of dismay, despair and fury. Actually, it’s mainly fury.

Here’s the press release we put out jointly with the Indigenous Environmental Network: We feel very strongly that this project can still be stopped – and must be stopped. But we need to up our game and organise some serious opposition.

So the fact we’ve got our big strategy meeting this Sunday is perfect timing. Please make it if you can – the venue has changed so it’s now in SOAS JCR (common room) from 2-6pm. Directions are at the end of this message.

We’re lucky enough to have James Marriott from Platform attending. He’s been working on keeping BP out of Sunrise for longer than anyone and he will provide us with an in-depth briefing so we can make some really effective plans.

We will also have Sue, fresh off the plane having spent the last week in Alberta, at Ground Zero  with First Nations communities. She’ll report back and lead into a discussion about how we can act more effectively in solidarity with indigenous people on the frontline.

If you can’t make the meeting, but want to feed in, or even offer the capacity to organise something locally, please let us know – And we’ll report back to this list on the outcomes.

Hope to see you on Sunday,

Love and rage,

Jess, Emily and Sue,

UK Tar Sands Network

Strategy and planning meeting details:

School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

2-6pm followed by pub.

To get into the JCR (common room), you need to enter the main building, tell security you are coming for the tar sands network meeting (organised through the Green Group from the Students’ Union). They will let you in and give you directions (you basically need to go through the corridor which is a little on the right once you pass the barriers).




Hi there, Tar Sands Stompers,

We have been a bit quieter than normal lately. Basically we ran out of cash. But undeterred, we have been planning and scheming and doing a bit of action anyway. Then last week we got a small grant through from Artists Project Earth (thanks APE!!!!) So here is a little message to warm you up on this chilly evening.

1. We’ re back!
2. Crude Awakening rocked
3. H2Oil Screening and Fundraiser @ the Inspiral Lounge this Wednesday.
4. Workshop till you drop @ People & Planet

More soon…

Sue, Jess and Emily

1. We’ re back!

After being uncharacteristically subdued for a while, UK Tar Sands Network is back in action! We have some new plans up our sleeves and we look forward to sharing them with you. It would be great to hear what local groups have been up to or plan to get up to! Drop us a line and get in touch at the usual address!

2. Crude Awakening

In case you missed it, the UK Tar Sands Network joined a few hundred climate activists last week and managed to completely blockade Coryton refinery, one of the largest oil refineries in the UK, for a whole day!!! BBC Coverage

This was an audacious and glorious action that sent a clear and loud message to the oil industry: the time to get off dirty oil is now! Here’ s our friend Felix’ s from You and I Films brilliant film of the day’ s shenanigans. You and I Films Crude Awakening Coryton Blockade

3. H2Oil screening and fundraiser

For those of you in London there will be an H2Oil screening at the Inspiral Lounge in Camden, this Wednesday (27th) from 7:30 pm onwards. It will be a chance to see one of the best films on the tar sands – featuring our inspirational friend from Fort Chipewyan George Poitras – or if you have already seen it to introduce someone new to the tar sands. Jess and I and our new Tar Sandsista Emily will be there to answer any questions and
plan some action with you. Click here for the Facebook event, for more details and to invite people.
Inspiral Lounge Film Screening Facebook Invitation

4. Workshop til you drop

If you’ re heading up to People & Planet’ s Shared Planet conference in Birmingham on November 6th we will be running a workshop. Another chance to link up, get clued up and join us in the next thrilling installment of Tar Sands stopping! Shared Planet Workshop Schedule


Hi there Tar Sands thwarters!

Here are a few of the things in the world of tar-sands-stopping that we thought you might like to know about. So much tar, so little time!

1 . Crude Awakening.
2 . H2Oil Screenings with yummy treats!
3. Avatarsands creator joins the crew.

Hopefully we’ll be seeing you on the 16th!!


Sue and Jess

1 . In just over a week the streets of London will be full of the sounds and smells of climate action at its very best. The UK Tar Sands Network is linking up with the Space Hijackers, Plane Stupid, Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination, Rising Tide, Climate Camp, Liberate Tate and Earth First! to cause a major ruckus.

See the fab intro film created with You and I films:

The aim of the day is to deliver a loud and clear, almost deafening message for the oil industry that its days of plundering and pilfering are well and truly over. There are some incredible plans underway in order to creatively open up and hold a space to turn off big oil. There is lots of room for creativity and innovative strategies for direct action cropping up and we can’t wait to see your best stop-filthy-tar-sands pantomiming and palavering to date!

If you want to join our tar sands posse on the day, we’ll be on the Dirty Money block, meeting at Euston Station 10am – find out more details here:

We will have our flickr feed set up to go so feel free to send pics from your fancy phones to on the day and they will go straight onto the home page.

One of the best ways to find out what’s going on, and get involved, is to sign up to the SMS alerts here –

2 . If you haven’t already seen H2Oil, the amazing documentary packed with great animations and all the facts about the Alberta Tar Sands don’t worry there will be a screening coming up later this month. Our friends at the inSpiral Lounge in Camden will be holding a fundraiser and film screening on October 27th. Even if you have seen H2Oil come along, it would be great to catch up and plot and scheme together about UK campaigning to stop the Tar Sands monster.

3 . Last week the infamous Hollywood movie director James Cameron, creator of “Avatar”sands made a journey out to Fort McMurray Alberta to witness the devastation himself. Our good pals George Poitras, of the Mikisew Cree and Clayton Thomas-Muller from the Indigenous Environmental Network met with James and gave him the chance to see the real life inspiration for his film up close and personal. After flying over the toxic wasteland, meeting with community members in Fort Chipewyan and also hearing all the PR spin and greenwash from the government and industry, in a high profile press conference Cameron declared that this nightmare needed the brakes to be put on fast, and made a full commitment to supporting First Nations communities in this epic battle. Nice one James, good to have him join the No Tar Sands Crew!

“Once we pollute every stream, every body of water, and the price of water is going to cost more than oil, only then will we realize that we can’t drink oil.”
Steve Courtoreille, band councillor for the Mikisew Cree First Nation


Greetings RBS Rabble-Rousers!

Question: What’s been going on in the world of shutting-down-the-tar-sands?

Answer: LOADS!

In this email:

1. RBS actions all over the place

2. Camp for Climate Action takes on RBS and Tar Sands

3. Party at the Pumps 2: Shell’s turn!

Hope to see you dancing on a petrol station forecourt soon,


Jess, Sue and Sam x


1. RBS actions all over the place

The last two weeks has seen an amazing spurt of action against RBS’s involvement in the Tar Sands. Fresh from giving BP hell at its AGM, Clayton Thomas-Muller from the Indigenous Environmental Network and George Poitras from the impacted First Nation community of Fort Chipewyan made a visit up to Edinburgh on 17th and 18th April to get the RBS actions rolling.

Then last week people all over the UK took to the streets. In a week of action organized by WDM, People & Planet and Platform, activists dressed up as RBS shareholders, perched inside bulldozers, swarmed to RBS branches across England and Scotland, and generally caused a PR nightmare for the Oil Bank of Scotland over its Tar Sands investments, which are exacerbating climate chaos and trampling on the rights of indigenous people.

Some great photos here:

Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, who is also from Fort Chipewyan and is a campaigner with the Rainforest Action Network, addressed the RBS AGM in Edinburgh. The chairman was silly enough to claim that RBS had almost zero investments in the Tar Sands. He was obviously unaware of who he was dealing with. Eriel gave the AGM a detailed account of how RBS had provided corporate financing to the tune of $7.5 billion between 2007 to 2009 for the Tar Sands, making the now 83% publicly-owned bank the world’s 7th biggest investor in the devastating project.

RBS were obviously perturbed by all the protests and media, and met with Eriel and Heather Milton Lightening from the Indigenous Environmental Network, along with UK campaigners, the very next morning.

2. Camp for Climate Action takes on RBS and Tar Sands

RBS’s Tar Sands headache has only just started. All this amazing campaigning work has opened the doors to start pushing Britain’s least popular bank towards coming clean about their dirty investments. They’re starting to realize that the new owners of RBS, you and I, won’t stand by as they throw our money into funding climate chaos. But they haven’t shifted an inch. Yet. That’s why, this summer, the Camp for Climate Action has chosen to focus its annual camp and actions on getting RBS out of the Tar Sands. Woo hoo! We are looking forward to keeping them in the hot seat immensely!

3. Party at the Pumps 2: Shell’s turn!

Shutting down a BP petrol station for 5 hours on a sunny Saturday afternoon in April was so much fun we’re going to do it again. Shell’s Hell – in the Tar Sands and beyond – is next in the firing line. Shell has been digging up Tar Sands for ages and it’s about time we told them that it is not on!

When: Saturday, 15th May (three days before Shell’s AGM)

Meet: 1pm at Oxford Circus

Bring: a zone 1-2 tube pass, noisemakers, your friends & family and your dancing shoes.

Oxford Circus meeting point map:

Party 1 had a samba band, twin sound systems, a live Ceilidh band, face painting, free cakes and 200 people. Party 2 will be bigger and better, with activists joining us from Brighton, Oxford and beyond.

Here’s a little video invite what we have whipped up for you!

And for all you cyclists out there, there will be a special Party at the Pumps Critical Mass making its way to the party. Meet 1PM at Marble Arch (under the arch).

Party at the Pumps Part 2 is taking place just three days before Shell’s AGM, where the company will come under fire from shareholders over its activities in the Canadian Tar Sands; and a week before the Merthyr to Mayo solidarity bike ride, which will link two communities in Wales and Ireland resisting fossil fuel extraction.

Party at the Pumps is taking place in solidarity with communities around the world who are resisting Shell’s destruction of lives and livelihoods, poisoning of lands and waters, and fueling of climate chaos. In Northern Canada, Shell’s Tar Sands projects are ignoring First Nations treaty rights, causing rare forms of cancer and killing wildlife ( In Rossport, Ireland, a dangerous onshore pipeline and massive refinery are transforming an area of outstanding natural beauty into an environmental disaster zone with serious public health and safety implications ( And in Nigeria, where Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight Ogoni colleagues were hung by the Nigerian state for campaigning against Shell’s devastation of the Niger Delta, resistance to Shell and Big Oil continues (

These struggles may be happening in distant places, but they are driven from Shell HQ. On May 15th, we bring the resistance to the Tar Sands and the ‘Shell Hell’ to the heart of London.

Invite your peeps!!/event.php?eid=116094561758143&ref=ts

See you at the Pumps!!!


Hello there BP-botherers,

Great work everyone who took part in the Fortnight of Shame! Petrol stations were shut down, thousands of members of the public got the anti-tar sands message, and we made our presence well and truly felt at BP’s AGM.

Check out this link for an overview of all the amazing actions that took place;

We are having an impact – last week a significant body of BP shareholders voted against the board to ask for an investigation into the impact of the tar sands. There’s a full report on Jess’s blog here:

On the day of the AGM, BP appeared to delay making the final decision about their tar sands Sunrise project yet again, so we’ve got until the end of the year to pile on the pressure.

Take Action: Target RBS

For now, our attentions are turning to the Royal Bank of Scotland. RBS is the seventh biggest global investor in the tar sands. Since the bailout, UK taxpayers own 84% of the bank.  Since this makes us all shareholders (and investors in an environmental catastrophe!) we need to let the world know that we at RBS take corporate responsibility very seriously and intend to pull out all of our investments!

An RBS week of action is being organised by People & Planet, WDM, Platform, IEN, and the UK Tar Sands Network, from 24th April to 1st May:

1) If you are in Edinburgh on the 28th April, the day of RBS’s AGM, come along to the REAL shareholders meeting where we will be joined by Eriel Deranger, Indigenous activist with the Rainforest Action Network, to make sure our message is hammered home.

2) If you can’t make it to Edinburgh, groups are planning actions around the country. Click here to find out if there’s one near you:

3) There are also a load of online actions you can take, including:

– Join the Facebook group:!/event.php?eid=371505618268&ref=ts

– Share articles, photos and videos about RBS and tar sands

– Get on Twitter, to take part in a Twitterstorm on 26th April, use the week of action #hashtags: #cleanRBS #RBSAGM #climateq #GE2010, and tweet / retweet @peopleandplanet and @wdmuk‘s call to action

– Email prospective MPs with an RBS climate question

See for more ideas

Enjoy yourselves and let us know what you get up to!

Sue, Jess and Sam,


UK Tar Sands Network

Hi Tarsandinistas,

The Fortnight of Shame has been spectacular!!!!!!!

BP was hit by tar sands protests in London, Brighton, Oxford and Cambridge over the weekend, demanding that it pulls out of the most destructive project on Earth. It was so amazing to see the floods of photos coming in of all the sunny shenanigans!

Check out Updates and the No Tar Sands Facebook page for more videos and pics.

Now, for the grand finale:  

Call to Action for BP AGM: Shareholder meeting

Thursday 15th April, 10am

The Fortnight of Shame actions have been crucial to putting pressure on BP in the run-up to Thursday’s AGM, and showing them that the Tar Sands come with some really on-the-ball and determined people who will not let them get away with sneaking into the Tar Sands.

We want to end the fortnight with a friendly protest outside BP’s AGM, to demonstrate to each and every one of their shareholders that we mean business. Tar sands will be on the agenda inside the meeting, as a coalition of progressive investors have tabled a shareholder resolution.

We will be joined on the day by Canadian First Nations representatives George Poitras and Clayton Thomas-Muller, who have come over especially to attend the AGM and deliver a strong anti-tar sands message. We will be linking up with Colombia Solidarity and Colombia Espacio, who will also be protesting outside and asking awkward questions about BP’s destructive role in Colombia inside the AGM.

Join us at 10am at the Excel Conference Centre, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, London E16. Custom House (for ExCel) Station (Docklands Light Railway). We will have a pre-protest briefing with Clayton and George, then get set up at 10.30.

Bring banners, instruments and a willingness to chat to BP shareholders as they arrive.

See you there!

Sue and Jess x

Interactive map –

Meet Up point: West Plaza; photo –

160m, 2 mins walk

Travel options –

Journey Planner: » National Rail Journey

Planner: » Buses:

Indigenous Environmental Network  –

UK Tar Sands Network –

Rising Tide UK –

Climate Camp UK –

Fair Pensions –

Fortnight of Shame so far!
Dear Tarsandsistas and brothers, 

We’re nearly halfway through the BP Fortnight of Shame. Lots of great stuff’s happened already and the best is still to come.

1. Fortnight of Shame so far

2. International Day of Action – 10th April

3. Can you come to BP’s AGM on April 15th?

4. Get your goody bags here!

5. Multimedia madness!

Good luck this week, and don’t forget to tell us what you get up to,

Sue and Jess

1. Fortnight of Shame so far

The Fortnight of Shame kicked off on Fossil Fools Day, with several actions. There was a demonstration by Youth Against Climate Change in St. Albans, RBS cash machines were rendered temporarily out of order by Brighton Against Tar Sands (BATS), “free money” stained with oil was given out at a Natwest (owned by RBS) branch in Norwich, and 22,000 “rebranded” BP logos were delivered to BP HQ. Take a peek to see an awesome little film of the delivery!

Then last weekend, members of Sustainable Haringey protested outside a BP petrol station in Tottenham Hale, London: So we’re off to a great start. Please send us pictures and updates over the next few days, and any local media you get – we want to make a display of everything that’s been going on to show outside the BP AGM to all their investors!

Perhaps the most surreal action so far has been “Treemageddon”: check out the wonderful film

2. International Day of Action – 10th April

This Saturday is an international day of action against BP, in solidarity with First Nations communities impacted by Tar Sands. Actions in the UK will include:

London: Party at the Pumps

1:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Hundreds of people from London and beyond will gather at the pumps to send a message to BP: “you’re not going into the tar sands without a fight!” Bring yourselves, your friends, whistles and drums if you have them, and a Zone 1-2 travel card. Meet at Oxford Circus at 1:00 pm and be ready to make a move to our final destination. Expect dancing and drums, sunshine and soundsystems, party and protest.

Oxford: TARmageddon

Noon – 4pm

Cornmarket, Oxford City Centre

Beyond Petroleum and into TARmageddon!

Join us as we transform the heart of Oxford into the heart of darkness…the Tar Sands are coming to Cornmarket! Music, dancing, food, street theatre and a chance to tell BP what you think of their dirty new plans…


Noon – 11:00pm

Converge at Lewes Road Community Garden, Lewes Road

Bring food to share, a pop up tent, bunting, music, energy. If you think it might be useful, bring it! We urge everyone, every group and organisation, family, friends and long lost cousins to join us in Brighton on a mass action involving a swoop, a powwow and a celebration of community involving singing, a picnic, and a jolly good dance.

3. Can you come to BP’s AGM on April 15th?

BP will be coming under serious pressure inside their Annual General Meeting, from a large coalition of shareholders who are less than impressed by their sudden rush into the world’s most destructive project. We need to make sure they realise that there is massive public opposition too. Are you available on the morning of April 15th to join a small crew outside the AGM in London’s Docklands? We could really use your help! Please email for more info.

4. Get your goody bags here!

We have lots of goodies to give away for the Fortnight of Shame and beyond. We have rebranded BP stickers, campaign briefings, copies of the current issue of the New Internationalist (which focuses on the Tar Sands) and a few other treats.  Drop us a line at if you’d like one, and if you could make a donation towards it that would be very welcome : )

5. Multimedia madness!

We have a brand new website – – and our No Tar Sands Facebook group is steadily growing. Keep checking them both for reports on the latest actions. If you’re into Twitter and Flickr and all that you can find our links here:

Many thanks to the fabulous and talented filmmakers, graphic designers and web people who’ve been helping us out over the past few weeks. Here’s a great video from You And I Films, to show people as an introduction to the Tar Sands:

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