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Home | Friday 2nd April 2010 | Issue 716

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SAND STORMS

AS BP GETS INTO TAR SANDS OIL

Grassroots groups from across the world will take part in a fortnight of protests against BP’s plans to move into Canada’s tar sands, home to indigenous First Nations people. Until now BP have been the only major oil company to have eschewed tar sands extraction. With profits at risk, BP have been ditching the ‘Beyond Petroleum’ sham, and have acquired a half share in the tar sands development in Alberta. Already, millions of barrels of tar sands oil are being extracted every day there, producing three to five times as many greenhouse gas emissions as conventional oil and causing the mass deforestation of desperately needed carbon sinks.

The immediate human impact is catastrophic for local First Nations communities, with toxic tailing ponds leaking poisons into the local water supply and disturbingly high rates of rare forms of cancer and auto-immune diseases.

The BP Fortnight of Shame, called by the UK Tar Sands Network, Rising Tide and the Camp for Climate Action, kicked off on the annual Fossil Fools day on April 1st with a convergence at the Huntington Lane protest site against an open-cast coal mine (see SchNEWS 714, www.defendhuntingtonlane.wordpress.com).

Having already stopped felling on the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for a month, this weekend’s plan is to help establish a permanent base on site, including a ramble over the proposed surface mine site, banner drops, and campaign planning.

Actions on Fossil Fools Day included the disabling of RBS cashpoints in Brighton with stickers reading ‘Investing in tar sands is OUT OF ORDER’ and the delivery of a hoax BP ad campaign to their HQ. Posing as representatives of a PR company, climate campaigners delivered 22,000 new logos – one for every BP logo in the UK – of a ‘Back to Black’ ad campaign. Boxes of ‘Back to Black’ were planted on their doorstep and a matching sign was d-locked onto the building in protest at the Canadian tar sands project.

On April 10th there is to be a Party at the Pumps protest with events culminating at the BP AGM on April 15th. Other actions are to take place from Brighton to Scotland.

* For local events visit www.climatecamp.org.uk/get-involved/local-groups and see www.risingtide.org.uk



 

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