Oil Sands Actions Escalate in Ottawa
Over 100 Arrested as Tensions Over Resource Heat Up
Hundreds of protesters gathered on Parliament Hill to demand a proposed pipeline between the US and Canada be put to rest once and for all.
The event was organized by the Council of Canadians and Greenpeace Canada to draw attention to what they say are the dangerous consequences of the project. TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline––the project in question––would take crude oil from Alberta’s oil sands to Texas where it would be further refined.
Despite the heavy RCMP presence, activists attempted to enter the House of Commons, which led to the arrest of 117 people, including Maude Barlow, the national chairwoman for the Council of Canadians. Green Party leader Elizabeth May and NDP MP for Western Artic Dennis Bevington were on hand to show support for the protesters.
Proponents of the pipeline say the project will bring much needed jobs to Canada and have even begun a campaign marketing the oil as the ethical choice over oil from the Middle East.
Activists say that the environmental risks of extracting and exporting oil from the tar sands are enormous and have already affected communities along the Athabasca River.
Protests are being organized south of the border as well. In Aug. over 1000 people were arrested in Washington D.C. when activists protested for a couple weeks outside of the White House. Another event scheduled for Nov. 6 will see anti-oil sands activists attempt to completely surround the White House.
The decision on whether to accept or decline the Keystone XL pipeline is set to be made in early Dec. by President Barack Obama.
Stay tuned for more coverage in the next issue of The Link.