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Friday, April 5, 2013

Seattle protestors lock Canadian Consulate in Tar sands protest

Protests against the Tar Sands are escalating. In Seattle two protestors U-locked their necks to the doors of the Canadian consulate in Solidarity with Tar Sands Blockade and Idle No More and in Protest of West Coast Tar Sands Projects. The activists were arrested and charged with criminal trespass.

The activists issued a media release via Rising Tide North America. You can contribute to Rising Tide Seattle bail fund. See photos on Flickr, and a short Ustream video coverage.

Washington and Oregon residents are also resisting proposed increases in coal exports from the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming to Asia. See: Seattle Idle No More: Lummi people reject Cherry Point coal loader | Salem Oregon Sounded the Alarm on coal exports.

"Our cultures are in denial. We call for a clean energy and socially just future as an alternative to our dependence on fossil fuels." announced one of the blockaders. Others then chanted: "No Tar Sands, No Pipeline, We will Blockade."

One of the blockaders, Carlo Voli, then read a Manifesto :

    "We are a group of Seattle area residents who are outraged that the Harper Government is turning Canada into a rogue nation that poses a threat on a planetary scale."

    "It is after this regard for environmental protections and first nations rights in its determination to expand Alberta's tar sands operation despite the devastating consequences and the vast expansion of Canadian mining operations all over the world in the last seven years and in it's servile attention to fossil fuel and mining interests the Harper Government has turned Canada's fine international and environmental reputation upside down."

    "We know that the U.S. does not stand on higher moral ground. Quite the contrary. For more than half a century the U.S. has followed policies with devastating effects on the world's land, waters and peoples. That is undeniable and we will continue to work to change that. But the sins of our own Government does not mean we remain silent regarding the sins of another."

    "Given the current state of the climate crisis we are in, the continued erosion of indigenous rights, high degree of environmental injustice, the breakdown of communities and cultures, the destruction of the few existing natural habitats around the world. The defending of corporate and banking interests. We will not allow the expansion of the tar sands."

Two activists, Carlo Voli, a 46 year-old Edmonds resident, and Lisa Marcus, a 57 year-old Seattleite, were arrested and charged with criminal trespass after 30 minutes of being locked to the doors by their necks.

While the Kestone XL Pipeline is the main target of climate activists, pipeline expansions have also been proposed in British Columbia to triple tar sands oil transport via the Trans Mountain Pipeline. This proposal also entails a substantial increase in oil tankers - up to 360 - using the Salish Sea, with all the risks that entails in regards to environmental damage if a major spill takes place.

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