OTTAWA, Sept. 26, 2011 /CNW/ - More than 200 people risked arrest on
Parliament Hill today in the largest climate-related civil disobedience
action in Canadian history. Over 100 participants were released with a
"Today's protest was a turning point when people in Canada from coast to
coast to coast stood together against the tar sands and for a clean
energy future that promotes climate justice," said Keith Stewart of
Greenpeace Canada who was arrested on the Hill. "The movement against
the tar sands and Harper's reckless agenda will continue to grow as
long as our government ignores its responsibilities to protect our
environment and our communities and continues to be the mouthpiece for
the destructive tar sands industry."
"The action on parliament hill was a true blue and green event," said
Maude Barlow with the Council of Canadians. "Today, labour,
environmental and Indigenous leaders stood together to push this
government to turn away from the tar sands and towards a green energy
Those arrested included Maude Barlow (Council of Canadians), David Coles
(CEP), Tony Clarke (Polaris Institute), Keith Stewart (Greenpeace) and
George Poitras (former Chief of the Mikisew Cree). People came from all
walks of life and regions in Canada to participate in the Ottawa action
against the tar sands. Among the 200 people arrested, the youngest was
19 years old and the oldest was 84. The group was tremendously diverse
and included a social worker, a plumber, a biologist, an organic
farmer, a doctor, a student, a stay at home parent, and many others.
Participants came from almost every province and territory.
Hundreds of others stood in support of those risking arrest at a
solidarity rally that continued throughout the day.
"What we saw today is that concern about the impact the tar sands is
having on land, air, water and communities spans generations, cultures
and social backgrounds," said Clayton Thomas Mueller with the
Indigenous Environmental Network. "Native communities should not be
sacrifice zones. The people of Fort Chipewyan deserve justice and we
deserve a future that prioritizes the health of our environment and all
The rally and the civil disobedience remained peaceful through the
day-long event on the Hill. The main message of today's action is to
urge Prime Minister Harper to turn away from a destructive tar sands
industry and start building a green energy future that promotes climate
justice, respects Indigenous rights and prioritizes the health of the
environment and communities.
Notes: The website ottawaaction.ca includes up-to-date pictures and HD video of the action and interviews
with participants from the September 26 action.
For further information:
- Peter McHugh (English), Communications Officer, Greenpeace Canada, 416.524.8496 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mike Hudema (English), Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Canada, 780.504.5601 email@example.com
- Andrea Harden-Donahue (English), Energy and Climate Justice Campaigner, Council of Canadians, 613.233.4487 x240 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Clayton Thomas-Mueller (English), Canadian Indigenous Tar Sands Campaigner, Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), 613.297.7515 email@example.com
- Daniel Cayley-Daoust (français), Public Education and Outreach Coordinator, The Polaris Institute, 819.593.4579 - firstname.lastname@example.org