30 Mar 2010
Fortnight of Shame
Please join us in taking action to keep BP out of the tar sands
- the single most destructive project on earth.
The BP Fortnight of Shame is a call to action from the UK Tar Sands
Network, Rising Tide UK and the Camp for Climate Action to force BP to
reverse their crazy plans to move into Canada's tar sands.
It runs between the annual Fossil Fools day on April 1st and BP's
Annual General Meeting on April 15th.
Grassroots groups across the UK and around the world, will be taking action in solidarity with First Nations communities in Canada to stop BP's deadly plans in their tracks.
Why Tar Sands?
Attempts to avert the planet from sliding into climate crisis are being
threatened by a single massive project in the Canadian wilderness.
Already, millions of barrels of tar sands oil are being extracted every
day, producing three to five times as many greenhouse gas emissions as
conventional oil. The extraction process is immensely resource-intensive,
currently using enough natural gas every day to heat 3.2 million Canadian
homes. Add to this the mass de-forestation the projects are causing,
ridding us of desperately needed carbon sinks; and it becomes clear this
project cannot be allowed to continue if we are serious about preventing
runaway climate change.
The effects tar sands are having on local First Nations communities are
devastating. The tar sands development in Alberta covers an area the size
of England, with toxic tailing ponds so huge they are visible from space,
leaking poisons into the local water supply. Not only are indigenous
livelihoods and futures being destroyed but communities on land where tar
sands extraction has been imposed, are experiencing disturbingly high rates
of rare forms of cancer and auto-immune diseases.
BP are the only major oil company with no tar sands extraction projects
currently in operation. This is about to change. Since 2007, BP have
quietly ditched the 'Beyond Petroleum' sham, because investing in
renewables simply wasn't making them enough profit. They have decided to
go back to Petroleum, with a vengeance, under the leadership of new Chief
Executive Tony Hayward.
Moving into tar sands was one of the first steps Tony Hayward took,
acquiring a half share in the Sunrise Project with Husky Energy. The
Sunrise Project will be huge, producing 200,000 barrels of filthy oil a
day using Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), an extraction
process even more energy and water intensive than the more visible
The recession has given us a window of opportunity.
BP have been forced to postpone their final decision on whether to go ahead until the second half of 2010. This means it is not too late for us to stop this outrageous
project. BP are desperate for Sunrise to go ahead and will certainly not
go down without a fight; but with effective and sustained action we can
win this one.
What can I do?
From Brighton to Scotland, groups across the UK are already plotting for
the Fortnight of Shame. If your local group isn't already planning
something, there's still time to pull off a fantastic action. If you aren't part of local group, you could check out the list of local groups on www.risingtide.org.uk ,or those that form the Camp for Climate Action network http://www.climatecamp.org.uk/get-involved/local-groups ,or get together with your friends and get cracking!.
Need ideas or resources? Click here to join an online group set up to
share resources and information that will come in handy for the two weeks
of action: https://we.riseup.net/uktarsandsnetwork
The BP Fortnight of Shame is in solidarity with Canadian First Nations
communities. When taking action, we need to be aware that our Actions can
have unintended but potentially serious repercussions for front-line
communities in Canada. For advice and reflections on what it means to take
action in solidarity with communities impacted by the tar sands, see our
page on protocols. Please take some time to read this page and discuss
what it means for your action.
The BP Fortnight of Shame is being held in solidarity with First Nations
indigenous people of Canada. The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN),
who UK Tar Sands campaigners have been working closely with, warmly
welcome Direct Action and encourage UK activists to think creatively.
Solidarity Actions elsewhere can have an enormous impact in Canada and this has
played a key role in building momentum around the Tar Sands. However,
certain sorts of actions can have potentially adverse effects on the
indigenous communities at the forefront of the issue. To this end, the
Indigenous Environmental Network have requested a number 'protocols' they
ask activists around the world to follow when taking action in solidarity
with indigenous peoples.
They ask that actions are non-violent, do not set out to cause damage to
property and that there is no masking up.
We're aware that many of the words used in these protocols are not clearly
definable and are open to interpretation. However, we have been asked to make you aware of them and to respect their wishes. http://climatecamp.org.uk/actions/bp-fortnight-of-shame-2010/protocols
Here is a message from those indigenous activists:-
The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) is a North American based network
of Indigenous Peoples empowering Indigenous Nations and communities towards
sustainable livelihoods, demanding environmental justice and maintaining the
Sacred Fire of our traditions. Our Native Energy and Climate Campaign
strengthens and builds the capacity and political power of Indigenous
Peoples to address the impacts of fossil fuel energy development in
Indigenous communities; and motivate the creation of sustainable and clean
energy and climate policies at all levels of governance.
The Canadian Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign (CITSC), based in Ottawa, Canada
is a Native-based campaign implemented through IEN as part of its Native
Energy and Climate Program. The campaign goal is to seek a moratorium on
further tar sands expansion. The campaign is focused on building the
knowledge and capacity of First Nation and Métis leadership within the tar
sands impact area to actively engage in both a corporate finance campaign
and in decision making processes on environment, forests, energy, climate
and economic policies, related to halting the tar sand expansion.
The First Nations and Métis leadership includes grassroots, elders and youth, in
addition to elected First Nation Band Chiefs and Councilors. IEN is a
founder to the UK Tar Sands Network and is working closely with groups
internationally to call out BP through our fortnight of shame campaign
leading up the BP shareholder Annual General Meeting on April 15th.
Please let us know what you get up to!
c/o 62 Fieldgate Street,
London E1 1ES