Environmental activists protesting “petrocrat” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and our dirty tar sands were arrested at the British Parliament earlier today, The Guardian (UK) and other media report.
The protesters, identifying themselves as Love Canada, Hate Tar Sands, were arrested after climbing the roof of the British Parliament building with T-shirts saying ‘oil out of politics’, ‘stop Harper’ and ‘stop the tar sands’. They also spilled molasses on the floor outside the building.
The activists criticized the UK government for inviting Harper to deliver the first speech by a Canadian PM to the British Parliament since 1944. Harper addressed legislators in the House of Lords.
On cloudy days, heavy smoke fills the air of Ponca City, Okla., with grey smog that camouflages itself into the sky. The ConocoPhillips oil refinery that makes its home there uses overcast days as a disguise to release more toxins into the air. These toxins are brimming with benzene — a chemical that, according to the Centers for Disease Control, can cause leukemia, anemia and even decrease the size of women’s ovaries. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2008 the ConocoPhillips refinery released over 2,000 pounds of this chemical into the air in Ponca City.
“Of the maybe 800 of us that live locally, we have averaged over the last five to seven years maybe one funeral a week,” explained Casey Camp-Horinek, a Ponca woman and longtime activist. “Where we used to have dances every week, now most people are in mourning.”
RCMP and CSIS treat peaceful protest actions and questioning the Harper Government as ‘forms of attack’, label activists involved “national security threats”, documents reveal.
The Harper Government is intensifying its attacks on environmental and other activist movements in Canada, according to documents released under freedom of information laws, the Guardian (UK) reports.
For the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Canada’s national police force and chief spy agency, respectively, monitoring environmental activists and labeling them a “threat to national security”, has become the “new normal”.
Environmental activist Rod Marining knows the feel of steel handcuffs on his wrists.
As co-founder of Greenpeace International, he sailed aboard Greenpeace ships campaigning against French atmospheric nuclear testing in French Polynesia, Japanese whaling in the Pacific and was thrown in jail for demonstrating against mahogany lumber imports to Europe.