The Council of Canadians float “Arctic not for Sale” joined floats such as an RBC (biggest financier of the tar sands) Dragon and a drump truck, alongside signs such as “free prior and informed consent,” “g20 Complicit in Climate Crisis,” “Blue Water and Dirty Oil don’t Mix.”
Our float included 3 oil drums (quite literally used as drums) with BP, Shell and Esso logos (associated corporations have been awarded land and/or lisences in the Canadian Arctic), a theatrical spill and came with an outspoken oil-soaked executive – Mark Calzavara, Ontario, Quebec and Nunavut Regional Organizer.
Big Oil extractive companies are seeing the Arctic as the final frontier for oil and gas development (increasingly accessible because of the effects of climate change, melting ice) – recent disovery confirmed 90 billion barrels of oil and over a trillion cubic metres of natural gas in the Arctic.
A spill stands to devastate the ecologically sensitive Arctic ecosystems, the source of food security and cultural needs of circumpolar indigenous peoples.
The march filled Toronto streets and stopped at significant locations included an RBC bank and a building hosting offices associated with Canadian mining companies. At each stop, speakers spoke to the people in the street on the frontline impacts of the tar sands, and the human and ecological damage being caused by the actions of Canadian mining companies abroad.
You can find more images at the Council of Candians flikr account, here