First Nations representatives and climate justice activists from around Alberta kicked off a pan-Canadian weekend of action to mark International Stop the Tar Sands Day with a rally at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton.
Joining a dozen cities across Canada, 25 in the United States and six in the European Union in marking the June 18 weekend of worldwide action against the tar sands, activists erected two giant banners to signify the stark choice the world faces in its energy future: a just future built around Native rights and green jobs or a dirty energy future of tar sands, coal and fracking.
People were asked to pick the energy future they wanted to see, leaving only an oil-soaked Ed Stelmach and some corporate friends on the side of dirty oil.
Speakers from Treaty 8, the Lubicon Lake First Nation (which in early May suffered a major oil pipeline spill on their territory), the Dene Suline of Cold Lake (which is currently maintaining a peace camp on its traditional territory to protect important cultural and burial sites from being turned by the provincial government into an RV lot), and Sierra Club spoke of the impacts of tar sands development on First Nations communities and the need for political will to shift towards a tar sands-free future made up of renewable energy.
Council of Canadians chapters and activists across the country are taking part in actions this week to mark International Stop the Tar Sands Day. For a full listing of global events visit the international site, and for these and other Council of Canadians chapter activities visit canadians.org/events.