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UPDATE: Maude Barlow arrested at tar sands protest

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow was arrested in a non-violent civil disobedience action on Parliament Hill this morning while attempting to express her opposition to the tar sands directly to the Harper government.

Prior to stepping over the fence, Barlow told the more than 1,000 people assembled on the Hill that the Harper government is violating the law – notably, the Fisheries Act, the human right to water, the rights of nature, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Bill McKibben has Tweeted, “@billmckibben: Maude Barlow is a serious hero–Canada’s Wangari Maathai. And I think I just saw her get handcuffed on the #ottawaaction video feed.”

Key movement allies – including CEP president Dave Coles, Tony Clarke of the Polaris Institute, Graham Saul of the Climate Action Network, and George Poitras – were arrested today as they passed over a police fence placed in front of the Centre Block.

Council of Canadians activists – including Board members Fred Wilson and Abdul Pirani, staff member Mark Calzavara, and several chapter activists were among the 180 arrested throughout the day.

A number have now been released. They were charged with trespass (a $75 fine) and aren’t allowed to return to Parliament Hill for a year.

To read the Postmedia News report, see http://www.vancouversun.com/mobile/story.html?id=5459123.

The CBC report is at http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2011/09/26/ottawa-oilsands-protest-parliament-hill.html.

More soon.