Skip to content

Windsor chapter protests tar sands waste piled beside the Detroit River

Windsor chapter activist Doug Hayes speaks at the pots and pans protest.

Photo: Windsor chapter activist Doug Hayes speaks at the pots and pans protest.

Yesterday evening, the Council of Canadians Windsor chapter participated in a ‘pots and pans joint action’ with people in Detroit to protest against the petroleum coke (petcoke) piles on the Detroit River. They gathered at Cameron and Riverside Drive West in Windsor to make some noise against the tar sands by-product endangering the river.

The Detroit River is a 24-nautical mile river that travels south from Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie. It divides Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario.

Blackburn News reports, “A protest of roughly 70 people in Windsor want to see the petcoke piles on the U.S. side of the Detroit River gone. The rally at the riverfront Tuesday evening made the point that the piles of oil sands by-product are a health threat.” CBC adds, “Windsor on Watch staged a demonstration on the riverfront Tuesday night, demanding the removal of piles of petroleum coke on the Detroit side of the river. The group called it ‘pots and pans joint action’ because the Sierra Club staged a similar demonstration on the Detroit side at the same time.”

And in a related story this week, the Detroit Metro Times reported, “A human blockade by protesters on Monday morning successfully kept trucks from dumping loads of petroleum coke at a site adjacent to the Detroit River. …Police were present, but no arrests were made. …’This was a huge victory today’, said protester Stephen Boyle on Monday.”

In early-March, the Windsor chapter began raising concerns about the tar sands by-product being stored near the Detroit River. The Windsor Square reported at that time, “The local chapter president of the Council of Canadians, Doug Hayes, said, ‘There are piles of this stuff in Alberta. People only talk about tar sands emissions. They don’t talk about other problems like this.’” In May, the New York Times reported that Canada has 79.8 million tons of it stockpiled.

Beyond the recent New York Times article, the issue has also been reported on by the Guardian UK.

For more, please read:

UPDATE: Windsor chapter fights petcoke now being burned in Nova Scotia
NEWS: Billionaire Koch brothers own tar sands waste-pile near Windsor
NEWS: Windsor chapter to protest tar sands on the Detroit River