Rising Tide Toronto: Environmental justice activists shut down Line 9 construction site in Toronto

torontoFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 3, 2013

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Amanda Lickers, Member of Six Nations of Grand River: 705-957-7468, amandalickers@gmail.com
Vanessa Gray, Aamjiwnaang and Sarnia Against Pipelines: 226-349-6073

Environmental justice activists shut down Line 9 construction site in Toronto

#LockDownLine9 • Location: Pineway Blvd, just north of Finch

Toronto, Ontario. Members of Rising Tide Toronto have shut down the construction for Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline in North Toronto, locking down to equipment to prevent further work on the line.

“The National Energy Board has not approved the reversal of the Enbridge Line 9 pipeline. Amidst outstanding land claims and treaty violations all along the route, there has been no consultation with First Nations. This pipeline must be decommissioned and construction towards this project must stop.” – Amanda Lickers, Member of Six Nations of Grand River

“We are taking a stand today because this project will facilitate the expansion of the tar sands. Moreover, this reversal puts the millions of people along line 9 route at risk.” – Meghan Mills, Rising Tide Toronto

“The health of Aamjiwnaang is suffering from the effects from Canada’s Chemical Valley as a result of Environmental Racism. We need to act now in defence of the land we depend on before Enbridge permanently destroys our territories. This is a human rights issue that effects future generations of all peoples.” – Vanessa Gray, Aamjiwnaang and Sarnia Against Pipelines

Line 9 Facts: 
  • Every First Nations band council that intervened in the NEB process said that they had not been consulted in accordance to the Canadian consultation.
  • NEB has not yet approved the Line 9 reversal. If the NEB recognizes the Canadian constitution, they are obligated to not approve this proposal.
  • Enbridge said it will idle Line 9 if its application to reverse and expand the pipeline is rejected by the National Energy Board.
  • Enbridge’s Line 9B is the first pipeline proposal to come under the authority of the new rules hidden in Harper’s omnibus budget Bill C-38 passed in July 2012.
  • Enbridge refuses to carry $1 billion in insurance to cover the costs of a possible spill, arguing that it is unnecessary. Meanwhile, clean up for Enbridge’s Kalamazoo disaster has cost over $1 billion in an area with a population of 7,000.
  • By Enbridge’s own admission, their computation pipeline monitoring system “will not detect a leak below 70.5 [cubic metres], 443 [barrels] over a two-hour period”.
  • Richard Kuprewicz, a pipeline safety expert with over forty years of experience in the energy sector says the probability of Line 9 rupturing is “over 90%.”

Two Lockdown to Controversial Tar Sands Megaload Shipment Stopping Departure from Port of Umatilla as Tribal Members and Climate Justice Groups Rally Nearby

megaload pdx rt12/1/13
Media contacts:
Trip Jennings, Portland Rising Tide – TripJennings1@gmail.com - 541.729.3294
Jim Powers - jp@ccpvideos.com - 541.829.2114

Umatilla, OR – Sunday: Near the Port of Umatilla two people locked down to a megaload of equipment bound for the Alberta tar sands halting its planned
departure at 10:00 PM as tribal members and climate justice groups rallied nearby. The equipment, a 901,000 lb. water purifier 22 feet wide, 18 feet
tall and 376 feet in length was met by fifty people and was prevented from departing as scheduled. It had planned to leave the Port of Umatilla, head
south on 395, then east on 26 on Sunday night.

This week’s protest was larger than a similar protest last week as news of the shipment has spread throughout the region. An estimated 50 people
greeted the megaload with signs as it’s schedule departure time neared. Before it could depart two participants locked themselves to the trucks
hauling the megaload, the first time they have been blockaded in this way. This is the first of three megaloads the Hillsboro, OR based shipping
company Omega Morgan has scheduled to move through the region in December and January. Similar loads sparked major protests moving through Idaho and
Montana including a blockade by the Nez Pierce tribe in August.

Groups organizing the protest, including chapters of Rising Tide and 350.org, oppose the shipments due to the final use of the equipment in the expansion
of the Alberta tar sands. This expansion would supply oil for the controversial Keystone XL and other pipelines and many have called the tar
sands most destructive industrial project on earth. Umatilla Tribal Member Shana Radford said, “We have responsibility for what happens on our lands,
but there are no boundaries for air, the carbon dioxide this equipment would create affects us all. The Nez Pierce tribe said no to megaloads, and
so should we.”

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) have stated concerns due to the lack of consultation about the project headed
through their ceded territory as required by law. The shipment would also cross Warm Springs tribal land where members have stated opposition as well.

Warm Springs tribal member Kayla Godowa said, “It’s our duty to protect the native salmon runs in this area. They want to make this a permanent heavy
haul route without even consulting our tribes. Loads like this are unprecedented here. What if a bridge collapses? And what about the impact
to native communities being destroyed by the tar sands where this equipment will end up? We can’t just look the other way while native lands and the
climate are being destroyed. We have to stand up.”

High resolution photos available at:

Photo (first lockdown):
http://portlandrisingtide.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/photo-1.jpg

Photo (rally):
http://portlandrisingtide.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/photo-2.jpg

Photo (second lockdown):
http://portlandrisingtide.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/photo-3.jpg

Photos may be used with attribution to Portland Rising Tide.

Info: www.PortlandRisingTide.org <http://www.portlandrisingtide.org/>

Facebook live updates: PortlandRisingTide

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Protesters Hold UBS Accountable for Funding Mountaintop Removal in Series of Protests

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

11/25/13
Contact: Mathew Louis-Rosenberg
Phone: 304-860-5041
Email: snollygaster@gmail.com

Protesters Hold UBS Accountable for Funding Mountaintop Removal in Series
of Protests

Stamford, CT – Early this morning, three activists hung a huge banner reading “UBS. Stop Funding Mountaintop Removal” off of a crane constructing the 66 Summers St building in downtown Stamford.   Later in the day two activists entered the UBS headquarters in Stamford, locking themselves to a bannister and hanging a banner reading “UBS. Divest from Mountaintop Removal”, while others locked themselves to the outside doors of the building.   The protests are a part of the Hands Off Appalachia, a sustained campaign to get UBS to end all financing of companies conducting mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia.

“Over the last two years, I have visited UBS’s offices over 30 times pleading with them to stop the destruction of Appalachian communities. Today, I’m not asking anymore.  I’m demanding an end to UBS’s financing of mountaintop removal.” said Ricki Draper of Knoxville, TN who is locked inside the UBS headquarters.

Mountaintop removal is an extreme form of strip-mining in which coal companies blast up to a thousand feet off the top of a mountain to extract thin seams of coal.  The resulting rubble is often placed in the valley below burying headwater streams.  Over 1 million acres of forest in Central Appalachia have been destroyed and over 2,000 miles of streams have been buried by this practice.  Recent research has linked mountaintop removal to increased rates of cancer, birth defects and cardiovascular disease in communities near these mining operations.  UBS is a top funder of companies that conduct mountaintop removal such as Alpha Natural Resources, Patriot Coal, and Arch Coal.  On Friday, organizers with Hands Off Appalachia met with UBS executives at their office in Stamford to discuss UBS’s existing policy on mountaintop removal.

“[At the meeting] I was ‘reassured’ [by UBS executives] that UBS’s policy on mountaintop removal was sufficient enough to protect my people.  I wholeheartedly disagree.  The reality is that their ‘policy’ is nothing more than an excuse to remove themselves from the truth that as UBS profits, my people suffer,” said Adam Hall of Glen Daniel, W.Va. who blocked the entrance to UBS’s headquarters today.

UBS’s existing policy claims to “recognize the potential environmental, social, and human rights impacts of this industry sector” and take into consideration “concerns of stakeholder groups”, but UBS officials have never traveled to Appalachia to witness the impacts or met with impacted community members until last Friday.  The policy also claims to take into account regulatory compliance, but UBS financed Massey Energy and oversaw their merger with Alpha Natural Resources even after Massey was fined $20 million by the EPA for over 4,600 violations of the Clean Water Act.

Started in Knoxville, TN, the Hands Off Appalachia Campaign has spent two years engaging with UBS about their funding of the destruction of Appalachian through this extreme form of strip mining. HOA has organized dozens of actions and protests at local UBS offices all over Appalachia and the Southeast.

This summer, HOA escalated their campaign against UBS when three organizers blocked the entrance to the Knoxville UBS branch, the point of inception for the campaign. This action was the thirty-third time in sixteen months that campaign organizers had visited that office. On the heels of that action followed a blockade at UBS’ North American Headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. There, four organizers with Hands Off Appalachia and Capitalism vs. the Climate, a climate justice direct action group based in Connecticut, took a stand against UBS in solidarity with communities in Appalachia. This action launched the northeast leg of our campaign against UBS. Yesterday, activists with the campaign picketed UBS’s Parade Spectacular in Stamford, handing out leaflets and displaying a large banner
reading “UBS Stop Funding Mountaintop Removal.”

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Portland Rising Tide: Climate Activists Disrupt Presentation By Millenium Bulk Terminals to Maritime Commerce Club

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 12, 2013

Portland Rising Tide Media Contact:

David Osborn 503.516.8932

david@portlandrisingtide.org

Climate Activists Disrupt Presentation By Millenium Bulk Terminals to Maritime Commerce Club

Portland, OR – Tuesday: 40 activists with Portland Rising Tide entered the Doubletree Hotel in the Lloyd District and disrupted a Millenium Bulk Terminals presentation on their proposed 50-million ton coal export facility in Longview, WA. Millenium Bulk Terminals, owned by Ambre Energy and Arch Coal, was presenting to the Maritime Commerce Club.

After several dozen members of Portland Rising Tide entered the lobby of the Doubletree Hotel and were asked to leave, the presentation was disrupted an additional two times by activists. The vice president of Millennium Bulk Terminals was served with “coal d’oeuvres” made up of coal dust from coal trains that transport coal down the Columbia River Gorge.

Studies by Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) suggest that 500 pounds of coal can be lost in the form of dust from each rail car. Two activists later stood up and interrupted the presentation with facts about climate change and its impacts on communities.

Portland Rising Tide organized the action to oppose the construction of the coal export terminal in Longview. The action came on the heels of Super Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the Philippines leaving an estimated 2,500 people dead. The typhoon was one of the strongest storms ever recorded.

Climate change models predict storms of greater intensity and strength. In response to the crisis, the Philippine climate negotiator Yeb Sano has gone on a hunger strike to protest the lack of progress at the UN COP 19 climate negotiations currently taking place in Warsaw, Poland.

According to Portland Rising Tide Member Yoko Silk, “Millennium’s coal export terminal would fuel the climate crisis and hurt our communities. With examples of the impacts of climate change coming more and more frequently we cannot continue to move forward with this dangerous project. We are committed to opposing this project and will join with the hundreds of people that have pledged to take nonviolent direct action to halt construction should the project move forward.”

Rising Tide is an international group that works to address the root causes of climate change. Today’s action follows the July 27th Rising Tide event at the Port of Vancouver in which over 1,000 people rallied against all of the proposed fossil fuel terminals in the Pacific Northwest. Participants took to the I-5 bridge and kayaks while three climbers rapelled from the bridge to unfurl a banner that read “Coal, Oil, Gas  / None Shall Pass”. Last Monday, activists with Vancouver and Portland Rising Tide blocked entrances to the Port of Vancouver, WA with a community picket line in response to the Port’s re-leasing of public land to Tesoro/Savage for the proposed construction of a 380,000 barrel per day oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver. The port was shut down for half of the day.

 

High resolution photos of today’s actions:

http://portlandrisingtide.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/RTmillennium1.jpg

http://portlandrisingtide.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/RTmillennium2.jpg

All photos are available to use with attribution to Portland Rising Tide.

 

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