Twenty Arrested Sowing Seeds on Country’s First Tar Sands Mine

utah 1Twenty Arrested Sowing Seeds on Country’s First Tar Sands Mine

via Canyon Country Rising Tide & Wasatch Rising Tide

PR SPRINGS, UT: Thirty people walked onto one of the country’s first tar sands mine and sowed seeds to regrow land destroyed by tar sands – a fossil fuel more polluting than coal and oil. With butterfly puppets, songs, and banners, protesters trespassed onto the mine site and took the remediation of the stripped land into their own hands with shovels, pick axes and seed balls.

Evidently displeased with the sowing of native grasses and flowers, law enforcement intervened to arrest 20 of the planters, who banded together and sang until arrest. The action was planned by the Tavaputs Action Council, a coalition of grass roots social justice groups of the Colorado Plateau, and came as the conclusion to a 3-day event dedicated to celebrating land and biodiversity. Over 100 people participated, camping on public land next to the tar sands mine and attending workshops, panels, and music shows. People came together to hear about indigenous resistance to fossil fuels and colonialism, and to imagine a more equitable future together.

Canadian mining company US Oil Sands has leased 32,005 acres of public lands for oil shale development. In the future, 830,000 acres of public land could be at risk of irreversible tar sands strip mining in the western United States. Tar sands requites large quantities of water for processing into crude oil, putting extra pressure on a water system already under threat of running dry.

Kate Savage, Tavaputs Action Council: “By taking action today, we are creating in the present the future we are dreaming of. This means trespassing against US Oil Sands and other fossil fuel companies that want to make our future unlivable.”

Raphael Cordray, Tavaputs Action Council: “We took action today to tell US Oil Sands that we are here to stay and will not be intimidated by oppressive law enforcement and corrupt companies. Tar sands spells disaster for people and planet, and today we said: not in our name.”

Kim, Nihigaal Bei Iina: “We must remember that if we do not fight we cannot win, we don’t even have a chance of winning. By planting seeds we have a chance of winning another round for mother earth, we still have more battles to fight within us. These seeds planted will harvest another generation of fighters and warriors.”

“The boom and bust failures of coal, tar sands, and oil shale show that we cannot rely on the fossil fuel industry to provide long-term jobs and a steady economy.  We are demanding a “just transition” away from subsidizing dirty energy and towards a stable and sustainable way of living,” says Moab resident and CCRT member Melissa Gracia.  “That is an enormous task and yet people all over the world are rising to the occasion.  We need policies and institutions to support a just transition and we are building the people power to make it happen.”

According to Will Munger, “All across the region people are facing a similar situation. Take for example the recent bankruptcy of Peabody Coal.  They must be held accountable for their destruction of indigenous land on Black Mesa and we must ensure that the CEO’s don’t bail with bonuses while workers and local communities suffer.  We must take the money generated by the fossil fuel industry to repair the land and water while supporting local communities’ transition away from a fossil fuel-dependent economy.”

The Tavaputs Action Council supporting the Reclamation Action includes Canyon Country Rising Tide, Peaceful Uprising, Utah Tar Sands Resistance, Climate Disobedience Center and Wasatch Rising Tide.

Media Contact : Melissa Graciosa, Canyon Country Rising Tide; Tel: 503-409-7710 email:

Secondary Contact: Natascha Deininger, Wasatch Rising Tide, Tavaputs Action Council; Tel: 435-414- 9299; Email:



Oakland residents deliver “coal” to developer to protest coal export plan

May 14, 2015

Jess Dervin-Ackerman,, (510) 693-7677

Ethan Buckner,, (612)718-3847

Oakland residents deliver “coal” to developer to protest coal export plan

Demonstration calls on local developer to reverse plan for coal exports at
former Oakland Army Base

***High-res photos from this morning’s demonstration***:

***High-res video footage from the protest***:

Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA—Oakland residents, elected officials, and
members of local labor, climate justice, and environmental organizations
rallied this morning to oppose developer Phil Tagami’s plan to ship coal
through the city of Oakland. Activists wearing hazmat suits dumped a large
pile of charcoal in front of the Rotunda building at Frank Ogawa Plaza,
where Tagami’s offices are located, to pressure Tagami to withdraw the
proposal. Tagami recently announced plans to transport coal from Utah
through Oakland by rail to a new bulk export facility at Oakland’s former
army base. Tagami’s plan has drawn extensive criticism from local community
and environmental groups, as well as from the City Council and Mayor Libby

“From extraction to transport to burning, coal allows toxic chemicals to
enter into communities and the environment, causing climate disruption and
deadly diseases. Coal is bad for the climate, community and worker health,
and the environment, and both Oakland and California have standing policies
opposing the export of dirty energy. We call on Mayor Libby Schaaf and the
Oakland City Council to uphold the commitments they have made to keep
Oakland free of dangerous fossil fuels,” said Jess Dervin-Ackerman,
Conservation Manager for the Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter

“As a parent of two young children, I’m not going to sit back and allow our
city to become a shipping hub for something that poisons our air and
contributes to even more climate chaos for my kids to deal with. I believe
that Oakland needs to, and will, join communities in Oregon and Washington
in refusing to sell out our kids’ health so some big companies in Utah can
make a profit,” said Carolyn Norr of Families Against Fossil Fuels.

tagami 3“As a nation, we view ourselves as a world leader of democracy and human
rights, so we should be exporting clean 21st Century renewable energy
technologies to the developing countries, not dumping toxic 19th Century
fuel on them. There is more at stake than just squeezing the last few bucks
of profit out of fossil fuels. Our entire way of living is at stake if we
continue to gamble with the impacts of CO2 on global warming and climate
change. Our communities deserve better than the trade of a few jobs in
exchange for millions of tons of toxic chemicals rolling past our windows.
This is about profit, pure and simple, and very little of that money will
wind up in West Oakland pockets,” said Brian Beveridge, Co-Director of West
Oakland Environmental Indicators Project.

“We are standing at the crossroads of history. Oakland can choose the path
of exporting coal, the path of condemning our children to an unlivable
planet, or Oakland can lead California in building a resilient and just
local economy based on community-owned and controlled clean energy that
creates thousands of family-sustaining, union jobs. We shouldn’t have to
choose between good jobs or our survival, the health of our children and of
the Earth. With East Bay Community Energy, Alameda County’s Community
Choice energy program that we hope will launch in 2017, we can have both,”
said Colin Miller Co-Director of Bay Localize and Coordinator of the Clean
Energy & Jobs Oakland Campaign.

Tagami, who is president of California Capital and Investment Group (CCIG),
previously promised not to allow the export facility at the former army
base be used for exporting fossil fuels. Today’s action will be the first
event in a campaign to push Tagami to keep his promise and reverse plans
for coal exports in Oakland. Coal exports threaten public health, worker
safety, and the global climate.


Rising Tide North America Rocked The House In 2014!

Wow. What a year.RisingTideSeaSept

 We took amazing action. Not only did we shake things up with direct action against the fossil fuel industries, but also worked with frontline communities most impacted by extraction in Canada, Mexico and the U.S.. Whether it’s blockading pipelines and oil trains or organizing training camps to educate the next generation of climate activist, we’ve truly been rocking the house to make a better world possible.

 Can you donate to Rising Tide North America to “rock the house” in 2015?

 Here’s just a taste of the things we did in 2014:

  • In the western region of the continent, our chapters in Seattle, Portland, British Columbia, Utah and elsewhere have led actions against fossil fuel infrastructure. Whether it’s been train blockades in Washington or Oregon, or  civil disobedience against the tar sands in Utah, Rising Tide has modeled a new level of resistance across the continent.

  • From Vermont to Cove Point, Maryland, Rising Tide groups and affiliates  have organized fierce disruptive campaigns to stop fracking infrastructure throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.  As the gas industry attempts to expand their pipelines and export terminals, we mobilize to stop them.

  • In New York City, in the wake of the massive People’s Climate March, Rising Tide activists, organizers and trainers joined with climate activists around the world to Flood Wall Street.  We successfully helped organize a massive occupation of New York’s financial district truly taking the fight to one of the root causes of climate change–Wall Street and it’s investments in oil, gas and coal!

  • And finally, beginning last March, our chapter in Mexico, Marea Creciente, launched La Caravana Climatica that traveled from Northern Mexico the United Nations climate talks in Lima, Peru this month. While traveling in Ecuador, they had their bus confiscated and are targeted by the authorities on trumped up charges.  Despite this government oppression, the group made it to Lima to denounce extraction and industry in Lima.

Can you help us bring more of the same in 2015?seattle

We’re an all-volunteer network of activists and have done a lot this year. Now we need your support to keep going in 2015.

Can you give $5, $10 or $50 to support us in 2015?

Thanks for all you do.


Rising Tide North America

At Least 19 Arrested As Tar Sands Opponents Shut Down Utah Mine Site

protectOpponents enforce shutdown of Utah tar sands mine today

Cross-posted from Peaceful Uprising

Follow @peace_up_ and @tarsandsresist on Twitter for updates.

July 21, 2014


PR SPRINGS, Utah–About 80 climate justice land defenders right used their bodies today to halt construction of a tar sands strip mine in the Book Cliffs of Utah.

The action is the culmination of a week-long direct action training camp within 2 miles of the mine. Participants of Climate Justice Summer Camp traveled from numerous organizations, states and sovereign tribal nations to learn direct action skills and build networks.

In recent weeks, Calgary, Canada-based US Oil Sands began a new and devastating phase in construction of the first tar sands mine in the United States. Nearly 80 acres of forest and sage land have been leveled.

US Oil sands has construction permits on 212 acres of pristine wilderness and strip mine land leases on 32,000 acres. Opponents say the traditional Ute hunting lands leased by the Utah School and Institutional Trust Land Administration are too fragile and damage would be irreversible.

Numerous states and local governments question the wisdom of tar sands and oil shale projects in the Colorado River Basin. That system—which provides drinking water to 40 million people in the US, Mexico and native communities—is already severely over-tapped and endangered by industrial waste contaminants.

“Indigenous people’s sacred lands for hundreds of generations here would be destroyed after a few generations of American settler colonialism,” says Jessica Lee, on behalf of the land defenders. “US Oil Sands perfectly demonstrates capitalism’s brazen disregard for the climate crisis, human and tribal rights and rights of the planet itself to be free of dangerous corporate parasites.”

The United States Environmental Protection Agency this month joined the crowd demanding answers from the tar sands company. EPA’s letter indicates US Oil Sands may need tribal authorization for their project due to lease acres bordering and sometimes occurring in “Indian country.”

EPA also has concerns about toxic and hazardous waste from the project. The construction site is immediately upstream of one of the major river systems of the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation, the stunning Willow Creek Canyon area. The company has never sought Ute Tribal Government approval.

What is Climate Justice?