Idle No More protest in UK to target Canadian tar sands

Photo of activists in Oxford from the UK Tar Sands Network

The Idle No More movement is going international: today, it staged a blockade of the busiest border crossing in North America. Tomorrow, it will pair up with activists and a prominent business to protest and presenting a petition to the Canadian High Commission in London, across the pond. 

Below, a press release from the UK Tar Sands Network:

Tomorrow,  Clayton Thomas-Muller - a prominent figure in the indigenous-led ‘Idle No More’ movement currently sweeping Canada - will present a petition to the Canadian government at its High Commission in London. Clayton, from the Mathais Colomb Cree First Nation in Manitoba, will be joined by British and Canadian supporters in a protest organised by the UK Tar Sands Network and Lush Cosmetics.

The Idle No More movement has seen mass protests, road and rail blockades and uprisings across Canada in recent weeks, and continues to grow. Inspirational Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence remains on hunger strike after more than a month, determined to keep fasting until she is able to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Governor General David Johnston. She wants to discuss the ways in which First Nations’ treaties are being undermined by a series of Bills pushed through by the Canadian government, which aim to make it easier for industries, such as those operating in the controversial tar sands, to extract natural resources from Indigenous lands. On Friday, Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation whose health and traditional livelihoods are being devastated by pollution from the tar sands industry upstream, vowed to blockade the main highway to the tar sands if their demands for a reassertion of Indigenous rights over those of industry are not met.

Today’s solidarity protest in London follows a protest in Oxford last Saturday and will hand in a petition to Prime Minister Harper signed by Oxford residents, calling on his government to ‘stop putting the interests of the tar sands industry and other environmentally destructive companies above the rights of its First Nations’, to uphold the Treaties originally signed by First Nations and the British Crown, and to set aside any legislation that undermines them.

Clayton Thomas-Muller, from the Canadian Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign, said: 

“The complete gutting of all environmental approval, regulatory and enforcement mechanisms in Canada, through the passing of a series of Bills by the Harper government, mean that the reassertion of Aboriginal & Treaty rights are the last best hope to protect both First Nations’ & Canadians’ water, air and soil from being poisoned forever by big oil and mining corporations. We have a responsibility to stand up and fight against this threat, not just for us but for all those across the earth who are feeling the effects of climate change and water insecurity.”


Jess Worth, from the UK Tar Sands Network, said: 

“We are standing in solidarity today with Indigenous peoples in Canada who are seeing their right to a healthy life in a clean environment on their traditional territories auctioned off to the highest corporate bidder. As the Canadian tar sands industry seeks to squeeze every last drop of ever-more-polluting oil out of a planet that can no longer take it, we all have an interest in the success of the Idle No More movement which seeks to uphold First Nations’ rights and protect Mother Earth.”

James Atherton from Lush Cosmetics, said: 

"It is greatly important to support and encourage movements like Idle No More, which acknowledge human rights and environmental issues as interlinked. For too long, the voices of Indigenous people around the world have been suppressed by colonial, domineering mindsets that live on in political and industrial systems. The Idle No More movement calls for change which is well overdue, and we support the revolution that is needed to create this positive change."

More in Earth Matters

What to do when the IPCC gets you down

There's only so much end of the world you can take. Here's what you can do about it.

Learning the language of climate solutions

If someone had told me how hard learning another language was I wouldn't have tried.

Failure not an option for climate movement

Saying the climate movement is a failure and we should give up is not an option.
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.

Unstoppable Warming from

Unstoppable Warming from Climate Blame was our era’s “REEFER MADNESS” as not one single IPCC warning had ever said it “Would” happen, only might and could and possibly happen for 27 years of research. How close to the edges of unstoppable warming will your lab coats take us before they say this comet hit of unstoppable warming “WILL” happen. You can’t have a little climate crisis outside of Harry Potter movies. Deny that! They only agreed it was real, not a real crisis. A crisis that isn’t a crisis isn’t a crisis.

Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper is Canada's , George Bush. He is oil-bought by the Calgary oil crowd and by the Dallas/Houston oil crowd.

No pipelines

It boggles my mind that all over the world indigenous people are fighting for their rights to their land that was set aside in good faith for them to continue their own lifestyles as it was recognized at that time that we deserve an existance.  We have been making sacrifices and praying to the mother earth for centuries and all the greedy people can think about is how to line their pockets.  We always end up in a battle and all they can think about is money, and all we want is to continue our lives.  What makes one religion think they are the best and have to try and intrude and try and force others to adapt.  Well, the colonization ways are really proving that they are destructive ways so why don't they just stop and think about what they do to people for once and put their blood money into cleaner ways then maybe we will be more willing to work with these industries for extraction.  How much blood has to be shed, how many tribes and animals have to be extinct before they realize the dollar does not matter anymore.  The war in Israel is over a shipping port, why do these people have to suffer.  Al Quaida obviously knows that the powers that be want this and will take it no matter how much blood is shed.  Has anyone ever tried to talk with Al Quaida to come to a peaceful resolution that helps everyone instead of pissing them off.  I agree they are rogues but they are fighting to rid the world of superpowers, who is to say more people will not start to side with their efforts if it comes down to stopping the madness.  That is why it is BLOOD MONEY.

That "public" bigoted sheeplike following of the tyrant Harper will of course be against the rightful owners of Canada, theose brave native peoples who actually possess conscience, ethics and freedom unlike those white invaders of these lands who have gone so far below even savages..Harper is a psychopath who is literally destroying the world's environment, he doesn't just mass murder humans like the usual cowardly tyrant, he is going full speed with his massive assault on the Northern lands, their wildlife and forests, and the world's environments to destroy the very basis of life on earth, a crime worse than genocide.