Mass arrests at tar sands protest

IssueOctober 2011
News by David Polden

There were 1,252 arrests during a fortnight’s protests in Washington DC against a proposed 1,700-mile pipeline designed to ship more than 830,000 barrels a day of oil from tar sands in Alberta, Canada, to Texas, USA.

Sit-ins were held outside the White House in Washington DC from 20 August to 3 September, leading to the arrest of top climate scientists, Texan and Nebraskan landowners, Canadian First Nation leaders, former White House official Gus Speth, NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen, actor Daryl Hannah, filmmaker Josh Fox, and authors Naomi Klein and Bill McKibben. Producing oil from tar sands is known to produce lots of CO2.

US president Obama, who is expected to make a decision on the pipeline by the end of the year, was then greeted by rallies led by Tar Sands Action arrestees in Richmond, Virginia; Columbus, Ohio; and Raleigh, North Carolina. His campaign manager was targeted at Harvard university. A petition against the pipeline has received over 185,000 signatures.