Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

CTV Edmonton on Keystone XL Protests in DC

Backlash against Alta., Oil pipeline
Sat Sep. 03 2011 17:43:19

Nahreman Issa, ctvedmonton.ca

It's being called the largest act of civil disobedience in the US-environmental movement and it's directed at Alberta.

A two week "sit-in" outside the White House has come to an end Saturday, resulting in the arrests of more than 1200 people. They're calling on the government to quash the construction of an oil pipeline from Alberta to Texas.

They say despite the arrests, they are more demonstrations on the way.

While demonstrators have been arrested everyday since the protest began, Saturday's sit-in saw 244-people arrested.

They hope this protest is sending a clear message to Barack Obama's administration.

"By getting arrested they are sending a message we really mean it," said author and activist Naomi Klein. "We care about this we are willing to get a record for this."

Klein was arrested while protesting the pipeline. She joins a list of high profile environmentalists who have been apprehended including Order of Canada member Tantoo Cardinal and actress Daryl Hannah.

Back here in Alberta, the province says they believe the United States needs the direct line to the oil sands for energy stability. The project would also be a shot in the arm for job growth.

However, this project comes in the wake of the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf and most recently the worst spill in Alberta in more than three decades when crude covered 2400 hectares of wet land.

The company building the Keystone Pipeline promises the most technologically advanced system.

But that didn't stop a former White House official and NASA scientist from also being arrested. Al gore applauded the protesters, calling Alberta's oil sands the dirtiest source of fuel on the planet.

There will now be public consultations all along the planned pipeline route from the Canadian border south to the shore of the Gulf of Mexico. Protesters tell CTV News they vow to be in attendance.

Those public consultations will culminate with a meeting held in Washington in October.

A protest is already being planned for Ottawa later this month.

As for the protesters arrested over the past two weeks, most will receive a $100 fine and a minor citation.

With files from CTV's Kevin Armstrong

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