Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Greenpeace wraps up Action Camp

Greenpeace wraps up Action Camp

It's been nearly two months since Greenpeace set up shop in Edmonton with the lofty goal of shutting down Alberta's oilsands, but don't expect to see any high-profile demonstrations anytime soon, says a local member of the international environmental group.

"We haven't made any concrete plans to chain ourselves to trees," said a chuckling Geeta Sehgal, one of two campaign organizers working out of the Greenpeace office at Calgary Trail and Argyll Road.

"It doesn't make sense to blockade something until the public's going to understand why you did it. You have to lay the groundwork."

Yesterday, some groundwork was laid as Greenpeace wrapped up its first action camp in Alberta - three days of brainstorming in preparation "to confront the tarsands."

Co-hosted with the Sierra Club of Canada's prairie chapter, the camp drew more than 50 activists to Camp Meywasin on Lake Wabamun, 65 km west of Edmonton.

Besides brainstorming, the camp also featured workshops on topics such as creative activism - including working with schools and the Fringe festival - and media strategies.

"Many people are ... scared about the effects of tarsands development on the environment, but they aren't sure what they can do to make a difference," explained Sehgal's colleague Mike Hudema.

A spokesman with Suncor - the first company to commercially develop the oilsands - recently told Sun Media that its latest development plans include "detailed environmental and socio-economic impact analyses," and that Suncor and Greenpeace needn't be at odds.


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