The seventh day of the Stop Tar Sands Profiteers Week of Action has seen even more arrests to take on TD Bank and other tar sands profiteers. Two were arrested at the TransCanada office outside Boston, four more in Asheville after 60 people shut down a TD Bank branch. Dozens of others rallied at tar sands profiteer John Hancock Life Insurance in Los Angeles and in Texas.
Friday, March 22 – Approximately 60 Protesters in Asheville take over a TD Bank Branch; Four arrested
Asheville police locked the protesters inside, effectively shutting down the bank branch for the rest of the day.
From Katuah EF!’s press release:
60 people took to the streets today to protest the Keystone XL pipeline in downtown Asheville. After a rally in Pritchard Park, the march made its way to TD Bank, a major investor in the Keystone XL pipeline and occupied the lobby, forcing the bank to close for the rest of the day. Protestors carried banners reading, “Obama, Your Pipedream is a Nightmare” and “TD Bank, divest from dirty oil.” Police arrested four protesters who refused to leave until TD Bank agreed to divest from the tar sands industry.
“We are going to hold accountable the companies that threaten our future with their dirty investments. With every dollar TD Bank invests in the Keystone XL pipeline we can feel the noose tightening around our necks,” said Patty Petroluse, a student in Asheville. TD Bank holds over 13 million shares in Transcanada, the company building the Keystone XL pipeline.
“In a time of escalating drought, wildfires, and super-storms fueled by climate change it is suicidal to invest billions of dollars in new fossil fuel infrastructure. The Keystone XL pipeline would be delivering the dirtiest fossil fuel imaginable, tar sands oil”, said Henry Lowry.
If built, the pipeline would tear through thousands of miles of sensitive ecosystems, farmland, and Native American tribal lands in order to deliver Canadian tar sands oil to Gulf Coast refineries. Contrary to industry claims, the vast majority of the oil would be destined for export, not for US consumption. Canada’s tar sands oil has been labeled by environmental groups as the “dirtiest project on earth.” Extraction of tar sands requires massive strip mines that have already destroyed hundreds of square miles of Canada’s boreal forest. Tar sands oil production is extremely energy intensive and produces far more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil.
Friday March 22 – A Swarm of Cyclists Take to the Streets in Portland, OR to Set a Two-Wheeled Example Against TransCanada’s Dirty Tar Sands
Blasting music and a radical tone, a mass of cyclists took to the streets to challenge the corporate status quo and speak two-wheeled truth to corrupt capitalist power. The bike brigade began in Portland’s always active Holladay Park, and stopped at several special locations, one of them being east bank of the Willamette river to join an Idle No More ’World Water Day’ action in defense of clean fresh-water. They later moved on to get rowdy at other strategic locations including Bank of America, Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, and City Hall. They set out to continue shaming Portland’s worst polluters 100 years after the birth of environmental champion Tom McCall, and in doing so had called into serious question where Portland’s green legacy has gone in the decades since Oregon’s most cherished governor passed on. Read the full blog here
Friday March 22 – “Clean Air is a Human Right” – Light Projection on Marathon Tar Sands Refinery in Detroit
Check out this creative light projection at the Marathon tar sands refinery in Detroit by Occupy Detroit, Detroit Climate Justice Task Force, and PlanIt4Planet.
Friday March 22 – Valero Corporate HQ Taken Over by the Community
Almost 50 activists rallied in front of Valero Corporate Headquarters in San Antonio, TX forcing police to block exits and divert employees away. This action was supported by People’s Power Coalition in Solidarity with Idle No More, Bexar County Green Party, Southwest Workers Union, and Texas Indigenous Council.
Friday, March 22 – Veterans For Peace and Others Enter TransCanada’s Boston office – Two arrested
This is the third series of arrests from actions at this office.The protesters say they tried to leave the TransCanada office when they were asked to, but police arrested 64-year old Linda Jenkins and 35-year old Ken Weiss anyway. Read more of the encounter in this local blog.
Watch a video of Linda explaining why she was protesting today:
Video of the wrongful arrests:
For more videos from the action, check out their youtube page.
Friday, March 22 – Dallas Demonstrates to John Hancock Life Insurance that TransCanada is a Toxic Investment
Members of Dallas MoveOn, Occupy Dallas, the Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church Environmental Justice Task Force, Tar Sands Blockade, Sierra Club Dallas, and Downwinders at Risk rallied outside the John Hancock Life Insurance at their office building in Las Colinas, outside Dallas. Col. Ann Wright joined the protest for a surprise visit! John Hancock’s building locked the front doors to the lobby and told employees to exit out the side entrances so as not to interact with protestors. They wouldn’t let a 96-year-old man rest his feet in the lobby because he “had no business” there. The group held up signs to the passing traffic to alert them of their not-so-caring neighbor’s dirty investments. These actions come at a critical time as investor confidence in Alberta’s tar sands is waning due to major delays and resistance to Keystone XL’s construction timeline.
Friday, March 22 – L.A. calls out John Hancock Life Insurance for Funding a Deadly Pipeline
Protestors chanted, danced, and picketed at John Hancock Life Insurance office in El Segundo, CA. John Hancock is the U.S. wing of Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, which owns over 4 million shares in TransCanada. Organizers highlighted the irony of a life insurance company funding a deadly pipeline and demanded that they stop investing their money in dirty, dangerous energy. Find more tar sands profiteers like John Hancock here.
View full photo album here
Watch their video recap:
Friday, March 22 – Denver Rallies Against Fracking at the Governor’s Mansion – Holds Direct Action Training
Dozens rallied outside Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper’s mansion to publicly denounce him for being a spokesperson for the corrupt oil & gas industry. (This guy is so sold out he actually drinks fracking fluid!)
Colorado Extraction Resistance reports: “For far too long, Hickenlooper has misused his authority to force Colorado to allow the destructive practice of hydraulic fracturing which poisons our air, our water, our land, and our bodies. We will be converging on the Governor’s mansion to make it clear that he does not represent us, and that Colorado is ready to stand up to the toxic extraction industry.”
As part of the rally people participated in a nonviolent direct action training. View more photos here.
Friday, March 22 – Newark, Delaware Rallies to “Move Your Money” From TD Bank
Members of the Delaware Sierra Club and Occupy Delaware came together for a “Move Your Money” action at TD Bank in Newark, New Delaware. TD Bank and their investment firms have invested billions in TransCanada and tar sands!
The Delaware Sierra Club reports on their website: “Delaware is getting railroaded by tar sands, which are are not only more than 3x worse for our warming climate, but much more carcinogenic and polluting to refine. As you know, the last thing Delaware needs is more cancer-causing air pollution, including emissions from refining tar sands oil.”
Saturday, March 23rd – Memphis, TN Stands Up Against Valero Energy Corporation’s Involvement in the Keystone XL Pipeline
Organized by TN Sierra Club, a group of activists gathered at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in front of a Valero refinery to bear witness to the devastating environmental and health impacts of living near the toxic polluter. This particular refinery was the site of a deadly explosion that resulted 3 injuries and one death earlier this year. They also highlighted this Valero refinery’s involvement in the fracking of the Bakken formation in North Dakota and the subsequent waste of natural gas being flared off there.