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Michelle Lalonde, Montreal Gazette, September 9--So far, 150 Canadians are planning to risk arrest on Sept. 26 on Parliament Hill in what organizers are hoping will be the biggest civil disobedience action on the climate issue in Canada.
Inspired by the 1,253 peaceful demonstrators arrested recently at the White House during a two-week sit-in to protest against a proposed pipeline to bring Canadian oil to the U.S., Canadians are signing up for a similar protest of expansion of Canada’s oilsands operations.
“There comes a time when you need to take a stand,” says the invitation to the Ottawa sit-in, sent out two weeks ago by the Council of Canadians, Greenpeace Canada and the Indigenous Environmental Network.
Although it does not directly ask protesters to break the law, it notes “many will be risking arrest” to oppose oilsands expansion.
As a veteran political activist, I've had the privilege of being involved over the past 40 years or so in many campaigns for social and economic justice, human rights and ecological sustainability. Every once in awhile there have been moments when I've had to decide whether or not to take extraordinary action to dramatize the need for urgent social change. In such moments, one is called to go beyond the conventional modes of action to speak the truth to those in power by exercising one's rights as a citizen to non-violent civil disobedience.
For Immediate Release, July 20, 2011, (Ottawa) As premiers gather today at the annual Council of the Federation meeting, leading non-governmental groups from across the country are calling on provinces to clarify their support for the Kananaskis energy minister’s national energy plan. This plan included using a scenario for energy demand that would spur catastrophic levels of global warming as well as identifying the tar sands as a “sustainable” source of energy. Ontario refused to sign citing concerns about calling the tar sands sustainable and responsible and has called on the federal government to renew clean energy funding.