Clean-up Crew Exposes Severe Oil Contamination at DFAIT

(Le français suit)

December 1st 2011
For Immediate Release

Clean-up Crew Exposes Severe Oil Contamination at DFAIT

As Canadian negotiators meet in Durban, South Africa for COP 17, an Oil Clean-up Crew visited the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) this morning, mops and cleaning supplies in hand, to clean up the oil industry’s influence on the Canadian government.

Wearing hazardous waste suits, the crew cleaned up the mess of an oil lobbyist that was found on the premises. The clean-up crew also discovered evidence of severe oil contamination at DFAIT, including the prioritizing of oil industry interests over those of Canadian citizens, the green-washing of the tar sands, and the billions of dollars leaking in the form of subsidies to oil corporations.

A Call for Unity and Action by Civil Society Concerning the Global Climate Regime

Building Justice, Solidarity and Unity to Face the Climate Crisis!

Today, the climate clock is rapidly ticking away as government negotiators from all over the world dither over minute details in Durban during the last global climate talks before the Rio+20 Earth Summit in 2012.

Increasingly, climate scientists are signaling the fact that the crisis of global warming is more acute and urgent than initially predicted. Current levels of warming are already beginning to trigger the Earth’s tipping points. Extreme weather events are becoming more prominent, accelerating more sustained climate change that will soon bring catastrophic impacts on vulnerable countries, including some of the world’s most impoverished.

Canadian Government has lost its moral compass on Climate Change

(Le français suit)

For Immediate Release
November 28 , 2011

Canadian Government has lost its Moral Compass on Climate Change

On the first day of UN climate change negotiations in Durban South African, an open statement demands Canada should at least not impede progress in Durban towards an ambitious, equitable and binding international agreement on climate change.

“Canada has a track record of acting more in the interests of big oil companies than Canadians at UN climate negotiations,” says Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians. “We are the only country to have come out of the Copenhagen UN climate negotiations to return home and weaken our emission reduction targets, allowing more climate change pollution,” adds Barlow.

New Report - Corporations, Climate and the United Nations: How Big Business has Seized Control of Global Climate Negotiations

November 24, 2011 - In time for COP 17 in Durban, South Africa, the Polaris Institute has prepared a report outlining how multinational corporations and their lobbyists have infiltrated the United Nations and are influencing the outcomes of climate negotiations. The report uncovers and describes where corporations influence the United Nations in the build up to and during climate change negotiations and how this corporate interest is the driving force behind the preferred market based initiatives that are emerging from the UNFCCC process.

The World Economy: Who’s Really In Charge?

In October 2011, Polaris Institute Executive Director Tony Clarke addressed the Group of 78, an organization that seeks to promote global priorities for peace and disarmament, equitable and sustainable development, and a strong and revitalized United Nations system. In his presentation Clarke traced four decades of increasing corporate control of the global economy and neo-liberal policies.

You can read a summary of his presentation here, or below.

The World Economy: Who’s Really In Charge?
The Crisis of Global Economic Governance

Tony Clarke
Executive Director, Polaris Institute
Presentation to Group of 78, November, 2011

Act Now: Stop Imminent Land Grab That Threatens More Than 162,000 People in Tanzania

Please take a look at the US based Oakland Institute's call to action on the important land grab issue in Tanzania. Polaris Institute's Director, Tony Clarke, is currently on the Board of directors of the Oakland Institute. Polaris has also contributed some very important research and reports on the land grabs for the Oakland Institute's campaigns.

Iowa-based investor Bruce Rastetter and fellow investors in the industrial agricultural corporation AgriSol Energy ( have their sights on 800,000 acres (325,000 hectares) of land in Tanzania that is home to 162,000 people.

Statement by Tony Clarke Presented at Ottawa Action, September 26, 2011

Tar Sands Rally Statement --- Tony Clarke, Polaris Institute, September 26, 2011

Nous sommes rassemblés ici aujourd'hui, venus de partout au pays, pour manifester notre opposition à la machine que représente les sables bitumineux canadiens et le Keystone XL en utilisant la désobéissance civile. Acts of non-violent civil disobedience are, ultimately, matters of conscience for individuals and groups. While the police erect a fence, we in civil society draw a line in the sand, define what is right and wrong or what is morally acceptable and what is not morally acceptable, and then put our bodies on that line.

•Il est simplement inacceptable … to rip out huge swaths of the Boreal forest, deplete one of the most precious freshwater systems in the world, and contaminate the river and ground water that sustains life in the Athabasca region --- dead wrong! Inacceptable!

Tony Clarke's oped in the Toronto Star regarding the Ottawa Action

The Tar Sands and Civil Disobedience

Tony Clarke, Toronto Star, Monday September 26 - On Monday I will be joining hundreds of fellow Canadians on Parliament Hill to demonstrate growing public opposition to the relentless expansion of the tarsands megaproject in northern Alberta. Some will participate in a protest rally while others will engage in acts of peaceful civil disobedience.

People from all walks of life and regions of Canada — environmental activists, indigenous peoples, youth activists, organized workers, impacted communities, social justice activists, faith communities and concerned citizens in general — will join ranks against what has become known worldwide as the most environmentally destructive project of its kind on the planet.

Ottawa Keystone pipeline expansion protest planned for Sept.26

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.

Tony Clarke's Call to Action-what are you doing on September 26th?

Tony Clarke2455a.jpeg

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.