Tar sands protest


Ottawans join First Nations in Tar Sands protest on the Hill

Cops arrest 117 who climb fence blocking House of Commons

By Ken Bilsky Billings
True North Perspective

Even though I knew that Monday's (26 September) Parliament Hill Tar Sands protest was a dance, with protesters and the police agreeing to the terms of engagement it still was unnerving to be cuffed under the shadow of the Peace Tower and driven away in a dog kennel size patty wagon.

I'm sure for all the preparation and set up for the protest that the police were handsomely paid for their efforts. Meanwhile the people on the street that felt we had to do some type of civil disobedience had the pleasure of paying a fine for the right to say enough is enough.

Climbing over the line in the sand (the fence) that the police erected to stop us from entering the Parliament buildings got 117 charged, and 100 let go (guess it was coffee and donut time) for the politzia.

People describe this as a start and I guess it is. I equate it to scratching the hummer with a key. Not really that much damage yet.
Meanwhile some MPs in the House of Commons had the audacity to call the protesters outside 'extremists'.  If being fully conscious is extreme, then we are. We can see that our government and a number of multinational corporations are toxifying our air, water and soil.  We know the ticking time bomb of 'Climate Chaos' is overhead and can see that our leaders our doing next to nothing to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, foster a conservation effort and build a substantial renewable energy backbone.  

We know we don't have the mainstream media behind us so it is imperative that each one of us that cares about our home (earth) and our children's future, take steps to stop these abusers. Most people are aware that abusers are conniving, cunning, violent, liars, and deniers in order to perpetuate their life of oppression. It takes effort and persistence to corner and convict a molester so it is imperative that each time you get a chance to expose them, that you take it.

Farcical face of democracy

The land on which Parliament Hill stands is part of the Algonquin land claim. On September 26 we were there in solidarity with First Nations directly affected, to get the message out that the multinational tar sands development is toxic for the environment and is killing people and ecologies exponentially.

If we cannot sit on Parliament Hill, the seat of government in peaceful, protest, where can we sit? We were not even allowed in our own government house, with two fences erected in our path.

So, symbolically we were given one fence to cross and sit on the grass, waiting to be arrested. This is the farcical face of democracy. There is no real dialogue. It was just a dance, and a bone thrown to the protesters to appease us. To make matters worse we were told to pay for the right to do this by being ticketed and banned for one year from Parliament Hill (the supposed seat of democracy) for criticizing the status quo.

The second point is that more than 200 crossed over the fence but only 117 were charged. The police just quit and let the rest leave. So what was that all about? This just shows how absurd this dance was. We should be debating the tar sands issue and the lack of a credible action plan to ween ourselves off the oil addiction and on to more benign alternatives before the heating of the planet becomes exponential and unstoppable. Instead we struggle and fight just to get a picture or sound byte into the mainstream media.

What we want and need is a dialogue and debate on where we are heading as a species.

The capitalist, globalization agenda has proved to be a monetary bonanza for the 1% but what about the 99% who see and feel the poverty and destruction in the wake of the rape of the earth's resources without care or thought for what comes after?

Well the 99% are starting to wake up and if they are not listened too, then a tsunami of resistance will wash over all governments even before Mother Earth's Climate Chaos takes us to a whole other level.


Thanks for your excellent article.  I was there and arrested and you have my motives and reactions right on. 

What I find outrageous is being banned from Parliament Hill for one year.  Take action to make a political point and get banned from the political heartland.  I and many others are planning to fight the ban.  If you were arrested and want to join us, write to tarsandslegal@gmail.com and we will keep you informed.

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