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Over 200 arrested at Ottawa tar sands protest

An RCMP officer speaks to a protester in Ottawa on Monday, Sept. 26, 2011 at the anti-tar sands protest. Photo: Marco Vigliotti

Over 200 protesters objecting to the federal government's enthusiastic support for Alberta's tar sands and the Keystone pipeline XL were arrested Monday morning as they attempted to stage a sit-in in the House of Commons.

The protesters wanted the chance to air their grievances with the environmentally reckless policies of the Harper-led Conservatives inside Parliament but were blocked from entering by fenced barricades and over 50 RCMP officers.

The protesters were encouraged by hundreds of boisterous supporters as they passed the media scrum and calmly hopped over police barricades.

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Over 100 arrested at Ottawa protest

An RCMP officer speaks to a protester in Ottawa on Monday, Sept. 26, 2011 at the anti-tar sands protest. Photo: Marco Vigliotti

Dozens of protesters objecting to the federal government's enthusiastic support for Alberta's Tar Sands and the Keystone XL pipeline running from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico were arrested Monday as they attempted to stage a sit-in in the House of Commons.

Those arrested in the first wave of protesters trying to gain access to the House included chairperson of The Council of Canadians, Maude Barlow, and Dave Coles, the president of Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, along with his executive assistant and rabble.ca blogger Fred Wilson.

The protesters aired their grievances with the environmentally reckless policies of the Harper led Conservatives inside Parliament but were blocked from entering by fenced barricades up to 100 RCMP officers.

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Largest climate-change protest in U.S. history planned for Presidents Day

Michael Brune and Bill McKibben. Photo: Rainforest Action Network/Flickr

Change the conversation, support rabble.ca today.

For the first time in its 120-year history, the Sierra Club engaged in civil disobedience, the day after President Barack Obama gave his 2013 State of the Union address. The group joined scores of others protesting the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which awaits a permitting decision from the Obama administration. The president made significant pledges to address the growing threat of climate change in his speech. But it will take more than words to save the planet from human-induced climate disruption, and a growing, diverse movement is directing its focus on the White House to demand meaningful action.

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Thousands encircle White House to protest Keystone XL pipeline

More than 10,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C., last Sunday with a simple goal: Encircle the White House. They succeeded, just weeks after 1,253 people were arrested in a series of protests at the same spot. These thousands, as well as those arrested, were unified in their opposition to the planned Keystone XL pipeline, intended to run from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast of Texas. A broad, international coalition against the pipeline has formed since President Barack Obama took office, and now the deadline for its approval or rejection is at hand.

Tar sands action: Open letter to the Prime Minister of Canada from a mother and extremist

Katharine Cukier

Dear Prime Minister Stephen Harper,

I am writing to you because I want to thank you for clarifying some things for me. According to you, I am an extremist. I think it would be amusing and even useful for you to understand the heart and mind of an extremist like me. Indeed, I suspect the country you have been entrusted to govern is full of them... I mean us.

I was arrested last week for participating in a civil disobedience action in Ottawa. We were protesting your government's indifference to the dangers of climate change. This indifference is communicated clearly by your determination to expand the use of bitumen, the tar sands, a high emission, unconventional, fossil fuel.

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A call to action: Non-violent civil disobedience against the tar sands

Canadian actors and activists Tantoo Cardinal and Margot Kidder protesting the Keystone XL pipeline in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., in August. They were arrested shortly after.

A defining moment in Canadian history will take place in Ottawa this month.

On Sept. 26, hundreds of individuals from across the country will participate in an act of peaceful civil disobedience. The objective is to send a clear message to the Harper regime, calling on the government to withdraw its unquestioning support of the tar sands industry and to provide leadership by forging the transition to a clean, just and renewable energy that respects Indigenous rights and gives priority to the health of our communities and the environment. It could well turn out to be the largest demonstration of environmental civil disobedience in the history of this country's climate movement.

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