'Say no to the tar sands' rally and sit-in in front of Parliament

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Parliament Hill, Ottawa -- Next Monday, Sept. 26, hundreds of people from across Canada will come together on Parliament Hill for a large peaceful protest, featuring a public rally and non-violent civil disobedience sit-in, to send the Harper government a strong and clear message:

"All people in Canada deserve a clean energy future that promotes climate justice, where Treaty and Indigenous rights are respected and the health of our communities and the environment are prioritized."

Why now?

This summer, 11 veteran U.S. and Canadian scientists and environmentalists -- Maude Barlow, Wendell Berry, Tom Goldtooth, Danny Glover, James Hansen, Wes Jackson, Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, George Poitras, David Suzuki, and Gus Speth -- issued a continental call-out. The call was for people right across the U.S. to come to Washington, D.C. and join in two weeks of non-violent civil disobedience actions to try to stop the massive tar sands Keystone XL pipeline. The response was overwhelming, over 1,200 people were arrested at a peaceful daily sit-in outside of the White House.

The Council of Canadians firmly believes that, rather than lobbying for the Keystone XL pipeline, the Harper government should turn attention to addressing the source of the problem -- the devastation of the tar sands and towards building real solutions. This includes better regulation of the climate, water and health impacts of the tar sands and a plan to transition to a fossil free future.

We have a chance to match the courage shown in Washington, D.C., and do the same in Ottawa.

Join the Solidarity Rally: Beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 26, hundreds will gather beside the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill for a large public rally. There will be statements and opportunities to support sit-in participants.

Register for the Sit-In: If you are interested in participating in the sit-in, please sign-up here

There is mandatory training for people interested in participating in the sit-in. It will be held on Sunday, Sept. 25 from 1-8 p.m. at 55 Laurier Ave. E., at The University of Ottawa, Building Desmarais (DMS), 1st floor, Room 1060. Those willing to participate in the sit-in will be risking arrest to tell the Harper government that we don't support his reckless agenda; that we want to turn away from the tar sands; and that we oppose the direction he's taking this country.

For more information and to read the call to action, click here

Volunteer opportunities -- we need your support! There are a number of needs associated with organizing this action. Please consider contributing:

• Billeting: There is a real need for space for people to stay that are attending the training camp and rally. If you live in Ottawa and have a spare bed or space for people to stay with you on Sunday Sept. 25 and/or Monday Sept. 26, please email the following address to connect with people needing billeting.

• Food Team: There is a real need for volunteers to help with prepping, cooking and serving food! This is needed for Sept. 25 (food for training day) and Sept. 26 (food for day of action). If you are interested, please contact Aspa.

Andrea Harden-Donahue is energy campaigner for The Council of Canadians.

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