STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Greenpeace Takes to Tar Sands

Posted by mhudema on July 25, 2008

Eleven Greenpeace oil sands protesters arrested and issued trespassing tickets for attempt to block pipeline, then released.

The RCMP in Fort McMurray Alberta arrested 11 Greenpeace activists. The activists were charged for trespassing at the Syncrude Canada Ltd. Aurora oilsands site at around 12:30 p.m. MT Thursday.

Syncrude employees found the activists at the tailings pond, and called the RCMP.

The Greenpeace activists wanted to block a pipeline dumping tailings waste into one of Syncrude’s giant tailings ponds.

Jessica Wilson. Greenpeace spokeswoman, said the activists were detained, handed trespassing tickets carrying a $287 fine and released.

“The action was successful in bringing our message directly to the perpetrators of these environmental crimes,” Wilson said.

The purpose of this action is to stop the pond, located at the Aurora North Site mine, from growing any larger. The pond is about six square km, with 1.8 billion litres of toxic waste added daily.

Greenpeace members entered the site around 11 a.m. Thursday, and got past Syncrude security and made it to the lake of waste water. The activists were on site for over an hour before they were noticed.

Dave Martin, who also speaks for the organization, said “It’s the pond where 500 ducks were killed in April, and we have another team putting up a banner on another major outflow pipe of tailings. We’ve got about a 60-foot large-scale banner we are putting up on the sides of the berm.”

The banner is a giant skull and crossbones with ‘World’s Dirtiest Oil: Stop the Tar Sands’ on it.

“We’re hoping this really sends a message, not only to Syncrude, but to the Stelmach government and the Harper government, to say enough is enough and this has to stop and we have to start caring about our water, climate and about the health of the people that live around here,” Martin said.

The Greenpeace action hasn’t affected production.

The tailings pond made the news when in April about 500 ducks landed on a tailings pond filled with waste from Syncrude’s oilsands operation, north of Fort McMurray. Only a few birds survived the dip in the toxic water.

Alberta is still considering whether to charge Syncrude under the province’s environmental laws.

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