The Guardian has called it “the largest act of civil disobedience in US history”. Following calls for Tim de Christopher’s imprisonment to be the US climate movement’s ‘Rosa Parks moment’, Tar Sands Action has mobilised thousands of people for an act of collective civil disobedience in a continuous two-week sit-in in front of the White House. The call to action also drew two major unions, representing 200,000 US workers across 22 states into the call to stop the pipeline.
This could be a break-through for the international campaign to stop the expansion of the Canadian tar sands. The US is a key market for the Canadian tar sands, and numerous refineries are located there. Public pressure opposing the tar sands could derail expansion plans.
Europe is a second key market, and Canada has been lobbying the EU to accept its tar sands exports. Here in the UK grassroots activists including the UK Tar Sands Network and Climate Camp have taken action in solidarity with the Indigenous Environmental Network who campaign to stop all further expansion. PLATFORM has pushed for RBS to change its lending policy around tar sands companies, and worked with institutional investors to shift equity finance out of the tar sands.