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A tar sands protest at the end of the climate camp in Quebec

by Toban Black

This August 22nd tar sands protest was organized in Dunham, Quebec, for the last day of a climate camp convergence.

After brief statements from activists, we embarked on a march along rural roads, toward the site of a proposed pumping station.  We chanted, we sang, and we did a collective dance.  We also performed what we called a "human oil spill."  That spill was somewhat like a quick die-in -- but with some more playful theatre.  One protestor also had a tub drum, and another played a harmonica.

After the march -- at the site of the possible tar sands pumping station -- speakers talked about tar sands issues, while food was prepared and eaten.  Some of us prepared the corn together there.  Francophone and indigenous perspectives were important sides of that gathering.

The protest was part of the Trailbreaker campaign against tar sands piping and pumping.  The campaign is a way of blocking tar sands expansion, while helping out local victims, at the same time.

The pipeline project cuts across Maine, Quebec, Ontario, Michigan, Illinois, and other surrounding areas -- so there are plenty of points of intervention, and plenty of grounds for solidarity.

During the protest, people started to sign on to this tar sands pledge of resistance, which others now can join online.  Signatures were collected on French and English paper copies of the pledge, which you can see in the photos.

The trash bags were our oily costumes for the protest.  One guy also wore a funnel on his head, with black waste bag plastic coming out of it.  A couple of people had yellow climate crime scene tape wrapped around themselves.

The "coalition" sign says 'pipeline coalition' (in French).  The banners (translated from French) say 'Change the system, not the climate', and 'Change the system! Not the climate!' "Trailbreaker = Tar sands", and 'stop the flow of destruction'.

The "danger" sign is for the Enbridge pipeline which already is in place.

It was cloudy and mucky that day, and it was raining.  The protest site also wasn't directly beside our camp space -- which posed another challenge for us.

A week earlier, on August 15th, there was another climate camp protest against the pumping station that may be set up in Dunham.  Here is a photo set, and a video (in French).

Our climate camp protest and convergence was one of several during 2010; here is a list of 2010 climate camp web sites, in various Anglo and European countries.

See the individual photo posts on Flickr for some additional details about the Dunham, Quebec protest.

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