On the final day of the Stop Tar Sands Profiteers Week of Action over 60 Salt Lake City residents blockade the local Chevron refinery for processing tar sands. Plus, New York City held a TD Bank Day of Action along with other TD Bank actions in Washington, DC and New Haven, CT. Other events today include a direct action training with Idle No More in San Francisco.
Saturday, March 23 – Over 60 Salt Lake City Residents Blockade Chevron for Refining Tar Sands
Over 60 residents from Salt Lake City trespassed at the Chevron tar sands refinery in an action organized by Utah Tar Sands Resistance. Protestors blockaded one of the refineries entrances and carried fake coffins, sang songs, and took turns speaking out on a megaphone about the dangers of deadly tar sands. The crowd turned six trucks away from the refinery!
Chevron is already refining toxic tar sands from Canada, and it plans to refine the oil from the first tar sands mine in the United States, set to begin in eastern Utah in 2013. Unless we stop it before it starts.
Read more coverage on examiner.com
Saturday, March 23 – Coalition of Groups in New York City Rally for the “Divest from TD Bank Day of Action!”
Dozens of protesters march to local TD Bank offices across New York City to demand TD Bank sever its financial ties to TransCanada and Keystone XL. Some TD customers publicly announced the cancellation of their TD accounts.
The Divest from TD Bank Day of Action! is organized by a coalition of groups including: Occupy the Pipeline, 350.org, Sane Energy Project, NYU Divest and others.
TD Bank claims they are “as green as their logo.” This is a clear case of corporate greenwashing. An event organizer had the following comment:
“It is the height of hypocrisy for TD to proclaim itself the largest “carbon neutral” bank and then invest in the dirtiest, most greenhouse gas-intensive fossil fuel on the planet”, said Belinda Rodriguez, an organizer with NYU Divest.
There are so many beautiful images from this event! We don’t have space to post them all here so you should check out their full photo album.
Below is the letter that event organizers sent to TD Bank’s Environmental Affairs Director, Diana Glassman:
Dear Diana Glassman,
We are writing on behalf of a group of environmentalists, community organizers and concerned citizens to address the relationship between TD Bank and Transcanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline project. As you are no doubt aware, the Keystone XL pipeline will contribute to the destruction of precious ecosystems and communities across North America, endanger crucial water supplies such as the Ogallala Aquifer, and push our climate further toward the brink of disaster. Canadian tar sands extraction also requires massive, unsustainable inputs of water; as you identified in your own 2011 policy paper, “Canadian oil sands production consumes 20 times as much water as traditional oil.”
TD Bank has provided the largest corporate loans for this project, and was the fourth largest institutional shareholder of TransCanada Corp. in 2012. Financing this destructive project is incompatible with the environmental goals TD has committed to publicly. No bank with such strong ties to a project that will contribute to a 150 ppm increase in atmospheric carbon can plausibly claim to be “carbon neutral.” We request that TD withdraw its financial support, its institutional investments and its direct loans from Transcanada Corp. in a public and timely fashion. We urge you to live up to your own environmental commitments, and believe that your customers, your business performance and the greater human community will thank you for doing so.
If you do not withdraw your financial support, investments and interests in this pipeline, we will work to make sure that your institution is never again considered “green” in the public eye. We represent a coalition comprised of members of 350.org, the rapidly growing fossil fuel divestment movement, the Tar Sands Blockade, Occupy the Pipeline, Sane Energy Project and several other groups acting in solidarity this week against the Keystone XL pipeline. Once you address this concern, we will redirect our attention towards other institutions that are financing the pipeline.
Please pass this communication along to those in your institution who are ultimately responsible for this decision. We believe that you understand the severity of the climate crisis, and that you possess the will to do the environmentally and socially responsible thing in this situation.
Concerned citizens of New York City
Saturday, March 23 – Huge Nonviolent Direct Action Training in San Francisco With Idle No More
A huge crowd gathered outside the Federal Building in San Francisco for nonviolent direct action training and to rally to stop Keystone XL. The event organized by Idle No More, Bay Area 350.org, and Rising Tide S.F. was facilitated by expert trainers and included a mock mock takeover of the SF Federal Building.
See more photos here.
Saturday, March 23 – Activists Close Off Another TD Bank Branch in DC
Protestors with the group Climate First! marched through the streets of DC and where followed by the DC police department before arriving at another TD Bank branch. Several police officers closed the bank doors and guarded it closely as protestors used caution tape to close the area while they chanted and passed out literature. Read more on DC indy media and see more photos here.
Watch their video recap: