Thousands Say No to Tar Sands Pipeline
Monday, 07 November 2011

Taino activists among the thousands protesting the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in D.C on Sunday.
Washington, D.C. (UCTP Taino News) - On Sunday Nov. 6, more than more than 12,000 activists of diverse backgrounds from across the United States and Canada gathered at the White House to call on President Obama to stop the TransCanada Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Following a well-attended rally in Lafayette Square, attendees formed a giant human chain several people deep completely encircling the White House. Among the protesters present, were delegations of Indigenous Peoples from throughout the U.S., Canada and beyond.

Tantoo Cardinal (Cree/Métis), one of Canada’s most recognized actors stated, “It’s not simply poetic to say the earth is alive. I was raised in the Fort McMurray area, the heart of these current tar sands projects. We, all of us, are protectors of the land and water. If you were to see with your own eyes the incredible destruction of our ecosystem, I believe you’d understand that blind greed is destroying our land, water, and way of life. This is why President Obama has the moral imperative to say no to the Keystone XL Pipeline.”

Vanessa Inarunikia Pastrana, a delegate for the United Confederation of Taíno People attended the demonstration in solidarity. The Confederation was a signatory to the Mother Earth Accord, a declaration issued by indigenous Tribal governments and organizations in opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline.”

Pastrana was there to also raise awareness about the similarity between the Tar Sands project and the Via Verde project. Also known as the "Gasoducto", Via Verde or the "Green Way" is a gas pipeline project proposed in Boriken (Puerto Rico). She traveled to the D.C. action along with three bus loads of activists from New York City organized by “NY Contra el Gasoducto”.

"As an indigenous Taíno woman and as a human being, it is my responsibility to speak out against this assault on Mother Earth” said Pastrana. “We need to stop this madness – we need to stop the “tubo del muerto (pipeline of death)” in Boriken - we need to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline for the sake of our present and future generations”.

Opponents have stressed that tar sands production produces three times the greenhouse gas emissions of conventional oil. NASA climate scientist James Hansen has said that if the tar sands are fully developed, it will be “essentially game over” for the climate.

President Obama acknowledged last week that he will make the final decision on the controversial pipeline before year’s end.

UCTPTN 11.07.2011
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