The occupation began at about 5 a.m. Saturday when 19 activists from Canada, France, Brazil, Sweden and Australia moved on to the property in the heart of what many affected land owners call "cancer alley" to occupy four structures and continue exposing the climate crimes of the production of dirty, dangerous and destructive oil from the tar sands.
Police arrested the last nine activists at 5 a.m. this morning. In all, 16 activists were taken into custody. Charges may include breaking and entering, trespass and mischief. At the time of this release, all remained in custody.
"This was another successful action to highlight the climate crimes of the tar sands," said Mike Hudema, Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner. "The addiction to oil that is fueling tar sands development is leading to climate chaos. Already, hundreds of thousands of people are dying every year because of climate change. We have sent a message to world leaders that it is time to stop the destructive energy path of the tar sands and develop a clean energy future."
The Shell upgrader action was the third by Greenpeace in Alberta over the past few weeks to expose tar sands climate crimes. The Shell upgrader produces dirty oil from tar sands bitumen through an energy-intensive process. The climate crimes of the tar sands will get worse as plans to increase production will boost greenhouse gas emissions to 140 million tonnes a year, about the current level of Belgium, a nation of 10 million people.
"It's troubling that the Premier is fine with international oil companies telling him what to do but won't listen to the voices of citizens from those countries," said Hudema. "The Premier and world leaders need to listen to climate science and make the deep emission cuts our world needs or the doom us all to a climate crisis. We need climate leaders not more dirty oil politicians."
In December, the most important climate negotiations ever will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark. At this United Nations Climate Summit, world leaders must agree to urgent measures to prevent climate chaos. The continued development of the tar sands undermines international climate action.
Through its KYOTOplus campaign, Greenpeace Canada is working to convince the Harper government to become a leader at the United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen.
High res photos and video of the Shell occupation are at gallery.greenpeace.ca
For further information:
Brian Blomme, Greenpeace communications coordinator, (416) 930-9055
Mike Hudema, Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner, (780) 504-5601