Major celebrities add their support to Defend Our Coast mass sit-in

Feature story - October 16, 2012
Well known entertainers from Canada and the United States, including Mark Ruffalo, Daryl Hannah, Michael Moore, Ellen Page, Pamela Anderson, Peter Keleghan and Tantoo Cardinal have added their names to the growing number of supporters of the Defend Our Coast mass sit-in on October 22nd in Victoria, B.C. to oppose tar sands pipelines and tankers on Canada’s west coast.

Image of Daryl Hannah courtesy of Idanha Films

 

"There is a spirited resistance to the southern leg Keystone XL tar sands pipeline from ranchers, farmers and land owners all the way along its ruinous route, just as there has been through every state on the proposed northern KXL route. We stand in solidarity with our northern neighbours who are gathering in Victoria to defend the coast and wisely oppose the equally toxic and destructive threat that is the Enbridge Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan tar sands pipelines. With these exponentially growing movements, the true spirit of the greater good will prevail," said actress Daryl Hannah (Kill Bill, Blade Runner), who was arrested in Texas on October 4 for blockading the current construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

More than 3,500 people have signed an online pledge to take action in the Defend Our Coast sit-in on the front lawn of the B.C. legislature. Many of those signatories may risk arrest to convey a message to Prime Minister Harper and B.C. premier Christy Clark that Canada’s coast is not for sale and to signal a very clear ‘no’ to tar sands pipelines and tankers on the west coast.

“Tar sands pipelines are an exercise in folly. As the world inevitably transitions away from fossil fuels, a small group of corporate radicals is dead set on accelerating climate change in the biggest land grab and property rights infringement in history,” said actor Mark Ruffalo (The Avengers, The Kids Are All Right). “Real energy independence would be moving ourselves to wind, water and sun and get rid of the toxic, outdated and antiquated fossil fuel paradigm that continues to trample First Nation and land owner rights and destroy fresh water, fresh air and farm land.”

"The B.C. and federal governments continue to ignore the thousands of British Columbians and people from across Canada who are saying no to the tar sands. I fully support everyone who is gathering in Victoria on October 22 to defend Canada’s west coast from tar sands pipelines and tankers,” said 18 to Life actor and comedian Peter Keleghan. “Why is it that we have developed the technology to get oil from tar sands bitumen, while we side-line and underfund real clean energy solutions? The answer is because large corporations, like Enbridge and Kinder Morgan, are making short term, strictly financial decisions at the expense of our future and our nation's energy sustainability."

The Defend Our Coast sit-in builds on the success of protests against tar sands expansion and pipelines in the U.S. and Canada last fall. The August 2011 sit-ins in Washington, D.C. helped delay approval of the Keystone XL pipeline while the September 26, 2011 sit-in in Ottawa helped put Canadian tar sands pipeline proposals in the national spotlight.

“There's a reason Americans call Stephen Harper 'Bush of the North' -- he's a totally owned subsidiary of big oil, and is trying to import all of the worst things about the U.S. and get rid of all the best things about Canada,” said Academy Award winning director Michael Moore. “President Obama listened to the voices of the people who protested in Washington D.C., and said no to the Keystone XL pipeline. Now's the time for Canadians to do the same in Victoria on October 22, and force Stephen Harper and B.C. premier Christy Clark to listen to someone other than their oil company donors. Tar sands pipelines are not a pathway to Canada's future or America's future or any future. They’re a dead end."

“It is time for the Harper government to do the right thing. I feel so grateful to be from Canada and hope that the leaders who have the power to take a stand will change their current direction and build a sustainable future,” said Oscar nominee Ellen Page (Juno, Inception). “We cannot continue to destroy our environment, to hurt First Nation communities and support the fossil fuel industry. Alternative technology is available and Canada should have the courage to lead the way in creating a sustainable and peaceful future.”

“I’m supporting the hundreds of people who will come together in Victoria, B.C. on October 22 to demand that our provincial and federal governments start working toward a green energy future that respects First Nations right to free, prior and informed consent and promotes the health of the environment and our communities,” said First Nations actress Tantoo Cardinal (Legends of the Fall, Dances With Wolves), who attended the September 26 sit-in last year in Ottawa.

"I am frustrated, though unsurprised, that the tar sands industries continue to accelerate us toward the proverbial brick wall. When it comes to resource management, I worry that in my lifetime, Canada has transformed from an internationally respected environmental leader to the likes of an addict pawning their grandmother's television for one last hit. I fear that tar sands culture and the government at large have traded fact-based science for blind market ideology," said Juno award winner Dan Mangan.

Mia Kirshner (The Vampire Diaries, The L Word, The Black Dahlia), Amanda Tapping (Stargate SGI) and Mackenzie Phillips (American Graffiti) have also added their names in support of the sit-in.

To participate in the October 22 sit-in in Victoria or to take action in communities throughout B.C. on October 24, sign up here.