You are hereBlogs / WcP.Observer's blog / Oilsands protest goes Hollywood;Margot Kidder plays Earth Mother for real, expects to be arrested as some are already handcuffed

Oilsands protest goes Hollywood;Margot Kidder plays Earth Mother for real, expects to be arrested as some are already handcuffed

By WcP.Observer - Posted on 22 August 2011

demonstrations have been taking place outside the White House against tar sand pipeline from Canada to US

US Park Police officer handcuffs and arrests a protestor over a proposed pipeline to bring tar sands oil to the US from Canada

Margot Kidder expects to be arrested in a tar sands protest in Washington

US Park Police officers handcuff and arrest protestors over a proposed pipeline to bring tar sands oil from Canada, in front of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011


More arrests on second day of oil pipeline protests
A Toronto woman was among those arrested on the second day of a mass protest held outside the White House to denounce a planned pipeline that would transport Canadian oil from Alberta to Texas. Dozens of protesters were removed by U.S. Park Police on Sunday for failing to obey orders governing demonstrations on the grounds of the White House.

Patricia Warwick, 68, of Toronto, and a 65-year-old woman from Massachusetts were arrested shortly before noon and by the end of the day about 50 people had been detained. U.S. Park Police Sgt. David Schlosser said late Sunday everyone arrested was later released.

On Saturday, police arrested 50 demonstrators during the first day in a two-week series of sit-ins to denounce the proposed pipeline that would transport crude from Alberta's oilsands to a refinery in Texas. According to Schlosser, activists jailed Saturday will likely be released late Monday. A number of reasons could account for the delay, he said, including previous arrests or inadequate identification.

The demonstration, which is expected to run until Sept. 3, comes as the U.S. State Department prepares to release its final environmental analysis of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline. The State Department is tasked with making a decision on the pipeline because it crosses an international border. After it produces its assessment, President Barack Obama will have 90 days to determine whether approving the $7 billion pipeline is in his country's national interest.

Jane Kleeb, an environmental activist, told CTV News Channel on Sunday that when the protestors first started demonstrating they believed they had a five per cent chance of convincing the government that the project should be nixed. But Kleeb said she is now more optimistic that their efforts may prove successful. "We know how powerful big oil is in the States and in Canada, but there has been very sustained community and grassroots donors who are really pushing back on this and I think we have a 50/50 shot," she said. "We're telling Obama that we are serious and there is a serious risk facing our communities."

Environmentalists have condemned the Alberta oilsands, accusing them of being the world's biggest emitter of carbon and responsible for so-called "dirty" oil. Alberta Environment spokesperson Mark Cooper has brushed off the suggestions that the oilsands emit excessive amounts of carbon, accusing the coal industry of being far dirtier. In 2009, a single coal plant in China produced roughly the same greenhouse gas emissions as the entire oilsands industry, he said on Saturday.

Kleeb said many people in Nebraska, one of the states the pipeline would snake through, are concerned about their drinking water if the pipeline were to leak oil.

She said the activists would rather see a shift in energy sources. "We want to see more sustainable energy," she said. "We think that will bring long-term economic benefits instead of a short-term gain."

Sit-in organizers said Sunday they expect more protesters to join them on Monday, including a group of farmers and ranchers from Nebraska. On Sunday, protesters included a group of doctors from Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Dozens arrested outside White House during oil sands protest
A Canadian woman was among as many as 50 environmentalists handcuffed and taken to jail Sunday on the second day of peaceful White House protests against TransCanada Corp.’s controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

Fifty protesters are already in a downtown D.C. jail following their arrests outside the White House on Saturday, the opening day of a two-week civil disobedience campaign. They’re expected to be released Monday night.

By noon on a steamy Sunday, police began arresting more demonstrators, including 68-year-old Patricia Warwick of Toronto. A 65-year-old woman from Massachusetts who’s celebrating her birthday was also led away in handcuffs from a stretch of sidewalk outside the White House.

The activists are facing charges of failing to obey an order governing protests on the sidewalk, said an official with the U.S. Park Police. The protesters were asked to move and when they refused, they were arrested and taken to the central cell block of the city’s police department.

Officials for Tars Sands Action, the group that has organized the two-week campaign, say police originally assured them protesters would be released after being warned. Instead, they have been charged and held in jail for two nights. "We’ve been told now that they’re doing it as a deterrent," spokesman Daniel Kessler said. The Martin Luther King Jr. memorial is going to be unveiled on the National Mall on Saturday, and police want to get the message across that they don’t want the Keystone protest to mar those festivities, he said. "Which is ironic because these are peaceful demonstrations, and exactly the type of protests that Martin Luther King advocated," he said.

President Barack Obama will decide by the end of the year whether to allow Calgary-based TransCanada to build the controversial, $7-billion (U.S.) pipeline. It would transport millions of barrels of Alberta oil sands crude a week through the American heartland and to Gulf Coast refineries.

Opponents say Keystone is an environmental disaster waiting to happen, pointing to a number of recent spills along pipelines. They also oppose Alberta’s oil sands due to their high greenhouse gas emissions.

One Canadian at the protest on Sunday said she hoped the event would draw further attention to the pipeline controversy in the United States. "I definitely feel like this is a moment where we can highlight this issue in the general public, in particular in the U.S.," said Heather Milton Lightening, who’s part of a group called the Indigenous Environmental Network. She added the Keystone XL would traverse "a huge amount of land. There are many sacred sites it’s going to pass through.. The tar sands don’t make sense, but the pipelines make even less sense."

People from across the United States participated in Sunday’s event, including a group of doctors from Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility. They wore white lab coats as they stood at a White House gate and awaited arrest. Mr. Obama hasn’t been in Washington to take in the protests; he’s vacationing with his family in Martha’s Vineyard.

Keystone XL has become a lightning rod for the U.S. environmental movement in the wake of failed climate change legislation once passionately promoted by the president. Several opponents of the project, including jailed U.S. environmentalist Bill McKibben, have pointed out that the pipeline decision is one of few the president can make that does not require congressional involvement.

Oilsands protest goes Hollywood
WASHINGTON - With the U.S. State Department expected to release within days its final environmental analysis of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, environmentalists are cranking up their protest efforts by employing some Hollywood star power.

Mark Ruffalo, the Oscar-nominated actor, is the latest Hollywood figure to get involved in organized opposition to Alberta’s oilsands, asking people to participate in a series of sit-ins outside the White House that begin on today and continue to Sept. 3. Organizers say some 1,500 people have signed up to participate in the protests.

Ruffalo won’t be at the White House today, but "is likely to join some time in the following two weeks," a spokesman for Tar Sands Action, the environmental group behind the protests, said Friday.

In a YouTube clip posted earlier this week, Ruffalo calls on Americans to "put your principles into action." "Up north where the tarsands are located, native people’s homelands have already been wrecked," says Ruffalo, who has also opposed "fracking," a controversial process for extracting natural gas, in upper New York state, where he has a home.

Bill McKibben, a journalist and environmentalist who writes about climate change issues, is among those who will court arrest today. He described the next two weeks as "the biggest organized civil disobedience protests of the climate change movement."

"We’ve got people coming to get arrested from all 50 states," McKibben said in an interview Friday. That includes Margot Kidder, the Canadian-born actress who’s now an American citizen living in Montana. Kidder will travel to D.C. with three other Montana women, all of whom describe themselves as concerned grandmothers, early next week.

In a recent interview, Kidder didn’t have much good to say about the environmental record of her native land, alleging there are few regulatory standards in Canada. "One of the real horrific results of letting this happen is that we’re going to quadruple and quadruple again the output of the tarsands in Alberta because there is basically no governmental control, environmentally, in Canada over the oil and gas industry, far less than there is here," Kidder said in an interview this week with the Livingston Weekly, an alternative Montana newspaper.

Ruffalo and Kidder aren’t the first to lend their celebrity to the movement. Danny Glover will also participate in the protests, while "Avatar" director James Cameron even visited Alberta last year to tour oilsands facilities and nearby communities.

The goal of the sit-ins is to convince the Obama administration to snuff out TransCanada Corp.’s $7-billion proposal to build a pipeline that would carry millions of barrels of oilsands crude weekly through the American heartland and to a Gulf Coast refinery in Texas.

Margot Kidder marches on Washington
Margot Kidder became Hollywood’s most famous Canadian by playing Lois Lane in four Superman movies. But later, when she was orchestrating a comeback after a series of disasters, she took on a gig doing the voice of a character named Earth Mother in the cartoon show Captain Planet.

Among the lines she delivered: "Hold on, Planeteer, I hate to interrupt your eco-argument, but there’s a nuclear waste spill on the ocean."

Next week Kidder will be playing Earth Mother for real - doing whatever it takes to get herself arrested in front of the White House while trying to persuade Barack Obama not to sign a deal allowing a new pipeline carrying oil from the Alberta tar sands to Texas. One of her partners in crime is another celebrated Canadian-born actress and dear old friend, Tantoo Cardinal, an Aboriginal from northern Alberta.

Theirs will be only two faces among the thousands taking part in a large-scale protest, but they will bring a bit of showbiz glitter to the event while showing there are Canadians as well as Americans appalled by the horrifying danger of spreading poison from Alberta all over North America. (A number of other prominent Canadians are also involved in the protest, including Naomi Klein.)

"This is not just about oil," Kidder explained this week in a phone interview from her home in Montana. "It’s about climate change and irreversible damage to the environment."

These days, at 62, Kidder works occasionally, doing such acting gigs as her appearance a year ago at Toronto’s Panasonic Theatre in Nora Ephron’s Love, Loss and What I Wore. But most of the time, she lives quietly, simply and happily in Montana, close to her daughter and grandchildren. Being at the centre of the Hollywood circus may be a distant memory, but Kidder still has the ebullient spirit, charmingly goofy smile and twangy voice that made her a popular favourite.

Her old friend Norman Jewison, who cast her in her first Hollywood movie in the 1960s, recalls that even back then, "she was a woman of causes, passionate and not afraid to stand her ground."

"Tantoo and I are both northern Canadian babies who believe that the North is a beautiful place worth saving. The tar sands have caused a lot of damage already in Alberta, where a lot of people have a weird new kind of cancer. The kind of oil being extracted is thick and corrosive, like molasses, and it has to be pumped at a high heat, emitting poisonous carbon."

There is already one pipeline running from Alberta to Texas, and there have been disturbing leaks. According to Kidder, the proposed new pipeline would destroy the freshwater rivers and other natural wonders of Montana, because it’s bound to leak.

"We already have experts who warn that if the tar sands industry is allowed to expand and build another pipeline, the damages will be irreversible and the long-term consequences horrendous,” warns Kidder. "In fact this is the most serious climate changer we have on the planet."

As for Canada, she laments: "Stephen Harper is more interested in short-term profit than long-term consequences. But I have two beautiful grandchildren, and I would like them to live on a beautiful planet."


Images courtesy of Tara Walton / Toronto Star and Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press

Contact Us

Contact Us

RSS feed

Subscribe to WcP Blog RSS feed


WcP Blog on Twitter


WcP Blog on Facebook

Custom Search

Archive Calendar

November 2020

Random image

ThinkAhead™ Calendar "To a Greener Earth" 200901-200912 (#01)


Search the Web

Custom Search

Featured Videos

Latest Quote

"We come from the earth.
We return to the earth.
And in between we garden."
- Author Unknown

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need."
- Cicero

Recent comments

Reader Reviews

  • "Great culture sharing. This is really important to show all over the world and different cultures and nature to whole world." - Anonymous (January 27, 2019)
  • "This is one of the most incredible blogs I've read in a very long time. The amount of information in here is stunning, like you practically wrote the book on the subject. Your blog is great for anyone who wants to understand this subject more. Great stuff; please keep it up!" - Anonymous (May 29, 2018)
  • "I am just happy to know about your website. It's informative and valuable for me. Thanks for sharing interesting info with us. Keep doing best in future." - Kelvin (May 28, 2018)
  • "Very good and creative website, graphics are wonderful." - Ricky (October 7, 2017)
  • "This is absolutely fantastic photography. I recommended to lovers of photography." - Christina (June 30, 2017)
  • "Your website seems to have precious gemstones on the subject of penning." - Bryce (March 29, 2017)
  • "Your articles are constantly awesome. You compose with exactness and your data is constantly precise. What's more, those two things make an article go from great to awesome! Continue distributing more extraordinary articles." - Ayesha (March 19, 2017)
  • "You are doing an amazing job." - Jake (January 4, 2017)
  • "I am an anthropology student and this site has helped me a lot to know more about the various cultures across the world. This is the reason I visit the site so often. Keep on sharing more and more posts like this. Thank you." - Anonymous (April 3, 2016)
  • "Your site is valuable. Appreciative for sharing! Awe inspiring Blog!" - Anonymous (March 16, 2016)
  • "This blog is the book which has feelings for around their lives. Will you produce intense addons." - Anonymous (January 26, 2016)
  • "Interesting quote. I have gone through different posts in this website. I could see different themed quotes and interesting posts here. I am much impressed with this website. Keep up the good work and keep sharing interesting stuff." - Howard (January 25, 2016)
  • "I was so impressed by it I felt I would reach out to you to say thank you. Great work...that's one great blog you've got there!" - Kayla (January 8, 2016)
  • "This is incredible. Finally something new. I was reading comics the whole time. This is the real fact, which I do not think anyone else has such a well written and updated blog like yours." - Zach (January 7, 2016)
  • "The Superbly defined stuff of reading, you constructed a masterpiece with your magical mind. Your writing skills are simply awesome. Great work!" - Katie (December 28, 2015)
  • "This really shows that you can still find folks that care about the things they post online. I really liked browsing the comments." - Myles (December 23, 2015)
  • "Yes i agree with the above poem that window is the world so far i have come across. Every thing comes from it. You have written in a very poetic way. Looking forward for more poems from this." - Anonymous (December 11, 2015)
  • "Every last tip of your post is incredible. You're really great to share. Keep blogging..." - Anonymous (December 8, 2015)
  • "I always take pleasure in your articles. You have a gift for discussing such stirring topics in ingenious yet amusing ways. Your posts help us realize that our troubles are typical, and we can solve them in ready to lend a hand ways..." - Angela (October 05, 2015)
  • "We all appreciate the power of words you always provide!" - Anonymous (October 05, 2015)
  • "So poetic..." - Anonymous (September 15, 2015)
  • "The method for composing is phenomenal furthermore the substance is first class. A debt of gratitude is in order for that knowledge you give the perusers!" - Anonymous (July 23, 2015)
  • "Your configuration, man...too astonishing! I cant hold up to peruse what you've got next.Thanks for your superb posting!" - Anonymous (July 16, 2015)
  • "I found myself starring at these photos. I cannot believe that I haven't seen them before, taking into account that I am mesmerized by sea and ocean as one can be by forces of nature. Thank you so much for putting them out here, because even though they were posted by such a giant as National Geographic, I still have missed them. Well, “dazed” is the exact word that describes the feeling that I felt when I first set my eyes in these photos." - Anonymous (July 14, 2015)
  • "I will check your different articles without further ado. Continuously so fascinating to visit your site. Thank you for sharing, this will help me such a great amount in my learning." - Anonymous (July 10, 2015)
  • "Extraordinary stuff, just basically astonishing! Keep it up in future. I am truly inspired by this site!" - Anonymous (July 3, 2015)
  • "I was reading your post since 2012 and you are writing so much outstanding ideas I must say you are a talented person." - William (June 29, 2015)
  • "I have never seen such amazing thoughts displayed in composing. Your author has an extremely one of a kind method for exhibiting data so as to catch the peruser's consideration." - Anonymous (June 27, 2015)
  • "Mind boggling posting! I really like the way you are sharing the exceptional tackle this subject." - Anonymous (June 25, 2015)
  • "I unquestionably appreciated all of it and I have you bookmarked your site to look at the new stuff you post in the future." - Anonymous (June 13, 2015)
  • "I was very thrilled to find this website. This is really interesting and I have recommended this site for my friends also. I had a fantastic read from this blog." - Anonymous (June 2, 2015)
  • ""The exposition seeks to discover a haven inside character and communicate gratitude for life during its peaceful and thoughtful vibe." - Micheal (May 19, 2015)
  • "Fantastic Blog! I might want to thank for the efforts you have made in writing this post." - James (May 15, 2015)
  • "You are a good photographer your photography is good you click very nice shots which are very attractive and beautiful keep it up." - Ashlyn (May 5, 2015)
  • "Amazing! Great post! Wonderful pictures and well written article!" - Anonymous (March 10, 2015)
  • "Certainly worthwhile content! This is an excellent reference to spent time and gets authentic observation by reading." - Anonymous (February 12, 2015)
  • "Certainly exceptional blog! It is so wonderful content and acceptable with a clear concept. Thanks much!" - Lisa (January 13, 2015)
  • "Photography is my passion and like to learn something new about it. From your blog i have learned many things and i loved to read it thanks for sharing such a useful post" - Anonymous (January 1, 2015)
  • "Magnificent web blog! This is your superb consideration and appreciate your notion with this matter. Thanks a lot for sharing!" - Lisa (December 20, 2014)
  • "Undoubtedly enjoyed this blog! You set the subject content with exceptional abilities and a bit on the right track." - Lisa (December 17, 2014)
  • "It's an extraordinary joy perusing your post. It's loaded with data I am searching for and I want to post a remark that the substance of your post is wonderful. Thanks! :)" - Lilia (July 31, 2014)
  • "I do not even understand how I finished up right here, but I thought this to be great. I do not recognise who you are however certainly you
    are going to a famous blogger for those who are not already. Cheers!" - Gerald (July 24, 2014)
  • "Your blog is very informative. Also the images in it are beautiful!" - Anonymous (January 8, 2014)
  • "It is tempting to comment because of the amazing content on this blog. I wish I had a blog like this." - Anonymous (December 27, 2013)
  • "Thanks for trying to make the world a better place." - Anonymous (July 16, 2013)
  • "I have added to my favorites. I just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. I believe this really is excellent information. Most of men and women will concur with you and I ought to thank you about it. Thanks for sharing." - Anonymous (May 16, 2013)
  • "This is awesome! Your photos are perfectly taken! It captured the decisive moment. I am a fan already." - Sarah (Apr. 15, 2013)
  • "Can I just say what a relief to obtain a person who truly knows what they're talking about on the web. You certainly know easy methods to bring an issue to light and make it critical. Extra individuals must read this and comprehend this side of the story. I can't believe you're not even more well-liked considering that you absolutely have the gift." - Anonymous (Jan. 23, 2013)
  • "I wish to show my thanks to the creator of this blog. Keep contributing a good concepts and strategies. Many people will surely improve their skills by reading blogs like this." - Anonymous (Dec. 25, 2012)
  • "I really like your style but mostly your initiative. The world needs more writers like yourself." - Steve (Jan. 18, 2012)
  • "It must be very rewarding to have a long term project like this and too see the progress being made! Thanks for sharing it." - Mika (Jan. 18, 2012)
  • "This was a very eye opening video. It's made an impact on me. We're so unaware of the things that we do every day can destroy our ecosystem. The statistics are mind blogging especially the fact that 90% of big fish are gone. We need to stop this somehow. I'm going to spread this page to my mutual friends. Thanks for this." - Joseph (Jan. 15, 2012)
  • "I enjoy this blog a lot." - Liz (California, USA; Oct. 17, 2011)
  • "Keep up the good work you're doing." - Casper (Melbourne, Australia)
  • "Thanks for sharing some great content through your blog. It has been a sincere pleasure to read." - Anonymous
  • "Always fresh and fascinating." - Anonymous
  • "Cool bio[mission statement]." - Darin (California, USA)
  • "You have some beautiful images. Love your site!" - Susan (Washington DC, USA)
  • "I love your Blog." - Kate (Ireland)
  • "A great site highlighting many important issues." - Bob (New Zealand; Feb. 20, 2010)
  • "Love the images on this blog..there are some interesting articles about health I noticed...we tend to run a 50/50 risk of a heart attack...I noticed when in the USA recently everyone seemed huge..they ate massive meals...I reckon that is one cause of heart failure...just my opinion..but yeah these articles can be worrying to some folk so just heed the advice...I know I will." - Mick (The Sunshine Coast, Australia; Aug 29, 2009)
  • "Excellent blog." - Bill (Vancouver Island, Canada)
  • "Fantastic blog and educational articles, much enjoy visiting...Thank you!" - Lotus1150 (Alberta, Canada; Aug 28, 2009)
  • "Great site and awesome photos." - David (Washington DC, USA)
  • "I loved your website. Even finding some news about Turkey made me surprised." - Anonymous (Turkey)
  • "Gorgeous site ... the kind of place you could lose yourself for hours (suppose that was intentional?). Also, cartoons, commentary on the events of the times, etc. Great stuff." - Daniel (Nevada, USA; Jan. 03, 2009)
  • "...may your blog, ideas and efforts help many more people." - Anonymous (New Mexico, USA)
  • "Very cool site..." - Anonymous
  • "Amazing site, worth the visit every time... enjoy." - Sam (Saudi Arabia)
  • "Easy to read and well-designed." - Colin (Arizona, USA; Apr. 22, 2009)
  • "Unique mix of news, photos and poetry." - Frasier (Virginia, USA)
  • " is an extremely interesting collection of news articles. It calls itself "A Window On the World". The site contains a wide variety of topics, all very informative and pertinent to life in today's world." - Cynthia (Massachusetts, USA; Aug. 07 2008)
  • "Wow. Cool." - Christopher (Melbourne, Australia; Dec. 10 2008)
  • "An interesting way to check out the wonders of our world." - Anthony (Ohio, USA)
  • "Nice site, especially the rss icon." - Daniel (California, USA; Sep 10, 2008)
  • "Good blog - Everything from news to photography. Very informative." - "explicitmemory" (Texas, USA)
  • "Very informative site by prose and picture..." - Jeff (Michigan, USA)

AdSense unconfigured block. Click to configure.