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Tar Sands Protester Abducted in Waterloo, Held Hostage for Over 2 Hours.

by Dan Kellar

Tar Sands Protester Abducted in Waterloo, Held Hostage for Over 2 Hours.
Tar Sands Protester Abducted in Waterloo, Held Hostage for Over 2 Hours.
Tar Sands Protester Abducted in Waterloo, Held Hostage for Over 2 Hours.

The Waterloo Police chose to protect the corporate interests of the Royal Bank of Canada and arrested a peaceful protester after he dropped 2 banners from an uptown branch of the RBC. Indigenous Rights activist, Mark Corbiere, 25, who lives in Kitchener (on the Haldimand Tract), was arrested and charged with mischief under $5000 for his part in dropping two banners which read “Boycott RBC” and “Create a Better Canada, Stop the Tar Sands” respectively. The Royal Bank is the most prominent financier of the tar sands industrial project which is devastating the heart of the boreal forest in central Canada.

As the banners dropped a loose network of citizens, under the name People for Climate Justice, unfurled another banner which read “What Have You Created RBC” with a skull and cross bones over a map of Alberta, with the tar sands highlighted in red.  This banner was at the doors of the RBC and the group started to speak to those assembled in the nearby public square.   While revealing facts about the tar sands with a megaphone, the climate justice advocates urged RBC customers to withdrawal their support for the tar sands by closing their accounts with the RBC.

Event organizer Sterling Stutz charged that “The tar sands are one of the most atrocious industrial projects ever undertaken. From the associated environmental damage, to abuses of the rights of the Indigenous people in the surrounding areas and downstream of the tar sands - This project highlights Canada’s shame!”

This message reached a few customers who left the RBC without completing their transactions, and took time to speak with those bringing out these truths.  Many passersby showed support or stopped to chat with the well informed group about RBC, tar sands, climate change, and stolen land.  An unidentified women from Alberta spoke of the toxification of the water sources in the areas around and downstream of the tar sands.  She also relayed “I don’t want to be in the sort of world that needs duck rakers!” referring to the crews of workers who rake the dead ducks from the mining operations tailings ponds’ each night.

Counter to their negotiated claims (as a manager from the RBC branch apparently vetoed them); the police arrested Corbiere and violently stole him away from his allies, they also took the banners as “evidence.”  While a crowd of people were waiting for Mr. Corbiere to be released by his captures, 5 police approached them, took their pictures and threatened to arrest them if they did not take their banner off the police station.  The police also indicated that the peaceful presence of Corbiere’s allies in the public park near the police station was causing them to “take longer” as they had to “deal with” the group.  This mirrors what the arresting officer threatened when Mr. Corbiere was first arrested.

13 Canadian cities had events marking the day and while this was Fossil Fools day, Stutz offered that “This is not a joke, the tar sands developments are killing people, poisoning ecosystems and destroying cultures.  They eliminate the possibilities of clean water and air for future generations and will enshrine Canada’s place as a perpetrator of violence against this planet!”   

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Dan Kellar (Dan Kellar)
Member since Juillet 2009


friendly neighbourhood anarchist, rad dad, land defence enthusiast, decolonial digger, radio pirate, indy journalist, systems geographer.

529 words


This article is poorly

This article is poorly written, there are multiple grammatical errors and spelling errors.  Also, it is extremely biased both in terms of the information provided but also in the way it is presented and the language that is used.

I hope that the people that

I hope that the people that the author of this article referred to as "well informed" were better educated about the issues surrounding the tar sands, than the author was educated on how to read and write.  Dan Kellar needs hooked on phonics

 How can anybody actually be

 How can anybody actually be concerned about "violence against the planet?"  This is one of the silliest assertions I have ever heard.  The planet is perfectly fine and isn't going anywhere... WE ARE!!!!  The planet has been through far worse things than the extraction of fossil fuels from the tar sands.  The earth has been through earthquakes, solar flares, volcanoes, tidal waves, ice ages, global warming, the magnetic reversal of the poles.  The planet is doing just fine, its the people that are screwed.  The earth will shake us off like a bad case of the fleas.

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