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Human Oil Spill Slickens the Streets of Downtown Montreal

Climate Justice organizers mark 1 year anniversary of BP oil spill targetting Enbridge Trailbreaker Pipeline Project

by Kevin SuttonCameron Fenton

Tar Sands dragon rears its head
Tar Sands dragon rears its head
Warning Signs
Warning Signs
The Tar Sands Dragon attacking people
The Tar Sands Dragon attacking people
Trying to greenwash...
Trying to greenwash...

Montreal - Around 50 people braved sub-zero temperatures and pouring rain as a lively torrent of 'human oil' rushed through downtown streets today, forcing wildlife and residents to flee for their survival and Enbridge workers to scramble to save their public image.  The large-scale street performance, organized by Climate Justice Montreal, dramatized the hidden dangers of pipeline construction and dirty oil extraction.  

The pipeline breach occured at approximately 12:30 pm at the corner of Sherbrooke and McGill College.  A sea of human beings dressed in black garbage bags and covered in sticky crude rushed southwards crying chants of "This Bullshit, Get Off It, Planet Over Profit" and "D-I-R-T-Y Enbridge Got No Alibi, They're Pipeline's are DIRTY!"  As the crowd moved on, the spill only gained in intensity.

A PR team in Enbridge outfits rushed ahead of the torrent trying to downplay the dangers of the oncoming tide with statements such as "there is nothing to worry about here," "Enbridge has only the highest standards in safety monitoring and control," and "please return to your energy-intensive lifestyles."  This time, Enbridge's campaign of greenwashing could not keep the human and environmental costs of their pipelines out of the public eye.

In fact, organizers brought attention to Enbridge's track-record of failing to protect the environment and ensure the safety of communities.  "Just last year, an Enbridge pipeline spilled 20,000 barrels of oil into rivers in Michigan. We don't want that to happen here," said Robin Reid Fraser, a member of Climate Justice Montreal.  The group is targeting Canadian energy giant Enbridge in opposition to its proposed Trailbreaker pipeline project which plans to bring 200,000 barrels/day of Alberta tar sands crude through Montreal. 

The action coincided with creative demonstrations and performances in over 20 cities in 4 continents to mark the anniversary of 2010's BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.  "From Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico, oil extraction is making people sick, polluting the air and water, and fueling climate change," said Dru Oja Jay, another member of Climate Justice Montreal.

 Ultimately, the group is seeking to highlight extraction as the root of climate change and oil spills.  "If we leave it in the ground, it doesn't get in the air, it doesn't pollute the water, and it doesn't contribute to catastrophic climate change," added Frasier.

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