July 28, 2009
Indigenous Rights Activists Call for Justice
During rush-hour commute this morning, two Indigenous Canadian women-- Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, and Heather Milton-Lightening -- scaled Flag poles in front of the main entrance of Royal Bank of Canada's (RBC's) headquarters in Toronto, dropping a banner reading "Please Help Us Mrs. Nixon.com". On the streets below, they were joined by dozens of activists, swarming entrances to ensure every RBC employee heard our appeal that Mrs. Janet Nixon, the wife of RBC CEO Gordon Nixon, to lend her strong and influential voice to those fighting to protect Canada's clean water, and respect Indigenous rights by pushing RBC to phase out its massive investments in Alberta tar sands projects. Activists handed out flyers, held banners, and even circled the building on bikes with "Please Help Us Mrs. Nixon.com" flags.
RBC is the ATM of the Tar Sands. They are a leading investor in what has been called the "dirtiest project on Earth" by many environmental activists, who also argue that it's one of the greatest social and ecological injustices of our time. Unless they're stopped by grassroots pressure, oil companies will transform a boreal forest the size of Florida into an industrial sacrifice zone -- complete with lakes full of toxic waste that are so big that you can see them from outer space. Tar sands projects poison indigenous Canadian communities, pollute precious water resources, kill wildlife, and are the single biggest contributor to global warming from Canada.
At the same time as the banner was being unfurled, thousands of RAN supporters and allies began emailing a video to key RBC executives. The video showed Rainforest Action Network's (RAN) Michael Brune appeals to Mrs. Nixon to help RBC offer leadership by withdrawing its funding for the tar sands.
(If you haven't participated in this online action yet, it's not too late! Click here to view the video and email it to RBC executives.)
You can also view the video on YouTube (be sure to go to PleaseHelpUsMrsNixon.com and take action when you're done watching):
To see more on this action, visit: http://itsgettinghotinhere.org/