Pacific Island Represent activists in Fiji ‘flood’ beach to protest Citibank’s funding of deadly tar sands pipelines in Canada
SUVA, July 7, 2018 - More than 50 Pacific Island Represent activists have staged a spectacular demonstration in the Fijian capital that saw black tee shirt-clad protesters swarm across shores and into the ocean to replicate an oil spill.
Citi is among 12 global banks identified by Greenpeace which continue to have ties to toxic tar sands projects and pipeline companies like Energy Transfer Partners, the company that built the highly controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.
“As the Indigenous People of the Pacific we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters across the sea who are bravely resisting the unwanted advances of the tar sands oil industry,” Pacific Island Represent activist Litia Baleilevuka said.
“There is no safe way to transport this toxic oil that needs to stay in the ground to give the world a fighting chance of survival. This project will disrupt the lives of First Nations people, pollute their water and lead to the destruction of the environment and marine life and we are not even talking about an oil spill.”
The Trans Mountain Expansion project is a 1,150 km pipeline that will transport tar sands from Alberta to the coast of British Columbia. The pipeline would increase the amount of crude oil carried from the current 300,000 barrels per day, to 890,000 barrels per day and dramatically increase tanker traffic along the west coast of North America.
The pipeline would require 400 tankers a year to travel through the Salish Sea. A spill of this heavy, highly toxic tar sands oil in those waters would permanently damage coastal communities and wildlife, placing the remaining 75 endangered southern resident orcas in the Puget Sound at risk of extinction.
The project would also enable a huge expansion of tar sands extraction, with the Trans Mountain Expansion alone unlocking the climate impacts of 2.7 million cars every year.