PRESS RELEASE: Greenpeace activists drop banner, occupy Canadian High Commission in U.K.

British and Canadian activists, including the B.C. woman who scaled the EU’s tallest building in 2013 to protest Arctic oil drilling, are on the scene. Photos are available at the link below. B-roll and video sound bites will be added shortly.  [1]

18 April 2018 (LONDON, U.K.) — The Kinder Morgan controversy followed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Europe today, as Greenpeace activists occupied the Canadian High Commission in London’s Trafalgar Square, rebranding it “Crudeau Oil HQ” in protest of his plans to build massive oil pipelines that will expand operations in the Alberta tar sands. 

Beginning at 6:00 am in London, Canadian and British activists alike began the ongoing action this morning. Climbers scaled two entrance pillars at the High Commission (known as Canada House) and dropped banners reading, “Crudeau Oil HQ.” Meanwhile, 30 activists dressed as oil workers constructed a 30-metre long oil pipeline that runs from the main entrance of Canada House to the consular entrance on Cockspur Street — a cardboard, hard-hatted cut-out of Trudeau standing in attendance while the real Justin Trudeau passed by[2]. The pipeline is branded “Crudeau Oil.”

Victoria Henry, a Canadian volunteer who joined the Greenpeace UK action and dropped one of the banners, said:  “I’m ashamed that a rich, developed and environmentally aware country like Canada is considering such a destructive and short-sighted project. How can we expect other nations to take climate change seriously when we’re treating our own lands, rivers and climate with so little respect? Trudeau’s idea of climate leadership looks like Trump with a better haircut. It’s a national humiliation.”

Sara Ayech, Greenpeace UK oil campaigner, said:  “Tar sands are the dirtiest oil on the planet. Building this pipeline would make a joke out of Trudeau’s claimed climate leadership. Trudeau risks Canada’s rivers, coast and wildlife while steamrolling an international climate agreement and threatening the livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples.”

The activists are intending to stay in place for as long as possible. As this unfolds, Trudeau is set to join New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a town hall with British youth this morning. Today’s events place him in stark contrast to Ardern, who has been lauded for her government’s historic ban of new offshore oil drilling, while Trudeau made international headlines this week for his consideration of bailing out thecontroversial pipeline being built by Kinder Morgan[3] after the company issued an ultimatum[4] on issues facing its beleaguered pipeline.

Following a discussion on climate change with small island states, Trudeau will meet with officials in the U.K. and attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting this week.

Keith Stewart, Senior Energy Strategist at Greenpeace Canada, said: “Actions speak louder than words, and Greenpeace is on the streets of London today to tell Prime Minister Trudeau that he can’t hide aggressively pro-pipeline policies behind a selfie stick and mere promises to fight climate change. If Trudeau truly wants to be the climate leader that the world needs him to be, then he must say ‘no’ to Kinder Morgan’s ultimatum and ‘yes’ to a clean energy future that protects clean water, the climate and Indigenous rights.”

About 200 people[5] have now been arrested protesting the Kinder Morgan pipeline; thousands more have pledged to do whatever it takes to stop it.

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Visual and Links:

Photos are available at the links below (b-roll and video sound bites will be added shortly): https://media.greenpeace.org/collection/27MZIFJXJYYAA[6]

https://media.greenpeace.org/shoot/27MZIFJXJZMTC

Video of Trudeau leaving Canada House, passing protesters:
https://media.greenpeace.org/archive/Crudeau-Oil-Action-in-London-27MZIFJXTGEYZ.html[7]

For more information and to book interviews:

Jesse Firempong, Communications Officer, Greenpeace Canada, 778-996-6549, [email protected][8]

(Before 9:00 AM EDT) Graham Thompson, Communications Officer, Greenpeace UK: +44-(0)-7801-212-960

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