Our most important fundraising drive of the year is now underway. After you're done reading, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to ensure that In These Times can continue publishing in the year ahead.
You’ve heard of TransCanada, the Canadian oil giant that plans to build the Keystone XL pipeline. But do you know about its doppelgänger, SaveCanada?
Beginning in late August, people who appeared to be PR representatives for TransCanada, save for the “SaveCanada” insignia on their shirts, began showing up at the company’s public events in force. The look-alikes are activists aiming to expose the risks of TransCanada’s latest project, the Energy East Pipeline. The proposed pipeline, which the company announced in August, would transport more than one million barrels of tar sands oil per day from Alberta and Saskatchewan to Eastern Canada for export.
The protest is the brainchild of the Yes Men, the anti-corporate pranksters responsible for the satirical petition that called for global warming during George Bush’s 2004 presidential campaign, as well as the printing of thousands of copies of a fake-but-hopeful edition of the New York Times in 2008 that reported the end of the Iraq War.
Activists say that in an effort to plow through stakeholders’ objections to the proposed pipeline, TransCanada has changed the format of its consultations. During the planning stages of their previous projects, objectors were given the opportunity to express their concerns in front of their communities. The new format reportedly allows for one-on-one consultations only. Activists believe this is intended to prevent residents along the pipeline’s 2,700 mile route from seeing how widespread opposition is in their communities.
In response, activists planned to swarm the consultations, armed with brochures and pamphlets about the pipeline’s potential dangers. The protests began at TransCanada’s open house in North Bay, Ontario in August and have spread rapidly all along the proposed pipeline’s path.
“Since TransCanada has come up with a new way to lie to the public, we had to come up with a new way to tell the truth,” said North Bay farmer and protest organizer Yan Roberts in a statement. “We’re friendly folks, so our solution is to dress like them, outnumber them, and ‘out-friendly’ them in every community they’re trying to scam.”
As a nonprofit, reader-supported publication, In These Times depends on donations from people like you to continue publishing. Our final, end-of-year fundraising drive accounts for nearly half of our total budget. That’s why this fundraising drive is so important.
If you are someone who depends on In These Times to learn what is going on in the movements for social, racial, environmental and economic justice, the outcome of this fundraising drive is important to you as well.
How many readers like you are able to contribute between now and December 31 will determine the number of stories we can report, the resources we can put into each story and how many people our journalism reaches. If we come up short, it will mean making difficult cuts at time when we can least afford to do so.