IMG_0070 editPhoto used with permission of Adam Gaya, Tar Sands Blockade Seattle

Seattle Police arrested two activists this morning for criminal trespass at the Canadian Consulate in Seattle's Century Plaza building after the activists U-locked their necks to the doors of a conference room. The activists were protesting the proposed expansion of Canadian tar sands oil production and export. Carlo Voli, a 46 year-old Edmonds resident, and Lisa Marcus, a 57 year-old Seattleite, were both cut free and arrested after 30 minutes of being locked to the doors, according to Adam Gaya, another activist on the scene.

Two other activists poured fake oil over unfurled Canadian and American flags in the consulate, while a dozen others protested outside the Century Plaza building in Westlake park. Rachel Stoeve, an activist who was carrying a banner in Westlake Park, wrote in the group's official statement, "We’re here to expose the collusion between the tar sands industry and the Canadian government."

Today's action was independent of, but in solidarity with the Tar Sands Blockade, a group based out of Southwest Texas that is trying to halt construction of the Keystone XL pipeline that would transport Canadian oil to American refineries. Less well-publicized is the proposed increase in the number of tankers carrying tar sands through the Salish Sea and pipeline expansions in British Columbia. The pipeline expansions proposed in January by Canadian company Kinder-Morgan would nearly triple tar sands oil transport through the Trans Mountain Pipeline. They have also proposed an increase of oil tankers that would bring the total number to 360 tankers in the Salish Sea. Stoeve is worried that the Department of Ecology has no plan to deal with a potential spill, which could result in the loss of some 165,000 jobs and wipe out wildlife, such as the vulnerable resident orca population.

The Seattle group reports 50 arrests for the Tar Sands Blockade and its solidarity actions around the country this month.