Oxford Meeting 2010-04-26


Tar Sands: where next?

Facilitator: there’s going to be a chance soon to assess different local campaigns, now is our chance to do a similar process with Tar Sands. This follows on from

  • It being discussed as a key strategic area during the strategy day.
  • The completion of TARmaggeddon on the 10th April.

What would a win be? What does our focus lie?

  • BP could be the most significant focus, as it’s a realistic goal.
  • RBS, another possible focus, due to funding.
  • BP: Perhaps more suited to local action that RBS, hence CCA UK have taken on RBS.
  • But BP has no immediately local targets in the Oxford area.
  • Why not multiple targets? BP, RBS, Shell…
  • Agree, but possible argument for focusing on BP, not exclusively, but as main focus.
  • Good targets coming soon for BP: Olympics -especially suited to us in the South East.
  • Supply chain is a good tactic: research needed, there’s often a weak part in the chain we can HIT.
  • The major success Climate Camp and Thames Valley Climate Action have had is destroying the E.On decision.
  • We’re inverted to the E.On situation with BP and Tar Sands. E.on: German company with construction going on here. BP: British company with construction going on far away.
  • Canada, as a nation state, another core target.
  • Thus, three key areas are: RBS, BP, Canada.

Facilitator: discussion has been quite fluid, and merged into tactics. Shall we have that discussion.

What tactics could be use?

  • Oil refineries: only seven in the country -let’s shut them all down!
  • Cultural targets (BP)
  • Petrol stations work better in coordinated.
  • Was quite impressed with the Petrol station stuff on April 10th: changed perspective.
  • June Oil Conference in London.
  • RBS/Natwest branches in Oxford
  • Is Natwest still owned by RBS? YES!
  • Build on TARmaggeddon -similar aesthetic concept but more confrontational. Eg, do it in art galleries or on forecourts.
  • Critical Mass: tour of Petrol Stations.
  • 1st July: Canada Day -there’s already an event in Trafalgar Square which we could contribute to.
  • Canadian Embassy -let’s go there an embarrass them.
  • Nationwide Maple Syrup Boycott.
  • Recruitment events -we’ve got really good at these day.
  • Olympics: steal their narrative, get in their fast.
  • Who’s involved in Tar Sands? Awareness raising.
  • Fucking Shit Up!
  • Write to Athletes telling them speak out against BP’s sponsorship.
  • RESPONSE: athletes are shit!
  • Tar Sands in Canada, we’re here. Is this problematic?
  • RESPONSE: Indigenous people see us as the 2nd frontline, that’s why they keep visiting.


  • How is this being coordinated on a UK level?
  • RESPONSE: There’s the UK Tar Sands Network, which came out of Climate Camp at Blackheath.
  • They have since been building up contacts across the regions.
  • They are taking a slightly more confrontational attitude to the likes of Greenpeace.
  • How much should be done as TVCA locally? Do we need a broader Oxford Tar Sands Network: this means we can work together with more fluffy groups.
  • RESPONSE: Don’t need to set up another organisation, as this is a drain to run and keep running. TVCA does, however, have aims and principles that may separate it from others working on the issue.
  • Perhaps middle ground is more to think in terms of ‘one off’ events that bring wider groups together to work on this issue.
  • No formal umbrella group, just about ensuring we work with other groups. We can do it in a pub, informally.

Moving forward:

  • Could form list of questions to take to wider group: how much focus on tar sands? this or that? etc
  • Media coverage? Listed as question for us to answer, but this is only one of many things we may want to achieve. Eg. Economic damage, etc.
  • Let’s avoid talking about the level of focus we put into tar sands -eg 40%, 70% -we can’t know or decide this.

Agree broad possible areas for focus are:

  • Aims…
    1. BP to pull out of Tar Sands
    2. RBS to stop funding Tar Sands
    3. Canada suffers loss of reputation
  • Tactics
    1. Economic Damage
    2. Brand Damage
    3. Public Awareness raising
  • Side note: Shell can surely be tackled through RBS?

Next steps:

  • 15th May: Party at the Pumps 2, in London (this time Shell). Propose TVCA publicises and goes down to London.
  • 16th May: UK Tar Sands Network Meeting in London
  • Bring ideas for tar sands action to next week’s meeting, but ensuring local campaigns don’t get pushed out.

AP: Graham to get hold of BP visual materials.


These are the visual materials currently available:

– - – -

And there’s this rather sexy oily font, and a whole lot of photos from Tarmageddon.

There was talk of ‘oily footprints’ – I’ve spoken to various people about where these came from, and nobody knows. If you know, please enlighten us all!


TVCA Tat Hire

3rd-4th July: TVCA members two day alternative wedding for donation of £50.

19th-29th June: Marquee and Kitchen stuff for Climate Camp at Glastonbury. No need for formal donation, but given it is a fundraising event Climate Camp will give a donation to TVCA and OARC + pay for for gas usage

  • REMINDER: If you break stuff, you pay!

Cowley Road Carnival

  • 3rd-4th July: outreach and fundraising opportunity.
  • Shall we look into getting a stall?
  • Suggestion: around the time of the G8 we dressed up as the leaders and run around the carnival. It worked well.
  • OR Tar Sands Mousse that never made it to TARmaggeddon.
  • Discuss next week.

Regional Campaigns

  • Reminder that series of Questions have been circulated around for people to respond to about their proposed area for local campaigning.
  • Chance to make presentations at the Big Local Picnic (PLB) on 8th May.
  • Chance to hear exciting ideas in wonderful environment, and then chat, eat, get pissed.


AP: Charlie to do the ‘Friday Email’

Next Meeting

  • Next Monday: Can’t meet at EOCC due to Bank Holiday rendering the East Oxford Community Centre not incursion-friendly due to impenetrable locking devices attached to the various doorways and windows, and thus presenting Thames Valley climate activists with the challenge of channelling energies into the seeking of alternative possibilities.

AP: Danny to confirm on email list where we will be meeting.


A few weeks ago we agreed that this meeting would be devoted exclusively to developing the next steps for TVCA taking action on the Tar Sands. We can change this if there’s something really urgent that happens.

There’s some stuff about TVCA’s anti-Tar Sands action TARmageddon, including some excellent photos and a report.

Get a load of this lovely email

Received to the Oxford email account

I recently visited Oxford. I was very pleased to encounter your activists who were highlighting the Tarsands in Canada. I had heard of this from my involvement with the Co-operative Society in an article in their magazine “Re-act” entitled Joining the Fight.

I want to thank you for making the public aware of this gross violation and the plight of the Beaver Lake Cree.

Please keep telling them. Tell them and tell them again.


Marquee Borrowing

A very quick discussion. This from the oxford@ email account …

Hello hello,

We’d love to book the TVCA marquee for our alternative wedding / community festival on the 3rd and 4th July. We’ll need it from the 2nd, so we can put it up in advance of the event. We’ll be able to pick it up from OARC and return it afterwards ourselves, so long as we can arrange to meet up with a keyholder (or borrow the key). We can pay in advance.

Hope this is OK. Thanks very much!

Danny and Jess

Marquee guidelines


Have added this into the minutes, but in case you didn’t see it …

AP: Graham to get hold of BP visual materials.

These are the visual materials currently available:

– - – -

And there’s this rather sexy oily font, and a whole lot of photos from Tarmageddon.

There was talk of ‘oily footprints’ – I’ve spoken to various people about where these came from, and nobody knows. If you know, please enlighten us all!