SumOfUs members in Canada just won a huge victory against Enbridge — the tar sands company behind some of the biggest pipeline projects in North America.
But Enbridge’s tar sands supporters have taken it hard. We were expecting the reaction we got from the company and its allies, but we weren’t expecting the mass of messages from individuals harassing our campaigners online, or to wake up to a message threatening grave violence against SumOfUs staff for the work we do to prevent the oil industry’s takeover of Canada.
We urgently need to beef up our security — both to keep our staff safe, and also to prove that we won’t just bow down to every threat that comes through the door.
There is a plus side to all of this: it means we’re having an impact. It means people are scared of the people power SumOfUs has to create real change. The tide is turning against Big Oil’s influence in Canada’s tar sands. We’re helping prevent a giant carbon bomb from going off and ruining the planet for future generations. No wonder there’s such a bad reaction.
But as we get bigger and more effective, we’ll probably get more angry emails, more online harassment — and unfortunately, more serious threats of violence against us.
That’s why we need your help. Immediately, to protect me and my colleagues here in Canada so we can keep up our work fighting against Big Oil without worrying about our safety. But we’ll also make sure we put the right systems in place to protect our staff all over the globe.
We’re a tight knit team, and we’re so proud of SumOfUs members for helping achieve some incredible accomplishments. Taren just sent you an email with just some of the incredible things you’ve helped us do to challenge corporations and governments who are putting profits before people and planet — and that’s just this year! Let’s prove that no matter what threats we get, nobody can stop this movement.
Donations from SumOfUs members add up — thanks to SumOfUs members, Vermont is standing up to Monsanto and its cronies at the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association. Bayer got a huge shock at its AGM in Germany when we showed up and a full page ad paid for by members exposed its bee-killing chemicals in a national newspaper. And Máxima Acuña Chaupe was moved to tears after SumOfUs members helped a delegation secure a commitment to stop a mining company from destroying her home.
We expected some nasty emails. Perhaps naively, we didn’t think we’d be the targets of the type of bullying that would literally threaten our lives.
It’s impossible to know how serious the threat is. But we have no choice but to take it seriously, and we’re reporting the threat to law enforcement.
So we’ve launched a top-to-bottom review of our security procedures to make sure we’re taking the appropriate precautions, including:
- Increasing the physical security of our most at-risk staff
- Getting lawyers ready to act so we have the legal support ready to go when we need it
- Implementing rigorous technological security so we can keep campaigning even under the most ruthless cyberattack
Thanks for all that you do,
Emma, Angus, Liz and the team at SumOfUs.org