Four Protectors were arrested after blocking construction access for almost three hours at Kinder Morgan’s oil tanker terminal for on Day 5 of Protect the Inlet’s Week of Action to stop the Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project. Rita Wong, 50, performed a poem in front of the company’s gates for 30 minutes while police prepared to make the arrests. She organized today’s action on behalf of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls. Protectors hung red dresses across the road before they went themselves to block the gates.
“We brought the red dresses this morning because we need more people to make the connections between violence against the land and violence against Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women,” said Rita Wong. “The expansion of this pipeline would pose an increased risk to Indigenous women through displacement and man-camps, as well as everybody on earth, through further climate destabilization.”
“It’s been a terrifying summer in terms of these fires and the fires are a symbol of how unstable our climate is right now. We do this work with lots of love in our hearts, to people on both sides,” continued Wong, who argued that Trudeau was essentially throwing fuel on the fires with his pipeline buyout.
As those arrested were being processed by police, the red dresses continued to block access to the construction site. First Nations and Indigenous Peoples have been at the frontlines of resistance to the pipeline and tanker project, from the Tiny House Warriors in Secwepemc territory, to Kwekwecnewtxw – the Watch House – on Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, and Musqueam territory.
Mairy Beam, 69, Vancouver, a retired systems analyst said, “I’m here for clean air and water and Mother Earth. I think it’s a crucial time to take a stand on this issue. This madness has to stop. It’s time for me to do what I can.”
A second wave of Protectors risking arrest arrived at 10:00 AM from Vancouver Island and were also arrested: Kathryn Cass, 66 and Deb Wood, 64, who has Multiple Sclerosis. Their first court appearance is October 2 at 9:15 am.
More than 220 people have been arrested since March for demonstrating against the tar sands pipeline. Several people have served jail time, and more are facing up to 2 weeks in jail for their opposition to the project.
Tomorrow Canadian writers will gather and give a reading and a march will go to the construction site gates where Protectors will risk arrest, which now comes with a penalty of up to 14 days in jail.
This is event is Day 5 of Protect the Inlet’s Week of Action to Stop the Kinder Morgan Buyout.
- Monday August 20: five people were arrested for blockading the pipeline company’s oil tanker terminal. Doctors organized the event to warn of the negative health impacts associated with bitumen spills and climate change.
- Tuesday August 21: Indigenous Protectors held the line for more than two hours as they prayed, sang and danced with the ancestors.
- Wednesday August 22: Indigenous leaders, Protectors, and supporters rallied in wildfire smoke for hours in Nanaimo outside Prime Minister Trudeau’s Cabinet met at the Nanaimo Convention Centre.
- Thursday August 23: Protests forced the cancellation of a Liberal fundraiser hosted by Vancouver Centre MP Hedy Fry with Finance Minister Bill Morneau, then Protectors marched to another hotel and disrupted a reception for Liberal donors who had given the maximum for the year.