A protest involving thousands of people from all walks of life –   is what happens when you push Canadians against the wall. This is what happens when governments ignore the will of the people and try to railroad through their corporate agendas. It takes a lot to get us here, but when we are, we don’t walk away.

We are not going to allow this government and its corporate masters, to ruin our country. Ruin our coast. We hear from these mega corporations and the government, a lot. Now we ask them to listen to us. It’s time for citizens to be heard.

We are not going to let them trash our coast In the name of prosperity.  This is a false “prosperity” which will end in an oil spill either from a pipeline or a tanker accident. It is a prosperity that will sentence us to runaway climate change.

We want a world where using energy doesn’t mean creating tailings ponds. Where using energy isn’t driving extreme weather events or melting the polar ice cap. We want a world where an energy economy doesn’t come at the cost of First Nations rights. And we want a world where we don’t have to calculate the chances of a catastrophic oil spill against the chance of jobs for our kids.

If we pump bitumen to the coast there will be spills. We know it. Whether it is the Keystone Cops at Enbridge or Kinder Morgan, oil will be spilled. And we know there is no such thing as an “oil spill cleanup”.

Ask the good people on the Gulf Coast in Louisanna. Or in Alaska where less than 10% of the Exxon Valdez oil was ever recovered. Or the people of Kalmazoo Michigan who have watched the futile cleanup efforts of the Enbridge Keystone cops.

The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. We can build jobs for the future in a clean energy economy. We have the technology. We don’t have to build risky pipelines or drill in the pristine Arctic. We can switch to renewable energy without sacrificing our economy.

On May 26th of this year Germany met half its energy needs with solar power. That’s the same amount of power as 20 nuclear power stations produce operating at full capacity. If everyone with a cell phone used solar energy to charge them, that would provide the equivalent energy for ALL of Germany’s energy needs.

In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan has embarked on an aggressive plan to phase out nuclear and invest in renewable energy. 

Imagine it. In 20 years Japan and Germany could have a skilled technical workforces and free renewable energy, untied to expensive reactors, the price of a barrel of oil or a ton of coal. They will own the future.

And that’s where we need government help. Not in giving tax breaks to the fossil fuel industries or omnibus bills gutting environmental legislation. We need governments willing to invest in a new green economy that will protect our beautiful natural heritage. That will protect our children from the worst ravages of climate change. That will respect First Nations’ rights

We don’t need this pipeline to spill dirty oil on our beautiful country. We need the BC and Canadian governments to support us, not their cronies. To keep BC and Canada competitive and strong by standing behind us and supporting a future fuelled by renewable energy.

Our message today is simple: government isn’t going to ignore us anymore. Big oil isn’t going to push us around anymore. All of us at the sit in have made the commitment: we won’t stop until the pipelines stop. This is just the beginning. We don’t walk away.

Read on to see a detailed recap of this week's Defend our Coast action.