Unceded Coast Salish Territories, Vancouver, Canada – Activists, including a founding member of Greenpeace, blocked the front gates to Kinder Morgan’s construction site in Vancouver today. Several activists, including family members of Greenpeace founders, have been arrested after blocking the site for a number of hours. They were inspired to act following last Saturday’s march and rally, where 10,000 people came out in support of Indigenous communities resisting Kinder Morgan’s new oil pipeline.
Rex Weyler, a founding member of Greenpeace, said:
“Forty-six years ago, Greenpeace got its start right here in Vancouver protecting this coastline, and the world, from the sorts of ecological disasters and social disruption that Kinder Morgan’s pipeline threatens. Like then, we stand now for protection of the natural bounty that keeps our communities alive and prosperous. We stand here on the land and by the waters of the Tsleil Waututh people, who have shown us generosity and taught us responsibility, in solidarity and prepared to go to jail, to preserve the ecological integrity of this coast for ourselves and future generations.”
Today’s action comes following the more than two dozen arrests of Indigenous Land Defenders and allied protesters on Saturday.
Barbara and Bob Stowe, daughter and son of Greenpeace founders Dorothy and Irving Stowe, said:
“We see a lot of parallels between the fight against Kinder Morgan today and Greenpeace’s first action: sailing a boat to stop nuclear bomb tests in Alaska in 1971. Like Kinder Morgan’s pipeline, those tests did not have Indigenous consent and would devastate a pristine environment. Both projects amounted to a government-approved home invasion on Indigenous territory. Today, we will stand with Coast Salish Peoples against it. If our parents were alive today, they’d be standing right here with us.”
Texas-based oil company Kinder Morgan’s new pipeline would pump oil from the central Canadian tar sands across Indigenous lands to the Pacific Ocean, risking spills to land and waterways and contributing to climate change. Scientists have warned that more supertanker traffic could threaten the local endangered orca whale population with extinction and could endanger marine ecosystems.
There is widespread opposition to the pipeline in Canada. One-in-ten British Columbians, and one-in-four opponents of Kinder Morgan’s new pipeline in British Columbia, say they would consider undertaking peaceful civil disobedience to resist the pipeline. Since last Saturday, bold demonstrations of daily resistance are expected to continue in the week ahead. Solidarity actions are also spreading south of the Canada-US border; yesterday, kayaktivists took to the waters to block access to the Kinder Morgan oil terminal in Seattle.
Photo and video:
Coalition images (will be updated throughout the day): https://flic.kr/s/aHskxQE8ts