State of the people's resistance to the pipeline expansion from Alberta to British Columbia (BC) in Canada, which the Texas-based multinational corporation that owns this pipe and the storage and pier at the terminus, Kinder Morgan, is trying to accomplish.
The International League of Peoples Struggle (ILPS) in Canada had a national meeting on May when it took a position to join the opposition to the Kinder Morgan Transmountain Pipeline Expansion (KM TMX). This is a huge mass movement in Western Canada that is a major national issue in Canada.
I have been participating regularly in some of the protests and sharing information. Here is an update I recently composed.
The ILPS -Canada national assembly passed a resolution to support the peoples' opposition to the Kinder Morgan pipeline and terminus expansions in BC. FYI, here is an update and recent calls for solidarity and action. PLEASE SHARE.
Three ILPS affiliated contingents visited Camp Cloud and the Watch House support camp on Burnaby Mountain immediately following the Assembly, on May 20, 21 and 23. The local activists, especially the indigenous leaders, deeply appreciated these visits and the national and international contacts made in the course of these visits.
The comrades with Women of Diverse Origins from Montreal exchanged information and pledged to build solidarity in Montreal. I believe that they attended a rally in Montreal later that week; Aboriginal Peoples Television Network reported that over 1,000 people were at that rally and that some 150 aboriginal groups/ communities had formed a pact to oppose the pipeline expansion. After experiencing the Megantic rail tanker accident, the Province of Quebec and many Quebecois are firmly opposed to the KM-TMX in BC.
The visit by Father Rex from the Philippines was very important. He was visiting cities across Canada to inform the pubic on the worsening human rights situation in the Philippines. I attended the dinner and speech hosted by the Anglican Church that Can-Phils Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR) participated in on Friday, May 25. Before then on the 23rd, Beth of the United Church and CPSHR went with Fr. Rex and another church activist to the camps. Fr. Rex was thrilled to meet indigenous activists and he eagerly exchanged information. As an indigenous activist from abroad (Igorot tribe in the north) with affiliations in the ILPS, and a leader in the World Council of Churches, this was an important connection.
On the morning of May 29, the federal government announced it was offering to buy KM, with the idea of reselling it later to new shareholders unless a third party offered to take it over very soon. Since then, opponents of the expansion have been concentrating efforts to pressure the feds to neither rescue nor take over the company and project of expansion. Coast Protectors, lead by regional indigenous leaders, held rallies in Vancouver on May 27 and 29 and thousands of people joined them. There has been no transaction between the feds and KM yet; it remains an offer to purchase.
Lead Now, an organization of trade union and NDP supporters, coordinated rallies and 40 MP offices across the country. Since then, the elected Liberal Member of Parliament for North Burnaby, Terry Beech, has come out as an opponent of the TMX. Though he refrained from writing or voicing opposition in recent months, his latest mail-out materials sent to constituents put him on the record as opposing the KM-TMX as early as 2016. He states that he has talked to some 100,000 Burnaby residents since then and acknowledges that the overwhelming majority are staunchly against the expansion. He documents several meetings about this matter.
The Justin Trudeau Brigade against TMX, the first group to carry out civil disobedience actions against KM during the winter, presented the "Peoples' Injunction" demanding that KM stop the expansion on May 23. The document bore some 200 names of individuals residing in the areas immediately adjacent to the KM facilities. On May 29, the Brigade announced it would resume blockading the traffic entering the KM facilities by June 1st. However, KM lawyers immediately applied for and got a strengthened injunction; it permits the RCMP to carry out summary arrests. Summary arrests are mass arrests with less warning than regular arrests. The Brigade has suspended its protests.
Protect the Inlet, lead by the Tseiwa'tulth, and Coast Protectors have nevertheless been training protesters in civil disobedience and organizing weekday road blocks, especially at the marine terminal where pile- driving and other construction has been taking place. Volunteers have been subjected to detainment and arrests. Such actions are planned for Monday, June 18 and Monday, June 25 from 9:00 to 2:00. Please drop by if you can.
Secwempc (Shuswap) peoples' leaders are reporting that pipeline leak in the Kamloops area is much larger than first reported.
Meanwhile, the Watchhouse camp on Burnaby Mountain held a work party to do repairs on June 14. Camp Cloud at the KM tank farm is still requesting materials, cash and assistance. Their wish-list includes food, firewood, tools, volunteer drivers, communications equipment, a vehicle and expertise.
The Watchhouse support camp near Lillooet (Ulluisc) is also doing repairs and construction, and is asking for supporters to lend a hand on July 14. (https://www.facebook.com/events/465850920541038/) Please contribute if you can. It is a 3-hour drive from Vancouver, 2.5 hrs from Surrey.