A Week of Pipeline Protests
There's been plenty to do this week in B.C. for anyone opposed to pipeline proposals. Things kicked off on Monday with about 3 000 people participating in the Defend Our Coast Rally, a day of civil disobedience action in Victoria. Carrie Saxifrage from the Vancouver Observer reported, "Protesters trickled in like salmon heading home." Those who attended hoping to be arrested, however, were disappointed.
In her excellent report from the protest in Victoria, Carrie shared a conversation with the police officers supervising the event.
I crossed the lawn to circle of police officers from Saanich, who didn’t look like they were about to arrest anyone. “Will you be arresting the people who drive the stakes into the lawn?” I asked.
“No, they’ve been given permission to do that now,” he said.
I double checked this fact with a different branch of police officers. “They expect to get arrested, you know,” I said.
“Why would they want that?” he asked. “A symbolic statement of civil disobedience is not the important thing. The important thing is to have young people, old people, First Nations, non-natives, unions and such a huge number of people coming out. That’s an amazing story. I’ve never seen anything quite like this.”
“You might be surprised how many of the officers here agree with protesters,” he added.
Civil disobedience, Canada-style.
Wednesday, Nanaimo joined 40 communities province-wide holding rallies to demonstrate growing public opposition to Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. The goal of these rallies is to encourage government to pass legislation that would not allow for an increase in oil tankers on the B.C. coast as well as generate public awareness on the issue.
And finally, from October 26-28, the Council of Canadians will be holding their Conference and Annual General Meeting at the Nanaimo Conference Centre. The Council of Canadians is completing their six city "No Tankers, No Pipelines" speaking tour of B.C. which coincides with Joint Review Panel hearings being held in Prince George.
New Society Publishers' staff will be in attendance tonight so stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter @NewSocietyPub for some highlights.