Seven people taken into custody for seven  day jail sentence

CPPNews - August 2018, Seven Water Protectors were led away from the BC Supreme Court in handcuffs  after receiving a 7-day jail sentence for demonstrating against the Kinder Morgan pipeline and tanker project.

Jean Swanson (age 75), Susan Lambert (68), Charlotte Gyoba (74), Hisao Ichikawa  (77), Heather Martin-McNab (57), Kathleen Flaherty (66), and Adrian Long (30) were arrested on June 30 while blocking the construction site at Kinder Morgan’s Burnaby Mountain tank farm.

Seniors“Why are the crown and the courts so scared of us “sinister seniors,” that they have to throw us in jail? Because they know that if we take a stand against injustice, we can win,” said Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson in her statement to court.

“This pipeline is the last gasp of the dying fossil fuel industry. Kinder Morgan decided it couldn’t go on, and if we keep protesting, the Trudeau government will have give up too,” continued Swanson. “Every single person who takes a stand against the pipeline is pointing toward a more just future. If going to jail can be part of that resistance, so be it.”

The sentencing brought the number of Protectors sentenced to jail time in the past several weeks to 12 people. Following that, more people – including three youth and one 85-year-old Victoria resident – were arrested at Kinder Morgan’s marine tanker terminal on Slilwat (Burrard Inlet)and again at the gates to the plant.

“One of the institutions of a civil society is the justice system. I respect the rule of law,” said former BC Teachers’ Federation President Susan Lambert. “But I also know that throughout history, laws have been used to bolster the rights of some and injure others.”

“The rule of law is not necessarily just or even lawful,” continued Lambert. “So I sat in a chair on a rainy Saturday blocking the Kinder Morgan gate. Having breached the injunction which protects the pipeline expansion, over my concern for a healthy planet, I am here today ready to face the consequences of my actions.”

Crown prosecutors have argued to extend jail sentences for Protectors in an effort to deter further demonstrations against the Trudeau government’s pipeline and tanker project. Protectors are calling for a week of action starting August 20 in response to construction on the tar sands pipeline.

Following the dismantling of the Gate encampment, the Watch House will remain on Burnaby Mountain beside the Kinder Morgan pipeline construction site.

The Indigenous-led Watch House will continue to be a base for Water Protectors and  remains on Burnaby Mountain, and Protectors will continue to organize opposition to the Kinder Morgan pipeline and tanker project from the site.
The Watch House was not named in an injunction used to dismantle the nearby Camp Cloud.

“These police tactics are clearly an effort to intimidate people from demonstrating against the pipeline,” said Director Tzeporah Berman, who witnessed arrests taking place outside the Kinder Morgan tank farm this morning. “We will not be intimidated. Blockades resume next week.”

Protect The Inlet is preparing for blockades to resume on August 20, when the federal government claims pipeline construction will expand. Coast Salish leaders are calling on all  those interested in standing up to defend the water, land, and climate from Justin Trudeau’s pipeline to join Protectors at the Watch House.

Watch HouseStatement from the Watch House – Kwekwecnewtxw Protect the Inlet Project:
“Everyone has a right to express themselves and we intend to continue to express ourselves in a peaceful and respectful manner and work in solidarity with all like minded allies who want to bring an end to this destructive pipeline,” said Squamish Elder Robert Nahanee, “We love the support we are getting and are honoured to work with all who share our common goal to stop the Trans Mountain Kinder Morgan pipeline.”

“Now that the government has chosen to purchase the pipeline this is a very critical moment. Essentially Canadians are the new owners of this dirty pipeline,” said Watch House Guardian Will George. “There may be one camp coming down however this movement will continue to grow. The Tiny House Warriors just launched three camps along the pipeline route. I encourage you as stakeholders to come show your support and offer your skill set to this movement. Bring your cousins.”

The Watch House is located at Burnaby 200 Soccer Field.

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