Activists block railway tracks in East Vancouver, demand end to pipeline project
Protesters from the group Extinction Rebellion block the railway tracks in East Vancouver on Sept. 21, 2020.
VANCOUVER -- About two dozen climate activists have blocked a railway line in East Vancouver, while demanding an end to the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
The protest was organized by Extinction Rebellion, the same group that shut down the Burrard Street Bridge last year and previously set up rail blockades in support of pipeline opponents from the Wet'suwet'en First Nation.
Members moved onto the railway tracks near Renfrew Street and Grandview Highway on Monday afternoon. So far, the protesters have not disrupted commuters, instead sticking to the rail lines that head into the Port of Vancouver.
Extinction Rebellion has accused the government of "criminal inactivity" on the issue of climate change, and called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to cancel the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The federal government bought the project from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion two years ago.
"The government is not taking the necessary measures to protect Canadians from the climate crisis. Instead, it is pushing ahead with this pipeline which will exponentially increase production in the tar sands," spokesperson Zain Haq said in a statement. "We are choosing to do civil disobedience because we’re responding to the government breaking the social contract. The trans-mountain expansion will contribute to a crisis that threatens death by starvation of hundreds of millions around the world."
It's unclear how long the protesters plan to remain on the railway tracks.
The group's demonstration on the Burrard Street Bridge in October 2019 went on for more than 14 hours. Police eventually moved in and arrested several protesters from the scene.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Ben Miljure