Poet, three seniors arrested at Burnaby pipeline protest
Published Friday, August 24, 2018 3:17PM PDT
Mounties say four more anti-pipeline protesters, including three seniors, were arrested outside a Kinder Morgan work site in Burnaby, B.C. Friday.
According to police, the demonstrators were taken into custody in the 7000 block of Bayview Drive after allegedly breaching a court-ordered injunction designed to stop pipeline opponents from impeding access to the Trans Mountain facility.
"Demonstrators were provided a copy of the injunction and given an opportunity to leave or face arrest," the RCMP said in a statement issued later in the day. "Despite being asked to leave, these demonstrators failed to do so and were arrested."
Those arrested included 50-year-old Rita Wong, a poet and professor at Emily Carr University who organized Friday's action on behalf of missing and murdered Indigenous women, according to a statement from Protect the Inlet, one of the many groups that oppose the Trans Mountain pipeline.
"The expansion of this pipeline would pose an increased risk to Indigenous women through displacement and man-camps, as well as everybody on Earth, through further climate destabilization," she said in a statement, adding that "more people to make the connections between violence against the land and violence against Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women."
Wong was placed in what looked like a black lawn chair and carried away from the scene Friday.
Mairy Beam, Kathryn Cass and Deb Wood, who are all in their 60s, were also arrested.
"I was nervous, but also very proud to take a stand and to take a stand for Mother Earth and to stand for my granddaughters," Beam told CTV News.
The demonstrators have since been released and scheduled to appear in court in the coming weeks. They're facing between two weeks and 28 days in jail.
The arrests happened on the fifth and final day of Protect the Inlet's week of action to stop the federal government's controversial $4.5-billion buyout of the Trans Mountain pipeline, a move made by Ottawa back in May in a bid to ensure the expansion of the energy project.
According to the organization, more than 220 and people have been arrested outside the Kinder Morgan facility so far.
Police say they're working hard to enforce the injunction, ensure that protesters' rights to speak out against the project are not impinged and to keep everyone safe at the same time.
"Burnaby RCMP would like to remind demonstrators that they have a right to lawful, peaceful and safe protest and the companies have a right to complete their work," Mounties said. "Burnaby RCMP is working hard to ensure that these rights are respected and everyone is kept safe."