A full-day blockade at Kinder Morgan’s Burnaby construction site today was led by Tsleil-Waututh Elder Ta'ah Amy George and the full executive of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, which represents more than half the nations, tribes and bands in BC.Grand Chief Stewart Phillip (Penticton Indian Band), Chief Bob Chamberlin (Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation) and Chief Judy Wilson (Neskonlith First Nation in Secwepemc territory) were joined by hundreds of supporters in pouring rain, shutting down work at the facility for the day.
A long rolling clap of thunder struck at the same moment as the drummers began the gathering, prompting cheers from the large crowd of supporters. After hours of blocking both gates to the tanker farm and after it was clear that Kinder Morgan was finished work for the day, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip declared victory:
“Clearly Kinder Morgan is intimidated and fearful of a strong, unified front between Indigenous leaders and our allies. Kinder Morgan was forced not to issue a prerequisite complaint to the RCMP to enable arrests. Without question, Kinder Morgan backed down today. We were here and we will be back. There is absolutely no way that we are letting Kinder Morgan expand its archaic and dangerous fossil fuel extraction. Today we proudly stood with land defenders to send a strong message to Kinder Morgan, its investors, and Trudeau — we will not stand down and we will remain united in our opposition.”
Indigenous leaders and people across Canada and the U.S. have promised escalating action to stop Kinder Morgan's pipeline and tanker project from moving forward. International opposition to the tar sands project is on the rise, and opponents have promised to make sure Alberta Premier Rachel Notley hears that opposition when she promotes Kinder Morgan’s pipeline in New York and Toronto next week.
We're not giving up. We're not going away. This pipeline will never be built.