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Pipeline protesters gathered once again at survey sites in the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area yesterday afternoon in response to the injunction granted by the Supreme Court last Friday that declared all protesters had to vacate the sites by 4 p.m. on Monday, November 17.
Shortly before 2:30 p.m., Kinder Morgan crews, accompanied by police, arrived at the main protest camp to read out the court order, which requires the protesters to leave the survey work areas. After 4 p.m., it would be illegal for protesters to interfere with the company’s survey work for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
By the 4 p.m. deadline, approximately 300 concerned citizens had gathered in the park
However, this announcement did not deter crowds, and by the 4 p.m. deadline, approximately 300 concerned citizens had gathered in the park and on the hill opposite the first borehole site. No additional police arrived to remove citizens from the sites.
Burnaby RCMP Staff Sgt. John Bois told media that they had no plans to make arrests related to the injunction on the Monday.
“While we are under a court directed enforcement order, it does recognize our authority of discretionary powers,” said Bois. “This discretionary authority allows police to take time to assess the situation.”
Some protesters are still prepared to outwait the police and crews, even if it means their arrest.
“The [First Nations] people are a peaceful people, but we’re also the guardians of the land and the sea. And Kinder Morgan does not have our consent!” exclaimed Sut-Lut, a Coast Salish elder. “And to you, my humankind family, [. . .] I am willing to go to jail for you.”
“Kinder Morgan does not have our consent!”
Sut-Lut, Coast Salish elder
Along with Sut-Lut, several First Nations representatives were present to speak to the crowd.
“I have to meet my ancestors one day and talk to them, and explain to them what I did with what they gave me,” said Kelsilem from the Squamish Nation. “This land doesn’t belong to me. This land doesn’t belong to any of us. We belong to this land.”
He continued, “It’s time that we start to reach out and bring other people to march with us. Because we will win this fight, we will stop this pipeline. It will not happen on these lands, I guarantee you that.”
Find more images of the protest in our gallery below