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Grassy Narrows protest crude by rail shipments with water ceremony

Today, an Anishinabe Water Ceremony was hosted by the Grassy Narrows Women’s Drum Group next to the main CN Rail line in their community to protest the disastrous potential of a major spill from the many crude carrying tank cars that pass through everyday.

Recent events have created an escalated awareness of increasing threats to waters from transported tar sands bitumen (and the explosive chemicals they are mixed with). Derailments and pipeline spills have and will continue to do permanent damage to lakes and rivers if action is not taken to protect our future generations from water pollution.

The Grassy Narrows Women’s Drum Group conducted the ceremony along with other members of the community and supporters and legendary Anishinaabe Water Protector, Josephine Mandamin.

Yesterday,  Grassy Narrows Drum Group member Judy Da Silva received repeated calls from CN Rail Police and Aboriginal Liaison officials promising a heavy handed response and threatening to initiate a pre-emptive injunction and to have her arrested if the ceremony took place on the tracks as originally planned.

A release from the group stated: “The refusal to accommodate the Water Protection Ceremony (which would have only required relatively brief delays), in light of recent environmentally disastrous derailments in Gogoma (as well as Lac Megantic last year), shows a firm commitment from CN Rail and the OPP to protect profits instead of protecting the environment and the safety of communities.”