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Line 9 Occupation “in it for the long haul”

Water is life

CBC reports, “A group of protesters has shut down construction at an Enbridge pump station in rural Hamilton, Ont., Thursday. About 80 people interrupted construction at the North Westover site in rural Hamilton but allowed workers to close and lock the facility before leaving. They are also allowing workers in to do safety checks. …Opponents say the flow reversal could raise the risk of a spill into places like the Beverly Swamp in the headwaters of Spencer Creek, Hamilton’s largest watershed.”

Melissa Elliott from the Six Nations Iroquois community near Hamilton says, “This is a huge risk, from my point of view, to our lands, our waters and our future generations. It’s my responsibility to stand for our lands. We don’t want an oil spill to happen in our territory. …We are standing here in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in ground zero of the tar sands and out West in British Columbia where they are also stopping pipelines. There are actions that are going to happen all along Line 9.”

Elysia Petrone from Hamilton 350 says, “This is my drinking water. I get my vegetables from Plan B (organic farm) about a kilometre from here. This is my food source. To not have a careful environmental assessment, any assessment at all, is shameful. …We’re here because we’ve noticed they’ve ramped up their construction. They are making improvements to the north pumping station, preparing to increase capacity. This is a complete disregard for the national energy process. This NEB (National Energy Board) process is a rubber stamp procedure.”

The article adds, “Protesters have started putting up tents and say they plan to stay for several days. …Hamilton 350 said, in a press release, that protesters at the Westover terminal ‘look to be in it for the long haul’ and have asked supporters to attend a rally on Friday at 11am across the street from the protest.”

“One hundred and seventy-seven citizens, organizations and municipalities have applied to take part in hearings about Enbridge’s plan to reverse the oil flow of Line 9B, which runs from Montreal to Westover near Hamilton. The cities of Hamilton, Burlington, Kingston, Toronto, Mississauga have applied for intervener status, along with musician Sarah Harmer.”

Members of the Guelph and Hamilton chapters of the Council of Canadians were present at today’s protest.