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London chapter holds work parties to build 30-foot anti-pipeline snake

The Council of Canadians London chapter has sewn, built and created various banners, props and installations for protests over the years.

In March 2014, rabble.ca reported, “Roberta Cory, a London, Ontario artist/activist and chair of the local chapter of the Council of Canadians, has come up with a novel way to express pipeline dissent. She built a 30 foot snake. ‘It was really a group effort’, says Cory. ‘We set up a work table at the East Village Arts Collective, and people dropped by to help over a period of three days’.”

That article adds, “The 30 foot black snake is meant to represent the Line 9 pipeline, and has the words, ‘Enbridge: 800 spills so far, not worth the risk, protect our water, our land, our health. Stop line 9’ stitched on its side. Other pipeline rallies and protests have featured giant model pipelines for visual impact, but the Council of Canadians wanted something more portable. ‘We came up with the black snake, and designed it to be collapsible. We needed to be able to ship it around the province, to be used at other Line 9 protests. All you need in 10 puppeteers, one at the head and nine along the body. We marched the snake around in circles throughout the Queen’s Park rally. It was a great success.'”

On April 30, the chapter held a ‘Make the Snake Workshop’ to rebuild the snake.

The outreach explained, “The Black Line 9 Snake lost its body at the Chemical Valley Toxic Tour two years ago. All that remains is its head. Using 18 dark green rigid cylindrical leaf bags with black fabric dripping down – we will make a new and improved 30 foot long pipeline snake. Come and have fun – snacks encouraged – stay as long as you wish; the more the merrier and the faster it goes! Volunteer as an assistant puppet maker any time from 1 pm to 9 pm! We will wrap it up (literally) at 9 pm.”

Afterwards, the chapter noted, “A big thank you to all of the volunteer puppet makers who came out on Sunday afternoon to make the body of the snake puppet! Half the body is sewn together, all the lettering stencils are cut out (that was a big job), and several words have been stencilled in white acrylic paint onto the body. The words look great!!!”

They will have another work party on the evenings of May 3-4 and will set another date to complete the snake,

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