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NEWS: South Fraser Protection Camp prepares for resumption of highway work

The South Fraser Protection Camp

The South Fraser Protection Camp

The Georgia Straight reports, “Eric Doherty, with a local Council of Canadians chapter, describes the highway project as a ‘climate crime’ and said it threatens Burns Bog, agricultural land, and local heritage sites. ‘This is about winning the campaign against the South Fraser Perimeter Road and building a climate justice movement that can stop freeway building dead in its tracks,’ he told the Straight by phone. Doherty said around 30 people were at the protest camp (Monday morning) and a Delta police vehicle was parked nearby.”

NEWS1130 notes, “Work is about to resume (on Tuesday) on the South Fraser Perimeter Road project even though around 20 protesters camped out at the site aren’t moving. Police and the Ministry of Highways have no plans to force them out. Delta Police Sergeant Sharlene Brooks says officers have been on site to keep the peace but they won’t be forcing anyone to leave without the government getting the courts involved. ‘If there’s going to some sort of prevention of any work continuance then its the authority of the landowner to get a court injunction to allow them to continue.’ But project director Jeff Freer says there are no plans for that, at least for now. ‘It’s been peaceful so far and we’ll work with the authorities and just move forward.'”

Metro Vancouver adds, “Eric Doherty, one of the organizers, said the group isn’t sure what will happen when construction resumes Tuesday. ‘Right now there’s no talk of taking down the camp immediately because it seems like this is the most effective thing we’ve done in a long time to draw attention to this issue,’ Doherty said. ‘This is about building a movement that will stop freeway construction…and get that money shifted over to solutions like public transit (and) electric rail.'”

And the Winnipeg Free Press reports, “The group calling themselves ‘Stop the Pave’ is preparing for a stand-off with bulldozers. …Geoff Freer, the road’s project director, said the crews aren’t certain when they’ll reach the area where the protesters are stationed. ‘As long as everything’s peaceful, we’ll just work with everybody,’ he said. He said the road is now about 25 per cent complete and includes the planting of thousands of new trees, and so his workers will ‘probably’ just transplant the evergreen and cedars planted by the protesters.”

“(Council of Canadians member) Tom Jaugelis, another protest organizer, said the group expects work crews to return after the long holiday weekend on Tuesday to continue work on the four-lane route. ‘We really feel that we’ve raised a great deal of awareness and the prospects for this direct action to really, really make an impact on this construction. I mean, we’ve already accomplished that.'”