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NEWS: Tree-planting direct action against the SFPR, April 22

Over the past ten days the campaign to stop the South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR) – which has involved the Council of Canadians Delta-Richmond, Surrey-White Rock-Langley, and Vancouver-Burnaby chapters – has garnered significant media attention:

10 days ago – Vancouver-Burnaby chapter activist Eric Doherty and member of StopThePave.org writes in The Georgia Straight about the successful campaign in Saint John, New Brunswick against the widening of the Mackay Highway and linking it to the campaign in BC against the South Fraser Perimeter Road. His message – these campaigns can be won! Eric’s commentary is at http://www.straight.com/article-382624/vancouver/eric-doherty-new-brunswick-gateway-freeway-expansion-cancelled-despite-signed-contract.

2 days ago – Surrey Now reports, “It’s a heartbreaking sight for North Delta residents who played as children in the forests and gullies along the Fraser River. Great swaths of tall trees have been cut down to make way for the South Fraser Perimeter Road, transforming the once lush hillside to a scene reminiscent of the cratered war fields of 1917 Belgium. Locals knew it was going to happen, but to actually see the extensive clear-cutting, and the mud and wreckage the machinery has left behind, is hard to take in.”

The article continues, “Eric Doherty, spokesman for an organization called Against the Pave, believes opponents of the SFPR project still have a ‘pretty good chance’ of stopping it. ‘It’s very unpopular,’ he noted. …Doherty said the group has in the past hung banners off of the bulldozers. Last October the group, armed with spades and wheelbarrows, dug up a freeway construction site in Surrey and in December used sand from a SFPR construction site to build a dike that blocked access to provincial cabinet offices. ‘We are ratcheting up our tactics as we go,’ Doherty said.” The full article is at http://www.thenownewspaper.com/heritage+heartbreak/4521163/story.html.

1 day ago – Global TV reports, “A fight is brewing over a construction site in Delta – where they’re building the new Perimeter Road along the Fraser River.” To watch the 1:36 news report, which includes an interview with Eric, go to http://www.globaltvbc.com/video/index.html?releasePID=igyWVFtL8um0AMsiNLcEu5drZAHuI_9M.

19 hours ago – Straight.com reports, “A long-time Gateway opponent has confirmed that he and other protesters will plant trees on Earth Day at the site where the South Fraser Perimeter Road is to be built. ‘Where the road will not be built,’ Eric Doherty, spokesperson for StopThePave.org, interjected eagerly during a March 29 phone interview. On March 26, Doherty and other members of StopThePave.org, formerly the Gatewaysucks.org coalition, held a pre-action teach-in at Grandview Calvary Baptist Church. ‘We’re meeting at the Annieville Supermarket [10996 River Road in Delta] at 2 p.m. on Earth Day, April 22, and we’re going to occupy the site,’ Doherty told the Straight at the meeting. ‘We’re going to plant trees on dirt, where they’ve cut down trees to build this freeway along the banks of the Fraser River, and we’re probably going to stay there for more than one day.’” This article is at http://www.straight.com/article-383936/vancouver/earth-day-action-planned-delta.

For past campaign blogs on Council of Canadians-supported efforts to stop the South Fraser Perimeter Road, please go to http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?s=south+fraser+perimeter+road.