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Strong courthouse solidarity for defenders of Burnaby Mountain


Brigette DePape says, "Amazing to see our community come together to support those courageously stepping up to stop pipelines." Photo by Brigette DePape

Brigette DePape says, “Amazing to see our community come together to support those courageously stepping up to stop pipelines.” Photo by Brigette DePape

More than 150 people gathered outside the B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver yesterday to show their solidarity with area residents facing a $5.6 million lawsuit by Texas-based energy company Kinder Morgan for blocking the survey work for their 890,000 barrel per day tar sands pipeline in the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area.

Among those present at the courthouse to show their support were Council of Canadians organizer Brigette DePape, Delta-Richmond chapter activists Cathy Wilander and Bob Ages and Surrey-Langley-White Rock chapter activist Penny Oyama.

Global News reports, “Outside the courthouse there was a noisy crowd of supporters for the protesters, with many waving placards and cheering. …Protest spokesman Stephen Collis [who is a member of the Council of Canadians Delta-Richmond chapter] says the group, called the Caretakers, has already raised $40,000 from 600 separate donors for legal costs, and has the support from 100 environmental and labour organizations.” CBC News notes, “Collis was met with loud cheers from placard-waving supporters as he rallied against the pipeline and the lawsuit.”

The Council of Canadians is one of the 100 organizations that signed an open letter in support of the resistance on Burnaby Mountain to the pipeline.

The Vancouver Observer adds, “Officially, Trans Mountain is asking for an injunction barring protesters from blocking its crews from doing survey work at the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area Park. The company is also asking for damages and costs in a civil lawsuit over what it claims is trespass, assault and intimidation by protesters who chased away workers.”

Collis says the company’s claims are “absurd”.

To see a 2-minute Vancouver Observer video of Lynne Quarmby, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and Collis speaking at the courthouse rally, please click here.

Because there were so many supporters at the courthouse yesterday, “The court case was moved to a much larger court room this week – to a room originally designed to hear the Air India terror incident many years ago. The highly secure court room was packed, and is expected to draw large crowds until the hearing concludes Friday.”

If you live in the Vancouver-area, please show your solidarity at the courthouse today and tomorrow.

Given similar resistance will be waged against Energy East and Northern Gateway should construction ever begin on those pipelines, we are all closely watching this trial.