From their website: http://swampline9.tumblr.com/
Twenty-four hours after taking over Enbridge’s North Westover pumping station, we’re still here, construction is stopped for a second day, and we’re confident we can hold the space for a while still. We’re confident that energy will continue to build through the weekend, and we invite anyone interested in helping us stop construction to drop by the site.
We are camped out at Enbridge’s North Westover facility, which is the local pump station for the Line 9 pipeline. Construction has been ongoing here since March, and one big question we’ve heard is exactly what kind of work are we stopping here. Although Enbridge’s spin master Ken Hall was quick to say that it was just a valve replacement, we have several reasons for believing this is just another lie from them.
First, Enbrige registered this work with the National Energy Board, which they would not have been required to do if it was simply a valve replacement. Further, their move this past week to round-the-clock shifts seven days a week (as opposed to their previous 9-5 construction schedule) shows a sense of urgency in completing time sensitive work. And when we first arrived on the site, workers departing told us that the work is a larger replacement/repair of a stretch of pipe and that this section of Line 9 is currently closed! Although, according to these employees, Enbridge has been able to reroute some of their product, they are moving oil well below their capacity, which means they are losing money while this work is unfinished. This explains the increased number of workers and the rush schedule, and perhaps gives some context to remarks we overheard Ken Hall making on the phone: “I know, I know it’s a really a bad time for this…”
Today is the summer solstice, and last night we kept watch under the bright light of a nearly full moon. The land here is quite beautiful As I type this, the air is full of blowing seeds, and goldfinches, cedar waxwings, and countless butterflies dart between the shrubs. Taking time to pause and appreciate this space is made even better by the knowledge that we are stopping critical work from taking place in furtherance of a project that would see the Beverly Swamp exposed to increased amounts of even more toxic oil.
It’s a wonderful magic that takes place when an occupation occurs – the usual uses and flows of this space stop, as do the usual patterns of the lives of the participants. Many people here comment on how this space is utterly transformed and how even when they need to leave the site, their regular lives take on the sheen of increased possibility that comes from the collective strength and courage of participating in an action like this.
We’ve had a range of interactions with local residents, almost all of them polite even if we disagreed about the issue. Residents have dropped by to share coffee and conversation, and neighours who started out hostile came back to follow up and discuss things further. That’s one of the great advantages of having a sustained, visible presence like the Swamp Line 9 Occupation, that we can hold more sustained dialogue.
And we’re even eating well, with lots of fresh fruit from sympathetic farmers who don’t want to see their well water poisoned by Tar Sands oil. We always welcome donations though, and fruit, vegetables, prepared meat (like jerky or summer sausage) are in high demand. Please see our full list atwww.swampline9.tumblr.com for what else we can use out here.
Here are some things to keep in mind while visiting the Swamp Line 9 Action
-We are on stolen Indigenous land. The Beverly Swamp is the traditional territory of the Chonnonton people as well as of the Mississagi Anishinabex and the Onondowaga Haudenosaunee.
-Have fun, but also remember that this is a site of struggle. We need to keep on our toes and take care of each other. For this reason we seek to maintain a sober space.
-Don’t mess with any of Enbridge’s equipment. The purpose of this action is to stop construction, not to damage any equipment or facilities, and each person’s actions will affect everyone else.
-We will strive to identify and confront oppressive behaviour (for instance, sexually harassing, white supremist, or queer-phobic behaviour) and we encourage everyone to help us in this. People who persist in these kinds of behaviours will not be welcome on the site.
-Media and cops… Don’t talk to them! If you are approached by a journalist or by a police officer, we ask that you not engage with them, but rather just smile and say, ‘One second, we’re glad to talk with you, I just need to go find the media/police liaison first.”
-In case of confrontation seek to de-escalate, whether its with police, employees, locals, or anyone. This action seeks to maintain a respectful tone, even as we are determined to hold the site.
-On that note, there are three Enbridge employees on site. We have negotiated that they will stay to perform regular safety checks on the construction facility. Apart from shift changes, they stay near their trucks in the area closest to the fenced compound. We ask that you not engage with them or photograph them, and they should not be engaging or photographing you either.
-This action is definitely not a safe place to talk about doing illegal actions or about one’s desire to do such actions.
-Let’s be mindful not to make too much noise to avoid pissing off the neighbours.