Joseph Jones had just started tesitfying about what he described as a process that shut out young people, and others, faces, he told the Joint Review panel in Vancouver, that they would probably never see. But they would see these faces in a matter of minutes.
"I've spent a lot of time with dozens of young people and dozens of indigenous folk, people who've faces you most likely will not see and whose voices you will not see. They have no confidence in you or this process," Jones said, adding that "the intricacies of registration and proceedings are designed to exclude them."
It was so seamless it took me a moment to realize something was wrong.
Whistles shrilled as five protesters entered the room, which had up to then been locked. It was unclear who let them in. Among the protesters were Sean Devlin, who wore a t shirt that said "Climate Crime Scene" and Brigette DePape, whos t shirt read "Stop the Pipeline."
Devlin and DePape were both organizers of the demonstration at Victory Square on Monday night that drew an estimated thousand people to protest the pipeline proposal.
The Joint Review Hearings panelists got up and left the room as seamlessly as the protesters had entered it. Meanwhile, the protesters continued blowing whistles for minutes. Then they fell quiet, simply standing silently with a banner and t shirts that said "no pipelines."
A reporter asked them who they were. No one answered.
The police eventually came, and asked them to leave. They silently remained fixed in their places as journalists filmed and snapped pictures and a Joint Review Hearings staff person nervously commanded photographers to stay back "behind the line". The police said that if they didn't leave they would be arrested and that it was up to them. No one moved. The police closed in and handcuffed the protesters. They were taken out of the room.
For an update on what the young people were charged with and what they were protesting, go here.