Bracing for arrests: Kinder Morgan protesters emotional, even musical (VIDEO)
A Vancouver Opera violinist was among those attending to Burnaby Mountain, in advance of expected arrests of protesters opposed to Kinder Morgan's pipeline survey work.
“If people are arrested here, what kind of message does that send out if it’s protecting the corporate benefit of this massive company, versus these unceded territories? And the safety of these people who are sacrificing so much to be here?” she added.
Many said they feel like they are on the precipice of history – a “Clayoquot Sound” moment for our time.
CTV News reporter doing a live hit on Burnaby Mountain on Wednesday. Photo by Mychaylo Prystupa.
Maryam Adrangi with activist group Rising Tide led the training on how to do a "soft blockade" -- meaning to create an obstacle with people, rather than debris or other objects.
“There’s definitely a lot of anxiety around policing, and rising tension about pipeline companies coming in,” she said.
“We were doing an overview about soft blockades. How people can feel most comfortable, and support each other if ever they were to blockade.”
On a more practical note, she was asked by a protester what to do if a human chain was required 24/7, and people needed to go the bathroom.
"Adult diapers, not super glamorous," Adrangi said cheekishly.
Adrangi feels the crowds on the mountain -- which numbered about three dozen Wednesday afternoon -- might be larger, if people did not feel scared about being arrested.
Some, she said, just want to attend to protest inaction on climate change, or the expansion of the oil sands, but don’t necessarily want to mess with the RCMP or Kinder Morgan’s pipeline survey work.
Complicating matters for protesters is that many said they do not know precisely what the so-called “injunction zone” is – i.e. where people are not permitted to go by court order.
What is clear, however, is that RCMP have instructed people to tear down their tent – a kind of staging area for many protesters, with food, a fire pit and supplies – because the structure is in the restricted “borehole one” zone, where the company hopes to drill down hundreds of metres, and detonate charges.
With tensions high, any word of a police altercation tends to get everyone riled up.
There was a police incident on the roadway Wednesday morning outside the conservation park, where a young man was put into a police cruiser. It’s not clear if the incident is related to the protests.
RCMP said they have not made any arrests since the injunction took effect.
Kinder Morgan said in a statement Tuesday:
“Trans Mountain is hopeful individuals occupying Burnaby Mountain will respect the order delivered to protestors November 17 and exercise their rights to express their views in a peaceful and lawful manner, while allowing our team to get the work completed."
"We believe it is possible for people to protest and express themselves while we commence our field studies safely.”