David Suzuki's grandson's speech after his arrest for protesting Kinder Morgan (VIDEO)
“This is insane, why are we putting our economic system – the market – above the very ecology that we all depend upon?" - Tamo Campos
“I hadn't had a speech planned, so I am just going to wing it. My name is Tamo, and I am David Suzuki’s grandson.”
Such were the opening remarks of 24-year-old Tamo Campos, during a rainy outdoor press conference at the foot of Burnaby Mountain conservation park on Friday, one day after he was arrested.
“What is radical? Is it radical to expand fossil fuel infrastructure in the midst of climate change?”
“Is it radical to use police force to quell public opinion, and public opposition?”
“It is not radical at all, and stand up and be arrested to unjust laws," said Campos.
The young man was taken into custody for breaking an injunction granted to Texas-based Kinder Morgan, to protect its survey crews attempting to do geo-technical pipeline tests for a hoped-for Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
As of Saturday, Kinder Morgan crews are on Burnaby Mountain. Drilling equipment arrived at the work site Friday afternoon. The work requires drilling two six-inch test-holes, approximately 250 metres in depth. The work will be conducted 24 hours per day for 10 to 12 days.
The company said in a statement that it supports "the right to peacefully protest and believes individuals can express their views in the lawful assembly area, which is near one of the work sites, while allowing our workers to continue working safely."
Collecting his thoughts, Campos centered on his core message for the array of TV cameras, and reporters:
“This is insane, why are we putting our economic system – the market – above the very ecology that we all depend upon? We’re more dependent on clean water, fresh air and clean soil, than the market! It’s the thing that keeps us alive!”
Pointing to the forest, he added:
“We have to stand up to unjust laws – to make those the laws, because those are the laws that have always governed our lives. And indigenous people have had natural laws that pre-date colonial laws by thousands of years, and we need to respect that.”
RCMP enforcing Kinder Morgan's court-ordered injunction on Friday on Burnaby Mountain. Photo by Mark Klotz.
The RCMP said their task was to clear the protesters from Burnaby Mountain who are in violation of the B.C. Supreme Court injunction handed down on Nov. 14, 2014.
Campos was among some two dozen protesters arrested. He is the co-founder of an environmental activist group called Beyond Boarding.
His famous 78-year-old grandfather wrote Camos a letter of support. David Suzuki is reportedly in Malaysia, though that is not confirmed.
"[My grandson} is doing what I would have done myself were it not a risk to my position as host of The Nature of Things on CBC," he wrote.
"The world is on a collision course with the things that keep us alive and healthy - the air, water, soil and variety of life. Corporations, especially those with head offices in some other part of the country or the world care little for the interests of local ecosystems or communities, except in so far as they interfere with the drive to maximize profit for shareholders."
"They have no obligation to protect local ecosystems or local communities. Their sole goal is to make as much money as they can get away with," Suzuki added.
The long-time broadcaster, environmentalist and scientist just completed the "Blue Dot Tour" -- Suzuki's cross-country effort, using rockstars and entertainers, to motivate citizens to press for a change to Canada's constitution, to include environmental protection as a guaranteed legal right.
Following Campos' speech, another scientist -- SFU molecular biologist Lynne Quarmby -- took to the microphone, gave a speech, and walked up the mountain to cross the police tape, and get arrested too. She was charged with civil contempt, and intends to plead guilty, she told the Vancouver Observer.