This Article is part of the Tar Sands Reporting Project special report See the full report

Clayoquot Sound activists march to arrest at Kinder Morgan protest

"On days like today - when we stand up and say no more - we are giving form and voice to this constant conflict that is brewing just under the surface, every day," Karen Mahon said.

(Page 2 of 2)

Thirteen people were arrested today, according to organizers, bringing the total number of arrests to 103, they believe. 

Valerie Langer marching arrest Burnaby Mountain Kinder Morgan Mychaylo Prystupa

Veteran Clayoquot Sound organizer Valerie Langer marching to arrest on Burnaby Mountain at a Kinder Morgan drill site on Wednesday.  Photo by Mychaylo Prystupa.

About two hundred people were assembled on Burnaby Mountain this morning, and the crowd was dominated by seniors.  One was a retired IT professional. 

Another was a retired UBC professor of French, Valerie Raul.  Raul said her husband was known on the Burnaby Mountain as the bagpiper.  Raul came to Canada from the U.K. because of Canada's democracy, its public services and the beautiful natural environment, she said.  Her husband was arrested last week on Burnaby Mountain and also 21 years ago in Clayoquot Sound.

Many veteran Clayoquot Sound protesters from 21 years ago marched to their arrest today, some singing "We Shall Overcome."  The journey from the base of Burnaby Mountain to the police line is a beautiful, treed corridor.  Today, there was mist and the songs of protesters filled the woods. 

Raul, the retired UBC prof, was part of a group of elder women who were part of a choir, "Solidarity Notes."

Clayoquot Sound was a galvanizing moment for Canada's environmental movement, and Burnaby Mountain has been compared to Clayoquot both by Kinder Morgan and by activists. 

 Jean McLaren, 87, smiles as she crosses police line on Burnaby Mountain. Photo by Mychaylo Prystupa

"They're saying it's a police line here, but it's really a crime scene for crimes against climate and democracy," said Mark Shaw, a protester on Burnaby Mountain and Save Our Shores member who had come to show support with a contingent from Gabriola Island. 

Paul Manly, representing the B.C. and Yukon division of the Council of Canadians, said his organization had issued a statement from Ottawa supporting the protests on Burnaby Mountain.

"We're thanking people for coming out, by standing up and being arrested," Manly said. 
 
"We support civil disobedience in these kind of situations...this is the hotspot in Canada right now with major climate destroying projects promoted by the Harper government."

He suggested that what was happening in Burnaby Mountain today could apply to Energy East, a controversial 4,500 kilometre pipeline proposal by TransCanada.  

 
"We're going to see the same thing happening here with Energy East," he said. 

Karen Mahon told her friends on Facebook more about why she crossed the police line on Burnaby Mountain.  "As we go through our normal lives this theft of our future is going on around us yet we choose to not see it, to not name it or express it," she wrote. "But we do feel it, as a hard to identify stress, as something gnawing away at our hearts. On days like today - when we stand up and say no more - we are giving form and voice to this constant conflict that is brewing just under the surface, every day."

Soundcloud below of speeches by Karen Mahon and Tzeporah Berman.

Sindhu Dharmarajah and Linda Solomon Wood contributed to the reporting on this story. 

More updates to come. 

More in News

Views from a refugee camp: Who gets into heaven?

I have just returned to Vancouver Island from Greek refugee camps where I met a Yazidi man named Jason who told me about his escape from ISIS in Iraq.   His story begins on a desert road where a...

Vancouver's bicycle sharing grows as 15 new stations installed

Mobi bicycle by Shaw Go in Vancouver. Photo by Christopher Porter from Flickr Creative Commons

International Women's Day Concert celebrates female musicians who turned tragedy into triumph

Every March 8, on International Women's Day, we hear about the achievements of brilliant, talented women around the world. But how often do we learn about the physical and mental disabilities or...
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.