Tagged: Kinder Morgan

water is life

Water is life

This spring a team of Clayoquot Action volunteers gathered to plan an event for the April 29 National Day of Action. Most of the team were graduates of our in-house Doing Democracy course back in November, so had a handle on concepts like the 8 stages of social movements and the 4 roles of activists (Citizen, Rebel, Reformer, Social Change Agent), and were thus equipped to think strategically about what to do.

Nobody had an appetite for marching down Tofino’s 3-block main drag chanting ‘hey hey Kinder Morgan’s got to go’. It’s different in a small town—we needed something fun and inclusive! We began by looking together at the Beautiful Trouble website, and the team quickly settled on the tactic of a human banner.

In the weeks leading up to April 29, we gathered weekly to share some Red Can pizza and plan the action in detail, while also keeping in touch with a national network convened by Metro Vancouver’s Climate Convergence.

Tofitians not daunted by rain
The morning of April 29 was a cold, rainy day. I knew Tofitians would not be daunted by a bit of rain—in fact, it simply underscored the message. The crew had a great plan to spell out ‘Water is Life’ in giant letters before everyone arrived, but it was a gamble as to how many people would show up. We had settled on 100 people, and sure enough right on time people began streaming down the beach in colourful rain gear, ready for action!

It was humbling to hear Tla-o-qui-aht elder Kaamatḥ (Levi Martin) speaking about the Nuu-chah-nulth philosophy that everything is connected, and his reminder that our actions will affect Kinder Morgan, that we need to act in a way which is respectful to everyone. Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks coordinator Terry Dorward gave a spirited speech about the urgent need to protect Mother Earth.

We then prepared to lie down in the water pooling on the saturated beach sand to write the human banner with our bodies. Right on schedule Atleo Air flew over with local surf photographer Adam Chilton pointing his camera out the open door, barely hanging on as the plane bounced along in the strong winds. True to form, Adam got the shot we needed before everyone dispersed back to warm back up.

Heading back to Clayoquot Action’s downtown headquarters, volunteer Sam Rose Phillips was able to edit and launch a short video called Water is Life within hours, just in time to catch CTV’s coverage of the human banner.

If you haven’t already, please take a minute to watch Sam’s uplifting movie by clicking on the image below, or watch it on YouTube.

Thanks to all the volunteers, everyone who participated, Atleo Air, and Red Can Gourmet for making this action a success!

Kinder Morgan is still claiming they will have shovels in the ground this September, sparking what many pundits are already calling Clayoquot 2.0. Stay tuned…

Dan Lewis is Executive Director of Clayoquot Action.

Clayoquot Action's Dan Lewis, protest against Kinder Morgan, Burnaby Mountain, BC. Marnie Recker Photography

Ready for Clayoquot 2.0

By approving the Kinder Morgan pipeline, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has either failed to understand who voted for him and why, or he would appear to be a fraud.

During the election he presented himself as an alternative to Stephen Harper—a leader who had weakened environmental regulations, vilified environmentalists as ‘enemies of the state’ and pulled Canada out of the Kyoto Treaty. Justin spoke of the need to restore environmental protections, for true reconciliation with First Nations, to address the climate crisis for the sake of young people, and a return to science-based decision-making.

How could he betray all this? Why would he go to the Paris climate talks and boast “Canada is back”, then accept Harper’s carbon targets as his own? Why would he agree to a pipeline which was approved by a flawed NEB process which he had promised to fix? Why would he spend his summer vacation in Tofino, then put the beautiful west coast of BC at risk of a major oil spill? Continue reading

No pipelines, no tankers, no problems!

The Carnival Marching Band was belting out tunes last Saturday as we began marching from City Hall. Five thousand people flooded the streets of Vancouver in advance of Prime Minister Trudeau’s decision on Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion plans. As we crossed the Cambie Street Bridge a massive chant rose up: “Hey hey, Trudeau, Kinder Morgan’s got to go!” It was exhilarating to be together with so many people who are determined to ensure that this pipeline is never built.

Coastal communities on the frontline
A Clayoquot Action contingent made our way down from Tofino to join this massive pipeline protest—because coastal communities like Tofino, Esowista, Ahousaht, and Hot Springs Cove are on the front lines. Long Beach is less than 50 kilometres from the proposed tanker route. This places Clayoquot Sound outside of K-M’s designated Enhanced Area of Response, which means if a spill were to occur, no assistance would be coming for the first 72 hours. Continue reading

Break Free 2016!

When I heard the call-out for Break Free 2016!—a global day of action against fossil fuels—I knew we had to go. The plan was to surround Kinder Morgan’s Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, with marchers on land and ‘kayaktivists’ on the water.

Kayaking is the whole reason I am an activist—a 1990 circumnavigation of Vancouver Island shocked me into realizing how little old-growth forest was left, and that Clayoquot Sound is the Last Great Rainforest on Vancouver Island. This led to my involvement in organizing the Clayoquot Summer 1993 blockades—and the rest, as they say, is history. Continue reading

Busted on Burnaby Mountain!

My heart was pounding as I took the microphone to speak to the crowd of two hundred rallied at the foot of Burnaby Mountain. Not because I was nervous about speaking, but because of the great emotion welling up inside of me—I was about to be arrested.

Arrested for something that has weighed heavily on my heart and mind for decades—the climate crisis. This is an overwhelmingly huge issue, one that is hard to get a handle on, hard to act on. We all do what we can, but at the end of the day systemic changes are needed to overcome the most pressing challenge of our time. Continue reading