Indigenous leaders, lawmakers, students, and environmentalists took part in a massive day of action that stretched across Canada on Friday to protest the expansion of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline, a project Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he will "ensure" is completed.
Calling out the prime minister by name, demonstrators hoisted signs and banners proclaiming, "Climate leaders don't build pipelines."
In what was called a first in Canadian history, two sitting members of parliament—Green Party leader Elizabeth May and New Democrat Kennedy Stewart—were arrested for demonstrating against the Trans Mountain pipeline outside of the gate of a Kinder Morgan construction site on Burnaby Mountain, where indigenous leaders staged a sit-in last weekend.
"This is because of Justin Trudeau's betrayal of British Columbia," Stewart said as he was led away by law enforcement. According to Vice, more than 100 pipeline protesters have been arrested this week alone as opposition to Kinder Morgan's project mounts.
BREAKING: For the first time ever sitting Canadian members of parliament have been arrested for a political cause. @ElizabethMay & @kennedystewart were just arrested on #BurnabyMountain taking action to #ProtectTheInlet & #StopKM. pic.twitter.com/n9B2wutFYl
— 350 Canada (@350Canada) March 23, 2018
— (@laurby) March 23, 2018
While crowds of demonstrators marched in Canada's capital or took part in one of the 50 actions that took place across the country, others occupied Kinder Morgan offices to voice their opposition to the company's project, which Indigenous tribes and green groups say would severely endanger the water supply and the climate.
We are here occupying the #KinderMorgan office in #yyc to deliver a message:
there is NOT full+informed consent for this #pipeline, the nations and communities in B.C. fighting to #StopKM have spoken. We want to make sure KM hears them. #ProtectTheInlet #UNDRIP #defendthewater pic.twitter.com/ZNGyMN1Qij
— Gabrielle Gelderman (@GabbyGelderman) March 23, 2018
"Kinder Morgan does not have consent for this project," said Anna Gerrard, an activist with Climate Justice Edmonton who participated in a sit-in at Kinder Morgan Canada's downtown Calgary office on Friday. "Second to this, our ability to proceed with a national climate strategy should not be negotiated around the construction of a massive fossil fuel project."
"We're standing in support of Indigenous autonomy," Gerrard added. "We believe that it's time for a new narrative in this country; one that is not dictated by Big Oil but instead supports life and the much-needed healing of the land and people."
Below is a glimpse of just some of the took place throughout Canada on Friday:
Dozens of #KinderMorgan protesters gathered outside #Vancouver office of federal cabinet minister Jody Wilson-Raybould @Puglaas. Drivers passing by have been honking in support. pic.twitter.com/aMldq5UMF7
— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) March 23, 2018
Today folks from #Ottawa and cities across Canada are making their voices heard loud and clear: Kinder Morgan will not be built!#StopKM #DefendTheWater #ProtectTheInlet #cndpoli pic.twitter.com/SuiJ5BlhqL
— Julia Levin (@lev_jf) March 23, 2018
— Brent Patterson (@CBrentPatterson) March 23, 2018
National Day of Action #defendthewater - Wellington County residents gather in front of Wellington-Halton Hills MP Michael Chong’s Fergus office to protest the Kinder Morgan pipeline in BC. pic.twitter.com/lDIcqgsyhy
— WellingtonAdvertiser (@WellyAdvertiser) March 23, 2018
Overflowing in MP @AnthonyRota's North Bay office to #DefendTheWater and #StopKM -- Delivered a jar of water as part of today's National Day of Action to tell @JustinTrudeau and @cathmckenna to not push through the #KinderMorgan pipeline. Solidarity from Ontario. pic.twitter.com/tPGMsicdbp
— Yan of Piebird Ⓥ (@yan_piebird) March 23, 2018