Dozens of Students Arrested in Ottawa Protesting Kinder Morgan Pipeline
OTTAWA - Today, 100 students and youth from across Canada were arrested in Ottawa in the largest act of youth-led climate civil disobedience in Canadian history. The students marched from the University of Ottawa to Parliament Hill where they were arrested trying to cross police barricades towing an oversized chalkboard sporting climate science backing up their message for the Prime Minister – climate leaders don’t build pipelines.
“Climate leaders don’t build pipelines,” explained Sophie Birks, a Mcgill University student arrested at the action. “My generation wants to see real action on climate change and Indigenous rights. That starts with rejecting the Kinder Morgan pipeline.”
Youth travelled from all across Canada to participate in and support the action, including Cedar Parker-George, a member of the Tsleil Waututh Nation, whose traditional territory faces the terminus of the Kinder Morgan pipeline in the Burrard Inlet in Vancouver, BC.
“The Kinder Morgan pipeline would directly threaten my nation and my home,” Parker-George explained. “Justin Trudeau promised to listen to Indigenous communities, well my community has been pretty clear; reject this pipeline and protect the water, the land and the climate”.
Organizers of the action cited the rising political power of millennials, expected to be one of the largest voting blocs in Canada by the next federal election, in their reasons for taking action. According to polling, 45% of people 18-24 voted liberal in the 2015 election and people under 35 oppose pipelines more than older generations.
“My generation elected this government to take real action on climate change and Indigenous rights, not to build pipelines,” said Amanda Harvey-Sanchez, a University of Toronto student arrested at the action. “I hope Trudeau is paying attention today, because if he approves the Kinder Morgan pipeline, he will lose millennials like me that are looking for bold climate leaders, not pipeline politicians.”
This action is taking place on the traditional territories of the the Algonquin Nation. We strive to build positive relationships with Indigenous peoples by grounding our work in principles of decolonization and aligning ourselves in solidarity with with the struggle for Indigenous sovereignty.