The panel picked by the Tories to review the Northern Gateway Pipeline project has produced its report. Enbridge could not have got a more glowing pro-pipeline recommendation even if they paid a high priced public relations firm to write it. Nonetheless the opposition to the pipeline is getting stronger and we can stop this project and the others like it.
There have been several large rallies against the proposed pipeline and the similar Kinder-Morgan pipeline. This movement has taken its lead from the First Nations who are along the pipeline route and downstream on the rivers it will cross. At the huge rally at the provincial legislature in Victoria, BC, in October of 2012, hundreds joined in civil disobedience by erecting a cloth representation of the length of an oil tanker, and thereby breaking the law regarding erecting structures on the grounds of the legislature.
Thousands joined the rally that was addressed by First Nations leaders, labour leaders and leaders of the environmental movement. It is this connection between the First Nations, labour and other activists that holds the power to stop the pipeline and changing the world.
Another example was the outpouring of support for the Elsipogtog nation when their blockade of a natural gas fracking company was attacked by the RCMP. These sorts of blockades are the future of pipeline resistance across Canada. Solidarity actions across the country will make them a success.
A giant step forward came just a few weeks before the Northern Gateway panel released its report, when several unions signed the Solidarity Accord in support of the Save The Fraser declaration. The Save The Fraser declaration is a statement by over 130 indigenous nations within the Fraser River watershed that states: “We have come together to defend these lands and waters from a grave threat: the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project. This project . . . and the federal process to approve it, violate our laws, traditions, values and our inherent rights as Indigenous Peoples under international law.” They continue, “We will not allow the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines, or similar Tar Sands projects, to cross our lands, territories and watersheds, or the ocean migration routes of Fraser River salmon.”
The Solidarity Accord pledges: “We, the undersigned, say to our First Nations brothers and sisters, and to the world, that we are prepared to stand with you to protect the land, the water and our communities from the Enbridge pipelines and tankers project and similar projects to transport tar sands oil.” Unifor and the BC Teachers’ Federation have signed the declaration.
It's time to start building the networks at your workplace, in your community, and at your college or university to make this solidarity concrete. It's time to organize for actions to stop the pipeline. If you are in a union or a student union get them to sign the Solidarity Accord. Go to www.holdthewall.ca to sign the accord yourself. Start an action committee to plan actions in your community or on your campus. As long as business as usual means burning more fossil fuels and endangering forests, rivers, and oceans with oil spills we need to hold up business as usual.