A dozen faith-based protestors formed a prayer circle Thursday at the Burnaby Trans Mountain construction site, which is undergoing tree clearing as part of the project.
The group arrived at 6 a.m., with plans to “block any further work” including the cutting of more than 1,300 trees currently underway near Brunette River.
At 10:30 a.m., protestor Laurel Dykstra confirmed with Black Press Media the group was still on-scene.
Demonstrators identified themselves as practitioners of Unitarian, Christian and Buddhist traditions, according to a March 4 news release: “Some practitioners say they will not move if RCMP asks them to, and are prepared to risk arrest.”
A court injunction currently bars people from blocking work on the pipeline at various sites in Burnaby, authorities confirmed with Black Press Media.
One of the protestors, Ruth Walmsley, member of Burnaby Residents Opposing KinderMorgan Expansion, said “with the construction of the TMX proceeding, I feel I have no option left other than non-violent civil disobedience.”
“I know that I am part of a much larger tide, and I believe that tide is turning. Enough is enough. Too much has already been lost. Let us see what love can do,” Walmsley stated.
12 in prayer at TMX gates on North rd North of Hume Park, Coast Salish territory. Other prayers welcome. Security would like us to pray “off to the side so they don’t have fo call the police”
This action comes following the sentencing of protestor Stacy Gallagher in B.C. Supreme Court this week. The Indigenous man was handed 90 days in jail for his participation at a Burnaby Mountain tank farm protest in 2019.
Gallagher’s sentence was cited as a cause for the 24-hour blockade formed by Indigenous youth or “Braided Warriors” in the intersection of Hastings and Clark in Vancouver Tuesday night.
Vancouver police cleared the intersection Thursday morning, with a response that ended in four arrests.
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