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Climate Justice Action Ramps Up Under Smokey Skies and Looming Court Decision
By Thomas Davies
The Climate Convergence coalition started the month of August with the launching of a "Build Our Future - Not a Pipeline!" campaign. They hosted an August 2 Art Build with silkscreens and banner painting for an upcoming IntersAction on August 7. The subsequent "Build Our Future - Not a Pipeline!" action saw an over 200 hundred people take over the busiest transit station and intersection in the Lower Mainland for a loud and dynamic action. Participants were invited to fill in the blank on their own, "Money for_____Not Pipelines!" signs which were hand silkscreened at the previous week's Art Build. The energy was high, and drumming and chanting also brought attention to a busy information table.
Protect the Inlet continued regular actions at the gate of the Kinder Morgan Tank Farm - with many being arrested for blocking the gates despite rising penalties which included jail time for some. This culminated in a week of action that included a protest outside of a Liberal Party cabinet meeting in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island's on August 22, and then a protest outside a Vancouver fundraiser for Finance Minister Bill Morneau on August 23. The fundraiser was cancelled due to the protest, so people marched down to another fancy hotel where an exclusive fundraiser was being held for the largest Liberal Party donors. Hundreds chanted outside while a few dozens marched in and chanted through a cocktail party. There was no disputing that people have made themselves heard.
Climate Convergence closed the month out with the August 26 "Frontlines Fundraiser #2", which was a community picnic to raise money for the StopKM Legal Defense Fund. Under skies that now threatened rain, 50 people of all ages and backgrounds came to enjoy each others company, great food, and a special acoustic set by local multi-talented musician Rupert Common. The picnic raised $625 for the Legal Defense Fund, which helps to support the over 200 people arrested at the Kinder Morgan gates so far.
The end of the month brought the surprising news that the Federal Court of Appeals had quashed the approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion, and stalled the project until the government could deal with issues of “meaningful consultation” with Indigenous Nations and the impact of additional tanker traffic on marine life. While construction has stopped, the government has continued to emphasize that they will continue with the project and followed through with the 4.5 billion dollar buyout of the project from Kinder Morgan Canada.
July and August have been the months with the largest climate justice actions in Vancouver over the last decade. After a long, hot summer of important organizing, the September 8 “Rise for Climate” International Day of Action will give people an important opportunity to tell Trudeau that they will never accept the expansion of another dirty Tar Sands Pipeline.
People and Planet Before Pipelines and Profit!
Follow Thomas on Twitter: @thomasdavies59
Follow Climate Convergence on Twitter: @Climate604
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