Enbridge Pipeline Panel Frightened By Singing & Drumming Opposition
In a bizarre turn of events, the Enbridge Pipeline hearings were suspended in Bella Bella in northern British Columbia yesterday after the panel members expressed concerns about their safety. This development seems curious, as the Joint Review panel members have the full weight of the federal government behind them, and the RCMP were present for the protests which greeted the panel. NDP MLA Gary Coons arrived on the same plane, and confirmed that all he witnessed was a peaceful protest. The RCMP agreed, with their spokesperson stating:
“From what I understand it was a peaceful demonstration – there were religious regalia being worn by band members and there was drumming, and singing as well, at the airport.”
Could it be that the panel members were intimidated by the community solidarity against the Northern Gateway pipeline project? So united is the community against the project that over 30 high school students began a 48 hour hunger strike upon the arrival of the panel. This is the press release and video they released a few days earlier; I’ll let the reader be the judge of the threat they pose:
The students and staff of Bella Bella Community School stand together in opposition to the proposed Enbridge Pipeline that would bring supertankers filled with oil along the coast of the Great Bear Rainforest, jeopardizing the environment upon which we rely for sustenance, both physical and spiritual. We will be engaged in a 48-hour hunger strike from April 1st at 4 pm to April 3rd at 4 pm. This coincides with the Enbridge hearings in our community. We hope to open a dialogue with other concerned students from around the province and communicate through video conferencing during our hunger strike. We invite your school or community to join us in our strike and help make a statement that can’t be ignored.
If the panel members want to see what real intimidation looks like, they should watch some of the video from the G20 summit in Toronto in June 2010, where peaceful protestors were rounded up and attacked by the police. Over 1,000 Canadians were held in a temporary “pen” for 24 hours, and charged for exercising their democratic rights, although the vast majority of those charges were later dropped. Now that’s frightening!