Hundreds rally against pipeline

Their T-shirts said it all.

“No pipeline. No tankers. No problem,” was the slogan emblazoned across the chests of pipeline protesters gathered in Kitamaat Village Saturday.
Their backs wore a similar message: “I’ve got this sinking feeling about Enbridge.”

Other shirts bore a gold Canadian loonie sporting a black loon and highlighting the website

Still others read: “Don’t spoil our coast” with the last three letters of the world spoil in bold typeface.

A lively crowd filled the Haisla Recreation Centre to protest Enbridge’s planned $5.5-billion pipeline aimed at shipping oil sands product overseas via a marine export terminal in Kitimat.

First Nation leaders and environmentalists filed to the microphone to voice their concerns and reaffirm a declaration that Coastal First Nations groups will not allow oil to pass through their lands or waterways.

“We have an extreme responsibility,” said Art Sterritt, executive director of Coastal First Nations. “We all have to come together to try and save a pretty special place on this earth.”

“Enbridge oil spills will not be allowed to destroy our territory,” added Haisla councillor and event organizer Gerald Amos.

The event included a variety of big-name speakers, including stand-up paddler Norm Hann, who presented a breathtaking summary of his recent trip down the proposed Inside Passage tanker route, marine biologist Dr. Riki Ott, who has aided clean-up efforts from both the Exxon Valdez and Gulf oil spills, and famed environmentalist Dr. David Suzuki.

Local NDP politicians Nathan Cullen and Robin Austin were also in attendance.

The Gulf spill could not have happened at a more opportune time when it comes to the proposed Enbridge project, Suzuki told the crowd.

“We have become a new kind of force,” he said of the human race. “We have taken our place alongside the gods causing natural disasters.”

Humans have caused simply the act of living to leave a great ecological footprint, and continue to wreak havoc by holding the economy in higher esteem than everything else, he said.
“We created capitalism,” Suzuki told the crowd, adding nature does not matter in the American way of life.

For the world to change, he said our leaders need to realize the economy is “a figment of our imagination.”

Suzuki said Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is wrong in his ideology that adhering to climate change would result in an economic disaster.

“Not only is Mr. Harper lying to us, he also has not understood the role of ecology and economics,” he said.

He urged protesters to continue their fight against the pipeline, saying it needs to be won for our children and grandchildren.

For his part, he received a standing ovation.

The protest rally came two days after Enbridge filed its pipeline project for environmental review.

“Enbridge poses a grave threat to the future of coastal First Nations’ way of life,” said Sterritt.

“We are not willing to roll the dice with our children’s future.”

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