British Columbia

'Just the beginning': anti-pipeline protesters vow 'rise of resistance'

People who were arrested at a protest against energy giant Kinder Morgan are saying what happened this weekend is just the beginning of mass civil disobedience.

Activists opposed to Kinder Morgan's pipeline expansion to run training sessions for protesters

A group of protesters opposed to Kinder Morgan gather on the beach near the company's Westbridge Marine Terminal during a protest on Oct. 28, 2017 (CBC)

People who were arrested at a protest against energy giant Kinder Morgan are saying what happened this weekend is just the beginning of mass civil disobedience.

On Saturday, protesters gathered both on the water and on land near Kinder Morgan's Westbridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, B.C., to voice their opposition to the planned expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. 

More than 60 boats linked together in front of the tanker route that connects with the terminal. 

Police arrested five of the protesters. They have now been charged with criminal mischief. 

Karen Mahon (centre-left) and Saeed Nagyb (centre-right) are two of five people arrested on Oct. 28, 2017 and charged with mischief for their roles in a protest against Kinder Morgan. Chief Bob Chamberlin with the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs (far left) is also opposed to the pipeline. (Christer Waara/CBC )

On Monday, four of the five held a news conference in Vancouver, vowing to ramp up their efforts. 

Protester Liam Fox says he believes it is his duty to stand in the way of the construction of the Kinder Morgan pipeline. 

"We don't really have any other option. This pipeline has to be stopped," Fox said.

Protester Saeed Nagyb says he was also arrested Saturday, after he tied his kayak to Kinder Morgan's construction barge. 

Still, he strongly stands by his opposition to the project. 

"At best, I think what Kinder Morgan is doing now is presumptuous and, at worst, a slap in the face to our democratic ideals," Nagyb said. 

'Rise of resistance'

"This is the beginning," said Karen Mahon with the group Stand.Earth. Mahon was also among those arrested and charged.

Mahon says starting in a few weeks, her organization will be training people interested in "non-violent direct action."

Part of that will include legal training to make sure participants are aware of their rights. 

"You are going to see a rise of resistance like this province hasn't seen before," Mahon said.  

Continuing opposition

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has faced continued opposition in B.C. from environmentalists, First Nations, municipalities and citizens. 

The Monday news conference was held at the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs board room.

Chief Bob Chamberlin, the vice president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, said it was an honour to sit with those who had been arrested. 

"It's not a small group of radical people trying to stop any development, it's a large group of Canadian citizens that have a very deep, clear concern for the very environment that these projects are being planned for," he said. 

The project has received approval from the National Energy Board and the federal government but has not yet secured required permits from the City of Burnaby. 

Construction on the $7.4-billion project was set to begin in September.

Last week, Kinder Morgan appealed to the National Energy Board, asking it to allow work to begin even without those permits, saying the City of Burnaby was dragging its feet, an accusation Burnaby's mayor called insulting.

With files from Farrah Merali.

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