from Root Force
Hamilton, ON — As this statement is released, we are digging in and occupying Enbridge’s North Westover Pump Station in the Beverly Swamp. We have done this to stop construction in preparation for the reversal of their Line 9 Pipeline to carry toxic diluted bitumen from the Alberta Tar Sands through our communities and watersheds, likely for export.
For the past year, we have organized in our communities across Southern Ontario to raise awareness of Enbridge’s plan to reverse Line 9. Increased awareness quickly lead to concern and to a desire from our communities to at the very least make our voices heard about our opposition to this project. What we found was a rigged game, where the political party most indebted to the oil industry had taken spectacular measures to remove the usual environmental oversights from Line 9 and other pipeline projects. The Line 9 reversal is, from the perspective of the powerful, a foregone conclusion and they have insultingly offered only the most meaningless opportunities for public engagement.
Of course, we understand that even if there had been a full Environmental Assessment, this project would still be going ahead. If anything, the federal government simply had the good courtesy to be honest that they just don’t give a shit what anyone thinks. Although we have few illusions about process, it is very much the case that the removal of the usual process is what has lead to this exceptional step of occupying a construction site. Deprived of all other options for dissent, the move to direct action to stop this reversal is obvious to even the most law-abiding of people. Perhaps we should thank the federal government for removing the usual sham of participation to make it clear that there is no pipeline debate – there is just a pipeline fight.
We are establishing a camp on Enbridge property in the middle of the Beverly Swamp, the largest remaining forested wetland in Southern Ontario. The health of this wetland is crucial to the health of the Spencer Creek, which feeds Cootes Paradise, the beautiful marshland that forms the western end of Lake Ontario. Protecting the water is vitally important — once water is poisoned, it can’t be undone.
The rest of the article, and updates are both here