Vancouver protester Hunter Johnson covered herself with molasses to highlight concern about oil spills.
Hundreds of people marched through downtown Vancouver streets today (March 26) in a boisterous display of opposition to oil tanker traffic along British Columbia’s coast.
Organized by first nation and environmental groups, the demonstration came just days after the 23rd anniversary of the infamous Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska.
A noon rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery drew an estimated 1,000 protesters who chanted and held signs that read: “No tankers on our coast” and “Oil and water don’t mix”.
Speakers criticized Kinder Morgan’s planned expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline to Burnaby and the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline to Kitimat.
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A Vancouver-based environmental group intends to use the Burnaby site of a dramatic oil pipeline rupture four years ago to emphasize its opposition to a planned expansion by Kinder Morgan.
Wilderness Committee (WC) will hold a demonstration on Saturday, Aug. 27 beginning where Hastings Street turns into Inlet Drive. That’s the spot where Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline was ruptured by road construction crews working July 24, 2007. Oil spewed 12 metres in the air flowing downhill toward Burrard Inlet and hitting as many as 100 homes in the area.
The protest is scheduled to coincide with mass civil disobedience planned for Washington, D.C., to protest the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline to carry crude oil from northern Alberta to American refineries.
Along with opposing Keystone XL, WC has set it sights on Kinder Morgan’s plans to expand its Trans Mountain pipeline from the oil sands and its terminal in North Burnaby.
WC says the expansion will mean tankers bigger than the ones now using the dock will be sailing in Burrard Inlet. The current ones, claim the Wilderness Committe, carry more than three times the oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez in Alaska in March 1989.
Sven Biggs, Wilderness Committee outreach director, said the event will start at 2 p.m. with protesters marching down the hill to the gates of Kinger Morgan’s Westridge Terminal.
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