The BC Supreme Court Judge (Affleck) who, on Kinder Morgan’s request, first ordered the injunction limiting protestors to stay five metres away from the gates and waters surrounding the Burnaby Mountain Site, has ramped up the initial injunction.
As of last Friday, June 1, 2018 protestors are forbidden from getting closer than 10 metres of the gates to Kinder Morgan, must keep the roads clear, must obey all the signs and broadcasts — wherever they are claiming Kinder Morgan territory. And if we don’t do what they say, it will be off to jail for 7 to 10 days.
Canada, get ready!
I was part of a group of 20 within the first 240 people to who under the guidance of our lawyer Chilwin Cheng, Ascendion Law, plead not-guilty. It was a technical, but important step in attempting to clarify the confusion around civil contempt, which folks up until the end of March were charged with by the RCMP, and criminal contempt. Judge Affleck, with the agreement of the Attorney General of BC’s office, upgraded the pre-April charges to criminal contempt. What makes it criminal you ask! Oh, you are in criminal contempt apparently when you disobey publicly rather than quietly, I guess, like corporate disobedience — do it quietly, I guess and they’ll be nice to you — no matter what.
Lawyer Cheng and his associates working with the group of protestors I was involved with is of the opinion that the contempt charges should be just that and that the punishment should be dictated by something more than public view especially in this day and age where the public part of your disobedience might actually be ‘beyond your control” given all the digital media present. In addition, Chilwin argued that violence should be considered when sentences for contempt are handed over. The group I went to court with was proven guilty and we were each given sentences of either $500 or 25 hours of community service. My service with 411 Seniors Society has already started.
The Travesty of it All
I read an interesting editorial in The Guardian today about how Canada has become a country known for its apologies, particularly under the “teary-eyed” Justin Trudeau. Apologies without substance, of course as Canada continues to impose colonial practice on Indigenous Peoples right across the country, continues to condemn those of us who support Palestinian sovereignty.
This Monday, June 11 the next wave of protests will begin. Just to be clear, not that they have ever stopped. Lead by our Coast Salish sisters and brothers not one day has gone by when there has not been some action, ceremony or celebration of the resistance to territorial destruction.
But on Monday a new wave will begin. With the new boundaries for protest and proposals that fines will now be replaced by jail time the long, hot summer of 2018 is about to begin.
The Watch House for Burnaby Mountain and the Tiny Houses being built right along the line where the Justin Trudeau Pipeline is threatening to be built through Indigenous Territories both First Nations and settlers will be telling the world that it is time to stop the destruction coming from Canada’s “tar sands” — territorial home to the Lubicon Cree and other Indigenous Nations and Métis Communities who have lived in the territory for many, many, generations some, before contact, and have been fighting against the “tar sands” project since the 1970’s.