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A dinner held in a prestigious Vancouver restaurant by company Vancouver Wharves was disrupted on January 24 by anti-pipeline protesters. Why? Well, Vancouver Wharves is owned by Kinder Morgan.
The protestors -- from a group called Beyond Boarding -- held photos of environmental degradation and covered their mouths with the words "Climate Justice" written on tape.
A failed two-day court challenge to an anti-democratic, corporate legal attack is the latest chapter in the 2014 Battle of Burnaby Mountain over the Kinder Morgan tar sands pipeline expansion project.
The B.C. Supreme Court ruled January 14 that stifling Alan Dutton's right to protest was not the primary purpose of a multi-million-dollar civil suit and, therefore, his application for a summary dismissal of the case was denied. In an unexpected additional blow, he was ordered to pay the company's costs for the action.
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Burnaby Mountain, probably best known as the home of Simon Fraser University, is the site of a proposed expansion of Trans Mountain, Kinder Morgan's Edmonton to Vancouver tar sands pipeline. The mountain is also unceded Indigenous territory, part of the traditional land of the Musqueum, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. But for the last few months, Burnaby Mountain played host to a concerted struggle for climate justice and Indigenous sovereignty, a battle over one pipeline that became a proxy fight over the Harper government's fixation with extractive industry as a whole.
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate
On Burnaby Mountain, while oil company Kinder Morgan works to lay a pipeline, growing numbers of people have been standing and resisting since September 3.
Indigenous land defenders and settler allies point out that these are still unceded Indigenous lands. Occupying them to establish the Trans Mountain pipeline, transporting crude oil and refined products from Edmonton to Burnaby, would also bring 890,000 barrels of tar sands oil every day. This at a time when nearly every day another report reveals that our climate is more susceptible to carbon dioxide than we realized, and that we should be keeping it all in the ground to stand anywhere near a chance.