no pipeline, no tankers, no problem 2

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Indigenous groups lead protest against Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline plan


Thousands of people gathered in Burnaby, B.C., this weekend to participate in a First Nations-led protest against Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Indigenous leaders beat drums and sang out against the project Saturday morning, saying they won't step aside for construction.


Rueben George of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation told protesters that it will take more rallies and protests to stop the $7.4-billion project, which is set to increase the flow of oil products from 300,000 barrels to 890,000 barrels per day.

"It's going to take gatherings such as this ... [to] make sure the environment is not laid to waste and taken away from future generations. This is what we stand for today," George said, speaking by megaphone to the crowd gathered outside Burnaby's Lake City Way Skytrain station.


Burnaby RCMP said 5,000 people took part in the anti-pipeline protest, though estimates from the protesters were much higher.

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Opponents of Kinder Morgan pipeline call out media's false equivalency in coverage of demonstrations

There's an unusual clarification at the bottom of a recent CBC News web story about two pipeline demonstrations in Metro Vancouver.

"A previous version of this story gave coverage to the pro-pipeline rally that was disproportionate based on the number of people who attended it," the tagline states. "The story has been updated to more accurately reflect both sides of the debate."

On Saturday, pro-pipeline forces rounded up about 200 people to come to Jack Poole Plaza to express support for Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project. Some were brought in from Alberta and northeastern B.C.

It occurred on the same day that several thousand people gathered in Burnaby to oppose the project.

Some clever spin doctors likely dreamed up this tactic of holding a pro-pipeline demo downtown so they would generate media coverage to offset the much larger protest in Burnaby.

It worked. Broadcast outlets, including CBC, ran the "duelling demonstration" stories side-by-side.

This occurred even though the number of participants at each rally wasn't even close.

It created a false equivalency in the minds of viewers and listeners, which generated a backlash on social media.

CBC has since responded by running a clarification. The public broadcaster deserves credit for addressing the issue.

But by that point, the pro-pipeline forces had already achieved their objective.

There's another way of covering the pipeline project

Rather than getting caught up in writing pro- or anti- demonstration stories on Saturday, I chose instead to focus on the one issue that the mainstream media is largely overlooking in its Kinder Morgan coverage: climate change.

It's shocking how little attention this receives in all the column inches and airtime devoted to the project.

Greenhouse gas emissions associated with the pipeline just don't seem to interest most journalists, particularly in central Canada.

This is despite last year's record forest-fire season in B.C., massive flooding in the Okanagan, weird rainfall patterns in Ontario, and gigantic hurricanes pounding Houston and Florida. Are they oblivious to this? Simply stupid? In denial? Or too worried that if they talk about climate change, they'll attract the wrath of their bosses?

My commentary carried this title: "Protect the Inlet is really about preventing future generations from enduring climate hell".

Those who want the pipeline to be completed, including Alberta premier Rachel Notley, might say that this is a one-sided way of looking at this issue.

But unfortunately for them, there's no false equivalency with climate change.

It's happening and it's likely going to kill a lot of people around the world this year.

It's time the media started educating people about this.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Protesters back at Kinder Morgan pipeline site, a day after court banned them


Protesters were back in Burnaby Friday attempting to stop construction on the contentious Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, just a day after a B.C. Supreme Court judge granted the operator an injunction.

In videos posted to social media, demonstrators said they were standing outside the “injunction zone,” on Underhill Avenue. One woman had chained herself using metal tubing to a dump truck believed to be owned by Kinder Morgan.

According to Facebook group Burnaby Mountain Updates, RCMP arrived, removed the protester from the truck and placed her in handcuffs.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..from an email

AMAZING NEWS!! Kinder Morgan Canada Limited today announced that it is suspending all non-essential activities and related spending on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. KML also announced that under current circumstances — “specifically including the continued actions in opposition to the Project ” —  it will not commit additional shareholder resources to the Project.

You guys, it’s working. Our principled opposition is wearing the company down. This is far from over — it's going to take sustained pressure to make it clear to shareholders that neither we, nor Indigenous Nations, nor the B.C. government, are backing down — but this morning, we have a great reason to cheer. Let's celebrate with Indigenous protectors whose voices, and prayers, are being heard.

The lesson of today is that Indigenous rights, when they are exercised, defended and enforced, are really scary to industry. That is why we need to support actions like this and why standing with Indigenous Peoples so they can access justice is not only the right thing to do — it’s a gamechanger.

Watch the video of Naomi Klein’s statement from her visit to Burnaby Mountain on April 8th and please support RAVEN with a donation.