Early today, Hamilton Police moved into the area that activists were blockading or holding solidarity support at the side of the road against a Enbridge pumping station for Line 9, mass arresting almost everyone on site regardless if they were actually blocking the road/gate.
Those arrested are for the most part are being released with charges which include Disobey Court Order and Trespass.
Activists have been occupying an Enbridge pumping station north of Hamilton, Ontario since early Thursday morning.
According to an early morning press release announcing the arrests, activists are quoted as saying, “This pipeline puts the health of drinking water of millions of people at risk of an oil spill yet Enbridge used the courts and police to arrest 20 people who wanted to protect their lives and our future.
This was a political action. We demand the immediate release of those arrested and insist that their charges be dropped.
The police went above and beyond the limits of the court order by arresting people off the property – people who were on the side walk, and even the police liaison who was on the street. This heavy-handed tactic comes at the heels of Hamilton police receiving over $44,000 from Enbridge recently.”
As of roughly 11:00 am, activists at the site are reporting over social media that, “All but 5 (4 on lock down + 1 other) have been released with trespass tickets.”
Tar sands products are already being refined at an estimated rate of 225,000 barrels/day in Sarnia, Ontario, which has won the region the nickname “Chemical Valley”. Chemical Valley was rated the most polluted place on earth by a National Geographic report.
On July 27, 2012, the National Energy Board approved Phase 1 of the Line 9 reversal. Essentially, Enbridge Corporation wishes to pump tar sands products East towards Montreal instead of West.
Enbridge Corporation describes the process as, “Enbridge will proceed to reverse a section of its Line 9 between Sarnia and North Westover, Ontario to accommodate a request from our customer Imperial Oil Limited for access to the Ontario market. Line 9 is an existing Enbridge pipeline with a current capacity of 240,000 barrels per day (bpd) that extends from Montreal, Quebec to Sarnia, Ontario and currently transports offshore crude oil in a westbound direction.”
The lands affected by the placement of the Line 9 pipeline also includes Aamijiwnaang First Nation. Many in the nation are on the frontline of resistance against the pipeline reversal; claiming police crackdowns and a lack of government and corporate consultation. To counter, Enbridge has more than once publically stated that Enbridge Line 9 has ‘no significant impact to Aboriginal communities’ in its internal assessment process.
According to activist, Dave Vasey, “At the local level, Line 9 represents an important struggle for Indigenous and non-Indigenous action. Enbridge has largely ignored the fact that Line 9 crosses the Haldimand Tract and that changing the contents from light crude to tar sands crude is extremely dangerous. According to the 1701 Treaty, most of Line 9 passes through Six Nations lands. Six Nations has taken important stands to protect their lands both historically and in the recent past.”
I will publish more information as it rolls in.
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