What an incredible day! Well over 500 people participated in the march and rally to the End of the Line here in Red Head (just outside of Saint John) New Brunswick. Red Head residents are concerned about the proposed Energy East pipeline and the tank farm that would be erected in their community. But participants came from not just Red Head and Saint John, but all across New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, P.E.I., Quebec, and Maine to express their solidarity with this community and their opposition to this pipeline and the expansion of the tar sands that would come with it.
It was a diverse crowd of Indigenous and non-Indigenous settler allies, Anglophone and Francophone (Acadian and Quebecois), first-time activists and those who have been fighting to protect the water, land and air for decades.
As part of the march, communities identified themselves by marching behind banners with the name of local water bodies threatened by the proposed pipeline throughout the province. These banners, along with long swaths of blue material representing water, and whale tails (representing the endangered North American Right Whale) worn by several Fredericton chapter members, were the visual highlights of the march.
When the march arrived at the beach in Red Head, which is the location of the rally and beach BBQ, we were greeted by a flotilla of canoes led by members of the Wolastoq Grand Council and several Mi’kmaq leaders. Once on land, these Indigenous leaders led sacred pipe and water ceremonies and read a water declaration signed on by the Peace and Friendship Alliance.
The list of speakers was incredible and empowering, with local members of the Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association bottom lining an amazing line up and event overall! Geraldine Flurer and Jasmine Thomas of the Yinka Dene Alliance also spoke about their opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline.
Ultimately, the hope of the crowd was clearly to turn Red Head into the next Cacauna, where the community opposition stopped Energy East from making it one of their port cities. The local community here is committed to stopping this pipeline and tank farm and protecting the water, land and air.
No pipelines, no tankers, not ever, not today!