Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

May 23, 2012

Native protesters shut down Enbridge hearing in Ontario

Feb. 2012 Enbridge protest BC
Led by Six Nations community members, Enbridge Line 9 hearings disrupted, shut down for half a day

Press statement
Posted at Censored News
May 23, 2012

LONDON, Ontario -- Dozens of environmental justice activists led by Indigenous activists from Haudenosaunee successfully “mic checked” a stop to Enbridge Line 9 hearings in London early Wednesday morning. Members of the National Energy Board had travelled to London to hear presentations from major oil conglomerates as well as environmental NGOs. After successfully disrupting meeting, Haudenosaunee representatives explained that they had not been consulted about the pipeline plans, which would negatively impact their lands.

“We are not only fighting for our rights but yours too,” said grandmother and long time Indigenous activist Ruby Montour, after members of the board and lawyers from the oil companies left the presentation room. “They need to be fair with our people, with you, your ancestors and your children. The environment is going to pay big time if these pipelines rupture and they need to listen to our concerns. They need to speak to us, the real people who need to be spoken to, whose treaties have been broken. They forced us to go to school, they forced us to learn, and we learned so now we know when they are lying or cheating. Well, they can’t anymore. They can’t force things on our lands.”

Canadian pipeline company Enbridge Inc. is proposing the Line 9 Trailbreaker Pipeline to transport tar sands oil through some of the most important natural and cultural landscapes in eastern Canada.  Under the plan, Enbridge would pump corrosive tar sands oil – the dirtiest oil on the planet – through a pipeline that was built in 1975. Enbridge has taken the first step to implement this plan by recently filing a permit application with Canada’s National Energy Board.

“This project cannot go forward without the free, prior and informed consent of the Haudenosaunee who would be directly impacted by a pipeline rupture,” said Metis activist Sakihitowin Awasis who led the mic check that was repeated by over two dozen activists in the room. The Mic Check continued: “The people believe the NEB hearings are illegitimate, inaccessible and undemocratic”

“Pipelines have been stalled or stopped going westward through British Columbia, southwards through Texas (the Keystone XL) and are now being pushed eastward through Ontario. It will be met with similar resistance,” said organizer Toban Black outside the five star Hilton Hotel after the meeting was recessed.

Awasis was arrested by London police, held for over an hour and released with a trespass ticket.

The National Energy Board public hearing was shut down for half the day, after which only the press and the official intervenors were allowed to re-enter. After submissions from intervenors inside the room, the Board ruled that members of the public could re-enter if the intervenors vouched that the people coming in would not be disruptive.

Activists stayed outside and organized a People’s Hearing where statements were read by those gathered and others who had submitted their statements online .

For more information:
Wes Elliott, Six Nations - 519-757-5427
Toban Black, Rising Tide North America - 519-660-0872 (landline)
Kalin Stacey, Environmental Justice Ontario - 226-972-8497

Peoples Hearing

Mel Bazil’s statement

Our future here in Wet’suwet’en Territories are going to be 100% Pipeline and Offsetting Free. We do not support the following proposed or illegitimately approved pipelines (and their inevitable bitumen spills) to cross our territories: Apache Corporation’s Pacific Trails Pipeline, Endbridge’s Northern Gateway Project, Pembina Pipelines’ Dual Pipeline Project, and Kinder Morgan’s Transmountain Expansion and Reroute to Kitimat.
We do not see our people breaking the Natural Laws to promote Carbon, Boreal, or Biological Offsets so the destruction of others lands and waters is mitigated by false solutions. We say no to Offsetting! If Enbridge is planning to Offset their proposed RoW in our territories, we are educating our leaders regarding the falsity to the proposed solution that are Offsets and Carbon Markets.
We stand in solidarity with our neighbours in all directions who oppose all pipelines and who do not wish to see further destruction from Hydrofracturing and Tar Sands projects in the Horn River Basin and Lubicon Cree, Cold Lake, and Athabasca Dene Lands. We wish for a future of health for all peoples and pipelines and expanded oil and gas projects are not a part of that. We offer solidarity to all communities who are impacted by the proposal to reverse the flow of the decommissioned Trailbreaker Pipeline for the purpose of transporting bitumen and condensate to New Hampshire, Maine, Montreal, and the east coast.
We also say no to unwanted mining. We do not wish to see more oil and gas and military expansion being facilitated by mining for minerals that are not subscribed to by the peoples of these lands. Federal and Provincial Job strategy and civilization’s expansion are not welcomed in the face of global climate change, increasing health risks from ‘so-called-development’, and decreasing clean and healthy water sources.
It has been a long time coming, the vision of a world that does not seek to destroy and mitigate merely to continue with the destructive and short term world of civilized life in gluttonous cities and war torn histories. The vision of our world we seek involves Settlers and Indigenous Peoples minds bringing together a true relationship where construct laws can also reflect Natural Laws and conflicts are minimal and violence is stopped. The peaceful existence of our futures includes our taking back of our responsibilities to our future generations and our healthy world that no one can own, but can have a relationship with. Let’s do this! Good blessings to you all in your efforts and keep the faith strong!

No comments: