Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

November 15, 2016

MONTREAL: Train Tracks Blocked in Solidarity with Standing Rock

 Standing Rock Photo: Sara Lafleur-Vetter

Train tracks blocked in Pointe St. Charles in solidarity with Standing Rock

Tio’tia:ke (Montreal), November 15th 2016, 4pm

Residents of the South-West borough of Montreal are blocking the train tracks at the corner of Wellington and de Sébastopol Streets in solidarity with Indigenous water protectors fighting against the Dakota Access pipeline. A gathering is going strong in Congregation Park, adjacent to the blockade. This action is organized in response to a call to action made by Indigenous leaders at Standing Rock to take to the streets and disrupt "business-as-usual".  
The group blocking the tracks explains their action in the following declaration: 
Stand with Standing Rock
We are here today, people from the neighbourhoods of the Southwest of Montreal, on unceded Kanien'kehá:ka lands, to directly show our solidarity with the indigenous led struggle at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota, USA. 
With the lives of communities and the natural world in danger from large petroleum companies and the banks that support them, resistance against these destructive projects has become necessary around the world, including in Montreal and the rest of Quebec.
This Dakota Access pipeline project must be stopped and the oil must remain where it is, in the ground. Today and until victory, we support the struggle to block the Dakota Access pipeline project. 
Southwest neighbourhoods of TIO’TIA :KE
Information (we are not doing interviews with capitalist media)
On the action (a photo report will be posted by 6pm, and in the upcoming week, we will post a short film) and on the struggle at North Dakota: 
Supplementary information here: 
On noDAPL, in appendix below
Oil transport facts, in appendix below
#noDAPL Solidarity: 
West Coast Women Warrior’s Media Cooperative:
Hash tags
#NoDAPL #NoEnergyEast #StopKinderMorgan #WaterIsLife #StandWithStandingRock
The DAPL is a massive fracked-oil pipeline being promoted by a shady group of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies and banks. The DAPL will destroy sacred sites, worsen climate change and be laid underneath the Missouri River, potentially poisoning the freshwater supply for eight million people. Furthermore, it would engender a renewed fracking-frenzy in the Bakken shale region where the pipeline would begin.
The DAPL is slated to cross Lakota Treaty Territory at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. For months the Standing Rock Sioux have been leading a protest against the construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. They have been joined by thousands in what has been described as the biggest gathering of indigenous movements in the US in a hundred years. In creating campsites along the route of the pipeline, they have managed to interfere with and physically block the construction works and have been a torch of inspiration for indigenous and ecological movements across the world.
  • Spills and leaks from the DAPL would impact all citizens, threatening wildlife, water quality, and land integrity. Routed over two major riverways, (the Missouri River and the Mississippi River), the pipeline is a major threat.
  • In violation of U.S. federal law, Dakota Access has begun construction without completing a full Environmental
    Impact Statement.
  • The DAPL permitting process has continually avoided proper nation-to-nation consultation with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Yankton Sioux Tribe.
  • Job creation benefits are minimal: full-time permanent positions for North Dakotans created as a result of the pipeline are estimated at less than ten.
  • The proposed route crosses the Missouri River at the confluence with the Cannon Ball river, an area that is of utmost cultural, spiritual, and environmental significance. The confluence is an important location for the Mandan origin story as the place where they came into the world after the great flood. Where the two waters meet once created Iŋyaŋ Wakháŋagapi Othí, spherical Sacred Stones (thus the colonizers' term 'Cannon Ball'), but after the Army Corp of Engineers dredged and flooded the rivers in the 50s, the flow has changed and Sacred Stones are no longer produced. There are historic burial grounds, village grounds and Sundance sites that would be directly impacted.
“The place where pipeline will cross on the Cannonball is the place where the Mandan came into the world after the great flood, it is also a place where the Mandan had their Okipa, or Sundance. Later this is where Wisespirit and Tatanka Ohitika held sundances. There are numerous old Mandan, Cheyenne, and Arikara villages located in this area and burial sites. This is also where the sacred medicine rock [is located], which tells the future.” - LaDonna Bravebull Allard (Lakota, Dakota). 
“The dangers imposed by the greed of big oil on the people who live along the Missouri river is astounding. When this proposed pipeline breaks, as the vast majority of pipelines do, over half of the drinking water in South Dakota will be affected. How can rubber-stamping this project be good for the people, agriculture, and livestock? It must be stopped. The people of the four bands of Cheyenne River stand with our sister nation in this fight as we are calling on all the Oceti Sakowin or Seven Council Fires to do so with our allies, both native and non-native in opposing this pipeline.” - Joye Braun (Cheyenne River)
Source : Climate Justice Montreal : 
Oil is death
Water is life
Transport of oil by train
  • In 2013 there were over 53,000 rail cars carrying oil, that’s 100,000 barrels a day moving through the island of Montreal.
  • The trains arrive from Vaudreuil-Dorion and go towards the refineries in the east either via Mont-Royal and Ahuntsic in the north, or by the Victoria bridge and the river to the south, also passing through Saint-Henri and Pointe-Saint-Charles. (Journal Voir, March 2015);
  • The oil comes primarily from North Dakota.
  • There are an estimated 50,000 people in Quebec who live no more than 100 meters from a railway that carries oil convoys, primarily in the cities of Montréal, Longueuil, Saint-Hyacinthe, Drummondville and Sherbrooke. 
  • In 2014, there were 174 accidents that took place during the transport of dangerous materials in Canada (Transportation Safety Board of Canada). 
  • Do the new regulations imposed by Ottawa for the transport of dangerous materials by tanker-car allow them to avoid a catastrophe like that in Lac-Mégantic? No, say the experts. Radio-Canada March 2015.
Transport of oil by pipeline
  • There have been 11 pipeline accidents reported in 2013, which is 4 more than in 2012 (Transportation Safety Board of Canada). 
  • The number of major incidents has been similar on railways and pipelines. (Journal de Montréal Samson March 13, 2016) 
  • According to the Transport Safety Board, pipelines are not necessarily safer than trains for the transport of oil.
  • Did you know that the Saint-Lawrence River is the main source of drinking water for more than 3.7 million people? That’s just under half the entire population of Quebec! Even though industry and government try to reassure us, there have been no less than 19 major spills of more than a million litres, and nearly 950 smaller spills between 2004 and 2013 in Canada. (David Suzuki Foundation)
  • Last July 20th, 69,000 people were left without drinking water in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, after a leak in a pipeline of the company Husky Energy. A statement published on September 2nd by indigenous communities in the region denounced how long it took the company to react: 14 hours! During this time, 250,000 litres of crude oil spilled into the Saskatchewan River. More than two months after the accident, the water is still not safe to drink.  

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