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Theatrical protest targets pipelines

Statement: Rebecca Kneen takes part in an anti-pipeline demonstration held Monday in front of MLA Greg Kyllo’s office. - James Murray/Observer
Statement: Rebecca Kneen takes part in an anti-pipeline demonstration held Monday in front of MLA Greg Kyllo’s office.
— image credit: James Murray/Observer

A group of residents made their opposition to pipelines across B.C. loud and clear during a theatrical anti-pipeline demonstration on July 7.

Rebecca Kneen got together with friends and acquaintances to put on the demonstration, which included people representing oil bursting out of a fake pipe, actors dressed as Enbridge employees attempting to stop it, and a doctor diagnosing those affected with imminent death.

The demonstration took place outside of MLA Greg Kyllo’s Alexander Street office.

Kneen says various governments have been making empty promises to the public when it comes to protecting the environment and First Nations land.

“Salmon Arm doesn’t have a whole lot of voice,” said Kneen. “The people who have been vocal in opposing pipelines are not alone, there are people ready to stand in the way.”

Kneen said the demonstration was specifically in opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline, but also noted it was relevant to all of the pipelines running through B.C.

“With every pipeline, spills will happen,” said Kneen.

Steve Van Hassel, who participated in the demonstration, doesn’t think the creation of more jobs is a viable reason for approving pipelines.

“There’s other ways to make jobs,” said Van Hassel. “To me it’s a lame excuse to justify it. If there was more government focus on clean energy, we wouldn’t have to be putting in pipelines.”

Participant Michelle Tsutsumi says the government’s defence on cleaning up the spills if they do occur is unfounded, noting the Exxon Valdez spill and Gulf of Mexico spill of 2010 are still harming the environment.

“These pipelines are guaranteed to leak and spill,” said Tsutsumi. “There’s going to be so much devastation for unique ecosystems.”

 

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