Ready to help protestors take on the famous pipeline expert, Kinder Morgan, a group known as Land Defenders has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $40,000 for their legal defense team after the company served them with a $5.6 million dollar lawsuit.
According to the Vancouver Sun, The oil and gas giant’s Trans Mountain pipeline subsidiary is seeking an injunction against protesters, Stephen Collis, Adam Gold, Mia Nissen and Lynne Quarmby, who apparently confronted the surveying crews last Wednesday (October 29th). The company is also asking for damages and costs over alleged trespass, along with assault and intimidation by protesters who chased workers away from the area.
The campaign reads, “A group of dedicated land defenders have been protecting Burnaby Mountain on unceded Coast Salish territories against the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline. Kinder Morgan has served these land defenders with a $5.6 million dollar lawsuit.
“This legal defense fund is to support the legal costs for Stephen Collis, Adam Gold, Mia Nissen and Lynne Quarmby as they defend their rights in the hearings to be held Wednesday to Friday, November 5th-7th at the Supreme Court of B.C., 800 Smithe Street, Vancouver.”
Upon receiving news about the lawsuit, Collis reportedly stated,”How, in a democracy, can someone be charged for occupying public land, and for speaking their mind freely? Last I checked, Canada had a constitution. I believe I am allowed to speak freely about climate change, about our need to alter our course away from fossil fuels, and the need for a public movement against systemic threats to this planet. I do not believe corporations should be allowed to take this freedom away from me or anyone else.”
Quarmby added, “The only world in which it is okay to continue building new infrastructure for fossil fuels with no consideration for climate change is a world where we don’t care about the future, or about other places on the globe, or about disappearing species, or about ocean acidification.”
The campaign’s organizers revealed,”Kinder Morgan has been working to conduct surveys to support and gather information on their Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline Project on unceded and unsurrendered Coast Salish territories. Opposition towards Kinder Morgans Trans Mountain Expansion is one that has been consistently growing. Leading the opposition to this pipeline are the Coast First Nations. ”
The organizers also shared a message that the Facebook group Stop Kinder Morgan on Burnaby Mountain.”‘In their response, the National Energy Board did not deny our assertion. Instead, they merely offered an interpretation of Section 73a of the National Energy Board Act. We will, therefore, continue to enforce our bylaws, ensuring that Kinder Morgan does not access Burnaby parkland and the Brunette Conservation area on which they want to perform deleterious actions that would contravene the laws put in place by our City and citizens to protect our parkland,'” Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan said.”
They then added, “‘The NEB refused to address the City of Burnaby’s constitutional question,’ said Burnaby’s legal counsel, Greg McDade, QC. ‘By refusing to grant an access order, they ignored the question completely, meaning that Kinder Morgan still cannot access Burnaby’s land without the City’s permission.'”
“The NEB Act does not empower the Board to make orders that override municipal jurisdiction or bylaws. Local citizens are now mobilizing to express our opposition to allowing KM access to our public lands in preparation for building their proposed pipeline expansion. The answer is ‘NO.’ Please join us!”
Since its debut on the crowdfunding platform Sunday (November 2nd), the campaign has already raised $18,795.
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