More than a dozen Kinder Morgan Pipeline protesters have been arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) at Burnaby Mountain camp. Police officers arrived at the camp just after 8am and read out an injunction that had been issued earlier in the week.
Most of the remaining protesters moved to a police-designated area, but not all of them. Those who did not move were arrested by police, who said they were violating the injunction.
The police have blocked traffic to the area at the bottom of Centennial Way. Even reporters have been told to stay behind a cordon. Their attempts at keeping back the public was not entirely successful, because a number of supporters managed to get to the site and see their fellow protesters being arrested.
A British Columbia judge told protesters on Friday that they had until Monday afternoon to move their camp so that Kinder Morgan employees could continue their survey work in the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area.
The protesters, however, defied the court order deadline and staged a rally, with many saying they would not let the Kinder Morgan people gain access to the work areas.
On Wednesday, two police officers went to the camp to negotiate with the protesters. No arrests were made until Thursday morning.
Kinder Morgan’s proposes placing the pipeline under the mountain. The protesters say Burnaby Mountain is in a Conservation Area – land protected for people by City of Burnaby by-laws.
The Toronto Star quoted Fraser University Professor Lynne Quarmby, a defendant in the injunction ruling, who said she was disappointed with the police for taking action. She believes they are under “tremendous pressure” from the energy company.
One of the arrested protesters was Bridget DePage, an activist who came to fame in 2011 for protesting in the Canadian senate. While being loaded into the police van in handcuffs she shouted “It will take all of us stepping into power to stop this pipeline.”
Video – Statement on Kinder Morgan pipeline