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Protect the Planet Stop TMX
TMX: transmountain pipeline expansion
On September 28, 2021, an RCMP tactical team assembled at Lost Creek and took down our two tree platforms. We will regroup, and we are determined to continue to protect the land and water through non-violent, direct action.
Exactly three weeks after TransMountain enclosed our tree sits with blue fencing, the RCMP moved in and removed them. But WE WON'T BACK DOWN! We're still here! We will regroup, and continue to protect the land and water with even greater determination.
Our treehouses were continuously occupied and tirelessly supported by countless brave land defenders for the past fourteen months! People power is the medicine we need. Please connect with us and join us if you can. Watch our social media feeds for call-outs and please come and support us!
For more information:
Press Release- September 28, 2021
Peaceful Tree-Sitters Forcibly Removed
by Tactical RCMP From Treehouse Stronghold
Unceded kʷikʷəƛ̓əm Territory (BURNABY, BC) - At 7:30 this morning, around 20 RCMP agents, including 10 tactical special agents, arrived at the anti-TMX tree sits in the Brunette River Conservation Area. Land defenders have held this area for 286 days, since Dec. 2020. The assault on the tree platforms involved militarized vehicles, and a treaded articulating telescopic bucket truck which was used to remove the dedicated Land Defenders from their fortified perches today - actually two tree-houses boasting open-concept kitchens and battery power capable of lasting for days in a siege situation.
"Today we made a tactical retreat in the forest in the face of overwhelming forces of the petro-state." said Dr. Tim Takaro, speaking on behalf of the coalition and grassroots that support him. "We will not stop defending the planet since we know the state will not stop their actions to destroy it. Most of us, including doctors, scientists and the general public know that the Kenney-Trudeau Trans Mountain pipeline is a climate catastrophe that must be stopped immediately for the safety of future generations."
Both climbers managed to escape without arrest - seen as a win to witnesses and other Land Defenders in the immediate area at the time of extraction. At time of writing, police continue to dismantle the heavily fortified structures - work that may take several days.
Trans Mountain recommenced work on the Brunette River site on Sept 7 after a prolonged shut-down, caused by Trans Mountain's inability to do "due diligence" and prevent harming hummingbird nests and the associated Stop Work Order issued by ECCC. The tree-houses have been in a state of siege since September 7, with seven arrests and multiple delays caused by Land Defenders blocking work and leaving before being arrested. Significant delays, mostly caused by construction problems, continue to plague this hotly contested pipeline project, as outlined by West Coast Environmental Law's Delay Report.
"This project is not yet de-risked. In fact it is only about one third built. We will keep coming back. Our commitment to delay or cancel construction of this project is unshakable. Our future depends on it. My future depends on it." says Timothee Govare, lead Tree Sitter who was arrested late last Friday for his work protecting the planet.
The site of the tree-sits - Lost Creek - is a tributary of the reclaimed and revitalized Brunette River. Although well taken care of for millenia by Tsleil-waututh, Musqueam, kʷikʷəƛ̓əm & Quayqayt Indigenous nations, the Brunette was proclaimed ecologically dead in the 1970s. A miracle in urban river restoration, it now supports 5 salmonid species, including the endangered Nooksack dace, and numerous other species, like bobcat, bear, herons and otters.
PRESS RELEASE, Sept. 23. 2021
Two Arrested, TMX Tank Forced to Retreat
Unceded kʷikʷəƛ̓əm Territory (BURNABY, BC) - This morning, eight land defenders breached Trans Mountain (TMX) security fences. As of 12:00, two seniors had been arrested. Also, some daring canopy antics led to the 40 foot "tank" to be parked for the rest of the day. The tree protection camp has won another day.
This morning around 8am, eight individuals stepped past numerous security personnel at a contested TMX work site in Burnaby. Four members of the Prayer Circle Direct Action group, an affinity group of Protect the Planet Stop TMX (PPST), took up positions blocking the tank/ cherry picker used to cut trees and threaten the tree sits at Lost Creek. Yesterday, that tank dismantled two "skypod" aerial camps and arrested tree sitter, Bill Winder (69). Today, we can confirm 2 arrests, both seniors: Catherine Hembling and Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta.
Catherine Hembling, a Unitarian who was prepared for arrest, was removed by RCMP on a stretcher chair, as she refused to move from her place blocking the tank. She said, "As a person of conscience, I cannot allow thousands of trees to be cut down for such a short-sighted project. We are in a climate emergency and a mass extinction event. Along with our allies around the world, we call on our leaders to listen to science, follow their commitments and rise to the task imposed on humanity. Put a moratorium on all new fossil fuel infrastructure, as per the International Energy Agency. And put a moratorium on cutting down mature trees and intact forest."
Around 9am, three land defenders took perimeter positions inside the fence in order to secure the safety of the prayer circle. Trans Mountain security were caught on video roughing up one of those individuals. The senior, who prefers to remain anonymous, said, "I'm not a litigious person but I was barely inside the fencing this morning when one of TMX's heavies slammed me into the fencing. There is soft tissue damage on my elbow and it hurts a lot." Supporters are keeping a record of such misconduct, which includes unnecessary force, the use of zap straps, and hidden badge numbers.
At least 3 individuals remain in the tree top camp. Observing the arrests from above, in a video tree sitter Timothee Govare commented that "all the people on the ground, blocking this work on the ground are women, they are mothers, they understand the importance of protecting what matters. It's not about money. Our future is not for sale.... It's about the care. And now we need this care for the land." He appealed to men to overcome the masculine pressures of monetary standing and status in exchange of intrinsic values. "Stand strong and help to protect the land and our future".
Tree cutting continued after the arrests, with the tank getting closer to the platforms. To stop the cutting, lead tree sitter, Timothee, free climbed onto a neighbouring tree to spook the arborists. That antic served its intention and the 25 m “Tank” was thus parked at Government Street. The tree protection camp had won another day.
Watch our Twitter feed for breaking news: @PPSTMX1.
We would like to acknowledge we work and play on the unceded territory of many Nations who have been protectors and friends of the Salish Sea and its watersheds since time immemorial. We are humbly grateful, especially to the host nations of ḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations, for allowing and welcoming us to be here and do this work in a good way on their traditional lands.
We commit to seeking out their leadership and being open to their teachings, and are honoured by the chances being offered to work alongside them as protectors of this sacred and beautiful space.
PPST began on August 3, 2020, when Land Defenders and Water Protectors deployed an aerial camp high in the cottonwood trees in the Brunette River watershed in Burnaby. This Holmes Creek ‘tree camp’ was to prevent TMX from clearing trees scheduled to be cut between August 1 and September 15, 2020, along the proposed pipeline route. When that camp was raided and removed, by security and police, on December 9, 2021, a new camp was very quickly established at Lost Creek, about 500 metres to the west along the pipeline route. The Lost Creek camp has been continuously occupied 24/7 for more than 280 days with our team of tree-sitters and supporters protecting the fragile riparian zone from TMX destruction.
We are a grassroots organization, and are always looking for new members
PPST's Affinity Action Groups include:
Tree-Sit Climbers, Tree-Sit Ground Support, Direct Action Prayer Circle, Surveillance & Community Monitoring, Nest Finding, Legal Challenges, Communications Campaigns, Collaborations and Partnerships, People's Assemblies, Tours & Community Outreach, and others.
Sign up now & "HELP STOP TMX"!
(photo credit of hummingbird: Diane Lake)
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