Greenpeace bridge protest aims to hold up oil tankers
08 Juillet, 2018, 06:36 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
"We came here to say no to the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion, the seven-fold increase in tar sands tanker traffic it would bring to these waters, and the devastating expansion of the tar sands it would cause", Greenpeace said on its Facebook page, which is providing live coverage of the bridge protest.
Activist Will George has been hanging from the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge in North Vancouver for nearly 25 hours.
Nonetheless, De Jong said that since there could be charges laid under the federal Shipping Act, it made sense for the RCMP to take the lead role in apprehending the protesters.
The protesters scaled the large bridge underside around 2 a.m. Tuesday, the Greenpeace volunteer overseeing safety of the climbers said in a phone interview, and suspended into their positions hanging from the bridge by 6 a.m.
Anti-Trans Mountain protesters have rappelled from Vancouver's Ironworkers Memorial Bridge as part of an aerial blockade of oil-tanker traffic.
Deep-sea vessels and vessels with a high air draft, including sailboats with a high mast, are unable to safely pass under the bridge due to the location of the protesters, banners and connecting lines, said Danielle Jang, a spokeswoman with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.
Smaller traffic such as tugs, barges and small commercial vessels were still able to transit under the bridge, she said.
In a statement on Wednesday, Trans Mountain said the ship was waiting for "suitable conditions" to depart.
In a press release, George said he will remain the fierce opposition. It is in my blood to protect the water.
"Our Indigenous rights are being completely ignored, the safety of our water is being ignored, and most of all my son's future is at stake".
"I'll do whatever it takes to let people know this pipeline won't be built", said George in a telephone interview while he was still hanging in his hammock above the waters of the Burrard Inlet.
But the North Vancouver First Nation has been adamantly opposed to the pipeline expansion project.
"We respect the right to peacefully demonstrate and there are many ways to express opinions in a safe and lawful manner", the company said.
Earlier Wednesday, Premier John Horgan said he was concerned that protesters may be blocking a tanker loaded with refined fuel destined for Vancouver Island, but he added activists have a right to protest as long as they are not breaking the law.
Speers-Roesch said the protesters were exhausted but proud they had been able to halt an oil tanker for as long as they did.
Other officers stood on the catwalk underneath the bridge, while police and Coast Guard vessels circled in the Burrard Inlet below.
In September, workers will then continue the work for 120 kilometres of pipeline between Mt. Robson Provincial Park and Blue River in North Thompson, B.C.
Greenpeace said the protesters are from the Coast Salish community, B.C., Alberta, Quebec, Ontario, Washington state, Mexico and the United Kingdom.
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