Greenpeace activists upstaged today’s speech from the throne by shutting down the Kinder Morgan Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby.
The Greenpeace squad of 16 chained themselves to the terminal’s front gate, its pumping mechanisms, and dangled from ropes to unfurl banners and paint the storage tanks.
“Today is the speech from the throne and Stephen Harper is trying to send a message to expand the tar sands and pipelines – we’re sending a different message,” said Keith Stewart, climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace, one of two activists chained to the terminal’s front gate. “Mr. Harper has to know there will be more protests like this.”
Two other Greenpeace protesters chained themselves to the terminal’s pumping mechanisms on the facility’s docks. Others climbed the huge storage tanks and unfurled banners that read: “Stop the tar sands” and “Harper no tar sands pipeline.”
The RCMP is on scene monitoring the situation.
The site has become a media circus with cameras, reporters, tape recorders and even news helicopters circling about.
Watching the action was Burnaby resident Hartwig Boecking, a 25-year resident.
“I support this in many ways,” he said. “You don’t have to be an environmentalist to be in favour.”
Boecking complained of toxic vapours periodically issuing from the terminal.
The activists were joined by another protester wearing a large yellow sign reading: “Clean water is worth more to us than dirty oil.”
The man, who would not give his name, said he was a former dog-walker and that all six of his dogs had died of a form of cancer, which he blames on the toxins he says are issuing from the terminal.
“These people,” he said, pointing to the two protesters chained to the gate, “are the bravest souls out here.”
This story is still developing; stay tuned to the Burnaby NOW for updates.
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