Kinder Morgan pipeline protester faces immigration charges

A pipeline protester arrested for mischief and assault outside Kinder Morgan’s Burnaby tank farm now faces immigration charges as well, according to fellow protesters.  

The woman was arrested after police were called to the 8000 block of Shellmont Street just before 8 a.m. last Wednesday (March 21) for reports several demonstrators had climbed onto a truck headed into the terminal.

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“A security person began documenting the event using a video camera; a female allegedly ran toward the security person and slapped the camera out of his hand, causing it to break,” stated an RCMP press release.

Charges of assault and mischief are being considered against the protester, according to RCMP E Division Cpl. Tammy Douglas, but RCMP also turned the woman over to the Canada Border Services Agency, she said.

A YouCaring crowdfunding campaign for the woman launched by fellow protester Brett Rhyno, identifies her as Tia Chicome.

She was arrested after stopping a tow truck trying to make its way into the terminal past another truck that had already “peacefully stopped,” according to Rhyno’s description of the incident on Facebook.

“Land defenders put up their hands and yelled for the truck to stop,” states his YouCaring crowdfunding post. “It did not stop and kept forcing the demonstrators backwards, pushing into their bodies with the grill of the truck. It was a very dangerous situation, and land defenders rallied to protect themselves.”

On Facebook, Rhyno wrote police had “taken reports and opened a file” on the tow truck driver, but Burnaby RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Daniela Panesar said RCMP have not, in fact, opened a file to investigate the driver.

A March 24 update on Rhyno’s crowdfunding campaign stated Chicome had been released but now faces immigration charges along with charges of mischief and assault.

The YouCaring campaign aims to raise $5,000 to cover her legal costs. As of Monday afternoon it had raised more than $600.

Canada border services communications staff stated the agency doesn’t comment on individual cases.




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