A group of climate activists is promising a nonviolent and peaceful action in two Canadian cities in solidarity with Indigenous land defenders.
Extinction Rebellion says it will block rail lines in Burnaby and Montreal at 12:30 p.m. Pacific time to express opposition to continued construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
In Burnaby, they will gather in the Costco parking lot at Burlington Avenue and Government Street near the Production Way–University Station. They'll walk onto a rail line that runs alongside the pipeline-expansion route.
In Montreal, the rally will take place in Van Horne's Skate Park.
According to a report commissioned by the City of Vancouver in 2014, the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will generate 71.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually through refining, distribution, and combustion.
That exceeds the 64.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions generated from the entire province of British Columbia in 2017.
"Let us not think of ourselves, but of our children’s children," said Ahtahkakoop Cree First Nation member Eric Masuskapoe, quoting an oral teaching, in an Extinction Rebellion news release.
The federal government bought the Trans Mountain system for $4.5 billion from Texas-based Kinder Morgan in 2018. Since then, the cost of the government's expansion project has skyrocketed from $7.4 billion to $12.6 billion.
“Today we are responding to calls to action from Indigenous peoples by disrupting two major rail lines on both sides of the country—one directly in the path of Trudeau’s pipeline," Extinction Rebellion volunteer spokesperson Solène Tessier said. "Indigenous peoples have been on front lines protecting land and water for a long time. #LandBack means returning land that was dispossessed by the colonial state to Indigenous control.
"This is also part of solving the climate and ecological crisis by taking the lead from Indigenous peoples, many of whom know how to be part of living systems in a good way," she continued. "Extractive and fossil fuel projects that lack consent and ignore scientific and traditional knowledge put our future in grave jeopardy."
The actions are occurring on Black Friday, which is the busiest shopping day of the year. Many retailers relay on the rail system to source products that are sold in their stores over the holiday season.