Stop Coal activists arrested in White Rock in protest against rail shipments to Delta

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      As the sunny Saturday wore on, it looked increasingly as if the narrative that anticoal activist Kevin Washbrook pulled out at 5:41 on the morning of May 5 would hold true.

      “It’s still early hours, but at this point it looks like one Twitter account [@StopCoalBC] and half a dozen people willing to get arrested and Warren Buffett has walked away,” Washbrook told the media gathered at the White Rock waterfront, part of the daily route where the billionaire philanthropist’s railway company Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. sends coal trains en route for exporting their cargo out of Delta.

      According to Miles Hogan, another member of Stop Coal, the loose group of activists to whom Washbrook belongs, this is a good first step in the group’s goal of shutting down coal exports.

      “We’ve stopped six shipments of coal and we’ve sent a strong message,” Hogan said of the total number of shipments cited by Washbrook as the daily quota.

      Miles Hogan explains why he joined the protest.

      By the time the Straight left in midafternoon, no BNSF representative had shown up. White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Lesli Roseberry told those gathered that one would be provided once that person had made it up from the United States, where BNSF is headquartered.

      Flanked by sergeants Peter Thiessen and Dave Smith, Roseberry said she had no intention of disrupting a group carrying out its legal right to protest.

      BNSF already had a court injunction against Bruce Mohun and Peter Nix from Stop Coal and anyone trespassing on the BNSF right-of-way.

      “People can walk every day across here,” Roseberry said during the 15-minute media conference. “And that’s okay. I think, if there’s a train coming down the track, and you’re going to impede that train in any way, and possibly put yourself in danger and other people, then that’s a different story. Then we have to reassess.”

      Later in the afternoon, one train carrying coal showed up, and about 14 protesters were arrested

      Close to 40 activists were present throughout the day, including high-profile SFU professor Mark Jaccard, coordinator of the university's Energy and Materials Research Group and former chair of the B.C. Utilities Commission. Also on scene was former Vancouver COPE councillor Fred Bass.


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      May 6, 2012 at 1:19pm

      They are the 0.0000000001% but they claim they should override the will of the rest of us...
      If that is a demonstration of democracy...

      Truth Milkshake

      May 6, 2012 at 1:39pm

      Try to look less bleak and cold please.

      Andy Lewis-brookes

      May 6, 2012 at 3:07pm

      I wonder, did all of these noble protestors actually walk or cycle from where they live to the protest? Don't think so, they probably drove cars, got buses or flew on planes. They may have a better chance of being heard if they weren't such hypocrits.

      Stan Dresen

      May 6, 2012 at 8:05pm

      Andy Lewis-brookes, you spelled hypocrites incorrectly.
      The fact that there are very few transportation options available to people is not their fault. Citizens now have very limited input into these decisions.
      This protest however, was about the dirtiest fuel, coal, and to my knowledge, planes, buses, and cars do not run on coal; at least not on this planet.


      May 6, 2012 at 8:12pm

      Throw those dorks in jail .... jeez what a bunch of dipsticks

      not a nob prize winning Mickey Mouse economist

      May 6, 2012 at 11:44pm

      Yes-yes, coal power plants produce 37% more CO2 than cars combusting gasoline:

      However, combined cycle power plants recovering the heat in the exhaust are 40% more efficient than internal combustion engines and reduce overall CO2 emissions.

      Is this the reason that a Nobel prize winning economist is protesting while engineers aren’t?


      May 7, 2012 at 9:27am

      Quite an impressive turn out (wow, almost 40 people!) I think the only strong message sent out is that Stop Coal is a dork-show.

      Oh Canada shame on you

      May 7, 2012 at 4:01pm

      Canada has no integrity internationally when it comes to the environment or global warming so it is no surprise to see Canadians government has no integrity at home either. Canadians sure know how to vote governments in, fast and loose with the goose with out a gander for the people and their future and the environment as Government gets down to corporate business, its usual. Coal is for dorks or the Chinese and it dosen't matter if there was a no show the shows over if coal fires are left burning and thats all folks because that is the way it is. But the fires are buring in China where Canada sells a great deal of the coal as Chinese are now working at jobs Canadians used to do so got to keep those fires burning. So when did nations get environmential bubbles over their countries to keep their polluted air to themselfs?