Winnipeg developer suing 49 protesters in Parker Wetlands dispute

(Source: Rooster Town)

Parker Wetlands protesters have set up a legal defence fund to protect themselves from a lawsuit.

A total of 49 protesters — who camped out on the south Winnipeg site from mid-July to mid-September — have been named in a lawsuit launched by the two numbered companies that own the land.

Gem Equities is planning to develop a new residential neighbourhood and says the protesters were stopping it.

The protesters say the land holds significance for indigenous communities.

In September, a judge ordered protesters to leave, and said he would make up his mind about what kind of damages would have to be paid to the affected companies in the coming weeks.

 In court, lawyers for the land owners suggested each defendant be made to pay $10,000.

The protesters are now asking for donations to cover the costs they may have to pay.

CTV Winnipeg 

[SOURCE]

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Social Movements Played A Huge Part in Derailing Energy East

(Lauren McCallum / CBC)

Yes, the cancellation was a business decision. But thousands of activists were instrumental in its delay

In the wake of TransCanada’s announcement that it will no longer be pursuing Energy East, a familiar chorus of politicians have emerged to blame various actors for the pipeline’s demise.

Conservative MPs and premiers pointed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Leadership hopefuls for Alberta’s United Conservative Party framed it as a direct failure of Premier Rachel Notley. And federal Liberals explained itvaguely as a “business decision” based on “market conditions.”

This blame game, however, has largely ignored the significant role social movements played in derailing the pipeline. Indeed, thousands of concerned citizens have been working to change the discourse and timelines surrounding this project since it was first floated back in 2012.

Years of delay

The pipeline was originally scheduled to be approved by the end of 2014 and in operation by the end of 2018. Instead, delays won by Indigenous communities, grassroots groups, labour unions and NGOs prevented Energy East from being built when it was still economically and politically feasible, back when the price of oil was well north of $80 per barrel.

These delays also created space for Energy East opponents to carve out new expectations of the environmental and social burdens of proof needed for an energy project’s approval, making it even harder to build.

Two events in particular each drove about two years of delay. First, there was the September 2014 grassroots-funded legal challenge on risks to beluga whales at the project’s proposed Cacouna Marine terminal, which triggered a long process of TransCanada trying and failing to find a new Quebec location acceptable to the public.

And second, there was the Charest Affair, where an apparent conflict of interest called into question the overall validity – and legality – of the National Energy Board’s hearing on Energy East, causing delays.

But neither Cacouna nor Charest would have translated into long-term suspensions if not for the public’s ability to run with them. As with Standing Rock and Northern Gateway before it, Indigenous communities led this charge.

The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, the Iroquois Caucus, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, the Grand Chief of Treaty 3 and the Kanehsatà:ke Mohawks — alongside many individual nations and Indigenous activists — opposed the project with everything from lawsuits, to speaking tours to direct action.

We saw grassroots marches touring the pipeline route each summer using theatre to raise awareness, protestor takeovers of NEB hearings and TransCanada meetings, youth co-opting selfies with Trudeau to create viral video fodder and an unlikely crew of trade unions, municipalities, French language advocacy groups and professional associations all taking stances against the pipeline.

Approval process review

It is this groundswell of opposition that created the political space for policy-oriented opponents to Energy East to successfully advocate for a review of the National Energy Board’s approval process, and for new interim measures to be applied to Energy East. Among them was the consideration of the climate change impacts of the project — something that, ideally, would be a given for an environmental review of a fossil fuel project.

The pipeline’s new review, if it had been restarted, would have been the first to include consideration of greenhouse gas emissions both up- and down-stream from the project. These added requirements, in combination with the dour economic outlook for bitumen export and the risks of direct action during construction, mean Energy East has become impossible to build. So yes, the cancellation of Energy East was a business decision, but it was one made in a landscape that’s been successfully engineered by social movements.

For those concerned about the risks to the 2973 waterways Energy East would cross, the rights of the 180 Indigenous nations whose territories it would impact, the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 21 million cars it would facilitate and the lack of demand for new oil sands export capacity, the death of Energy East is something to be feted.

But be sure to ground your touchdown dance or celebratory round of kombucha in the recognition that this was one of the easier fossil fuel mega-projects to stop. Of the oil sands pipeline proposals made in the last decade, Energy East has always had the most questionable economic prospects and held the most risk for the Quebec-dependent Liberal government.

Bigger challenges lie ahead in stopping already-approved pipelines such as Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and Enbridge’s Line 3, new upstream fossil fuel projects like Teck’s Frontier oil sands mine, and in pushing for the bold and equitable solutions needed to get to a zero-carbon society. Before we get back to work, let’s be sure to stake out Energy East as a victory for collective action, lest Trudeau, Notley or low oil prices get all the credit.

By Bronwen Tucker, for CBC News Posted: Oct 12, 2017

[SOURCE]

Anti-pipeline Activists Stage Protest on Edmonton’s High Level Bridge

Protesters opposed to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion project hung a three-part banner from the High Level Bridge on Friday. (Sam Martin/CBC)

Not all Albertans support the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion, activists say

Protesters hung a large banner from Edmonton’s High Level Bridge on Friday morning to “dispel the myth” that all Albertans support the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

“It’s reckless to expand major fossil fuel infrastructure at a time when we should be seeing all hands on deck for investing in a sustainable economic future,” Anna Gerrard, a spokesperson for the demonstrators, said in a news release. “Albertans are ready for an energy transition.”

The three-part banner, proclaiming No Kinder Morgan, is hung from the east side of the bridge where it can be seen from the Legislature building. It was hung by a team of “educators, workers, students and community organizers,” the news release said.

“Today’s event sends a clear message to Rachel Notley that Albertans are ready for a stable economic future, not another ill-fated pipe dream,” the protesters said.

The twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline would nearly triple the capacity of the 1,150-kilometre line running from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C. to 890,000 barrels of oil per day.

The $7.4-billion construction project would add 980 km of new pipeline and reactivate 193 km of existing pipeline along the route.

First Nations, environmental groups and the NDP government in British Columbia are all fighting against Ottawa’s approval of the project.

The protest comes one day after TransCanada’s announcement that it will not proceed with its proposed Energy East and Eastern Mainline projects, prompting Indigenous groups and other opponents to claim victory.

The 4,500-km Energy East pipeline would have carried more than one million barrels of oil every day from Alberta and Saskatchewan across the country to be refined or exported from facilities in New Brunswick and Quebec. Recent projects had put the full price tag at almost $16 billion.

CBC News

[SOURCE]

Canadian Indigenous Activist in North Dakota Court to face Standing Rock Charges

Kanahus Manuel is in a North Dakota court today to face charges after she participated in the Standing Rock protests last year. (Carrie Cervantes)

Kanahus Manuel was arrested near the construction of the North Dakota Access Pipeline Oct. 22

A Secwepemc activist from B.C. is in a North Dakota court today to face charges stemming from her involvement with protests in Standing Rock.

Kanahus Manuel was among dozens of people arrested near the construction of the North Dakota Access Pipeline last Oct. 22.

She faces charges of criminal trespass, engaging in a riot, obstruction of a governmental function, disobedience of a public safety order during riot conditions and disorderly conduct.

“They’re bogus charges. It wasn’t a riot,” Manuel told CBC via telephone after travelling to Mandan, ND from B.C.

“On the day I was arrested, it was during a prayer walk away from the pipeline.”

The sun was rising as the police began to make arrests, she said.

“It was really violent,” she said. “We had elders, women and pregnant women. It was a peaceful march, we were singing.

“The police started to mobilize…they came over the hill like a war movie. They looked like war machines to us as civilians having not ever seen these machines before. We started to retreat because they were overpowering us.”

Manuel spent the day and night in jail and was released the next day. Two weeks later, she plead not guilty to the charges against her.

“I believe that these are major human and Indigenous rights violations. Because when native people stand up to say ‘no’ to these development projects, whether it’s in Canada with the Kinder Morgan project or here with the North Dakota Access Pipeline, if we are really following international standards of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People then these corporations and governments need the collective free, prior and informed consent of the Indigenous People, and they don’t have it. Indigenous People have said no.”

Facing charges

This isn’t the first time Manuel has faced criminal charges related to defending Indigenous rights.

In 2002 she was sentenced to three months in the Burnaby Women’s Institute for protesting the construction of the Sun Peaks Resort in her home territory, citing threats to traditional hunting grounds.

Manuel has also protested on the front lines against well-known development projects in B.C. like the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion and the Mount Polley tailings spill disaster by Imperial Metals.

Manuel said she’s headed to the courthouse with a fearless attitude, carrying the prayers of her supporters and holding onto her faith in traditional ceremonies to help get her through.

“I’m going in with no fear. I’m not scared to speak the truth.”

She stressed she’s not alone, and hundreds more are going through similar struggles since the events at Standing Rock.

“There’s a lot of arrest warrants out, people on the run. It’s wrong — these are young people that are protecting their land and culture. Standing Rock wasn’t just about stopping a pipeline, it was about building a massive convergence of native people to bring back our culture and to stand up together.”

By Brandi Morin, CBC News Posted: Oct 03, 2017

[SOURCE]

 

Private Property Home to Growing Initiative Opposing Proposed Enbridge Pipeline

Camp Makwa - Line 3 Front Line Camp/Facebook

Camp Makwa – Line 3 Front Line Camp 

CLOQUET, MN –Dozens are gathering in opposition to the Enbridge Line 3 proposed crude oil pipeline. Protests over the controversial project in Douglas County, Wis., have resulted in a number of arrests.

Right now, several routes are at the center of public hearings. One group of protesters who call themselves water protectors is recalling Standing Rock as they voice their opposition.

One of the proposed Line 3 routes would travel through the Fond du Lac Band’s land, which is where The Makwa Initiative is underway. One Ojibwe grandmother says Makwa means black bear in Ojibwe.

Fond du Lac Band member Jim Northrup III is among the growing members of the Initiative.

“They’re here, they’re serious,” water protector, Northrup III, said.

Northrup is the son of late world-renowned author and poet, Jim Northrup, and says Makwa is bound to become as big as Standing Rock. He says he is happy to see the water protectors return the favor after spending a year at Standing Rock.

“It’s like these are the ones that are watching, watching – trying to watch over this water,” Northrup III said.

The Makwa Initiative is on 30 acres of privately owned land that falls within the Fond du Lac Band’s boundaries. It started as a gathering of several people, but we are told the gates have opened to nearly 150 people gathering on weekends.

“I know it so much where I’m willing to die for this,” water protector, Dallon White, said.

The growing initiative has caught the attention of St. Louis County. In a letter to the landowner, Scott Kretz, the county lays out the permits needed to be filed if he wants to use his property as a camp.

Kretz claims he is simply opening his place to hunting, gathering and traditional practices.

“Are they going to take the rights of property away from me for doing this?” water protector, Scott Kretz, said.

In its letter, St. Louis County says a campground application ensures trash is properly disposed of and sewage is properly treated in order to prevent pollution at the site.

According to a St. Louis County spokesperson, there are parts of Cloquet where the mailing address is Cloquet, but the location still falls within St. Louis County; that is the case when it comes to Kretz’s land.

“They’re going to punish me because I’ve allowed people to come visit me in this common cause? Where’s the harm?” Kretz said.

Northrup says they are there to protect the earth’s resources against fossil fuels.

“I come home and they’re trying to put in another line or remove their line. Nobody knows what they’re really doing. But I’m ready to set aside more because that’s what I did for Standing Rock.”

KBJR 6 was not allowed into the entirety of the site due to concerns of St. Louis County using our footage against those on-site. KBJR 6 was told all water protectors are welcome to join the Initiative.

The Camp Makwa – Line 3 Front Line Camp’s Facebook page says supplies can be sent to 3868 Brevator Road, Cloquet MN 55720. The Facebook page links to a legal fund in their about section.

We asked Barry Simonson, Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project Director, if the company was prepared for a Standing Rock situation happening at the site, and Simonson said he did not think anyone wants that to happen.

“We at Enbridge have been operating in Minnesota for over 65 years. We live here, and I work and live here, and Minnesotans live and work in Minnesota. So I don’t think anyone wants that to happen,” Simonson said.

The Enbridge Line 3 project has already been approved in Wisconsin, but has yet to be approved in Minnesota. The Line 3 Pipeline carries Canadian crude oil from Alberta to Wisconsin.

(Reporter/Writer: Ramona Marozas, Photographer: Michelle Alfini, Editor: Anthony Larson)

By KBJR 6, Posted: Sep 25, 2017

[SOURCE]

 

North Dakota’s Bill for Policing Pipeline Protest now at $39 Million

(Photo by Angus Mordant/Groundtruth)

North Dakota’s bill for policing protests of the Dakota Access pipeline continues to rise.

The North Dakota Emergency Commission is set to borrow an additional $5 million Monday to cover law enforcement costs. That will bring the total line of credit from the state-owned bank of North Dakota to $39 million.

State Emergency Services spokeswoman Cecily Fong says 11 states provided law enforcement help to North Dakota, and some bills are only now arriving.

The $3.8 billion pipeline built by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners began moving oil from North Dakota to a distribution point in Illinois in June, after months of protests.

The Emergency Commission also is set to approve a $10 million federal grant to help pay state law enforcement bills related to the protests.

The Associated Press

[SOURCE]

Winnipeg Judge orders Parker Lands Protesters to Go Home

Protesters occupying the Parker Lands site have been given until 6 p.m. Friday to leave the property. (Bartley Kives/CBC)

Judge grants interlocutory injunction to property owners, protesters have to clear out by Friday

Protesters occupying the Parker Lands development in Winnipeg have been ordered by a judge to leave the property and clean up all their belongings by 6 p.m. Friday.

The order is part of an injunction granted by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice James Edmond Thursday afternoon.

The Parker Lands property was acquired in a land swap with the City of Winnipeg by two numbered companies connected to local developer Gem Equities.

Protesters have occupied the Fort Garry property in two encampments since July. They oppose the clearing of forested areas on the property and argue the area has historical and cultural significance to Métis and Indigenous communities.

Work on the property — which the owners described as “pre-development” — came to a standstill with the arrival of the protesters on July 14.

The injunction “means our client can get back to what they were doing in July — carrying out lawful business activities that were being stopped by illegal trespassers,” said Kevin Toyne, the lawyer for the property owners. “Our clients are quite happy that their rights have been upheld and vindicated by the courts.”

Protester not surprised by decision

Jenna Vandal, one of three protesters who made submissions Thursday opposing the injunction, said she wasn’t surprised by the decision.

“I know the court institution is here to protect and enshrine property rights,” Vandal said. “Of course, I wish it happened the other way.”

Vandal, who is Métis, said the property borders the site of the long-demolished Métis settlements of Rooster Town and Tin Town.

“Métis would have used this territory for subsistence and ceremonial purposes,” she said. “That in itself gives the land much importance and value to Indigenous and Métis people.”

Inside court, Edmond noted no Indigenous or Métis community had made an entitlement claim to the land. As well, the Manitoba Métis Federation, which Vandal said supported her efforts, made no representation to court on the issue.

Edmond said the protesters had no legal right to trespass on the property and ruled the owners would suffer “irreparable harm” if the occupation was allowed to continue.

“I am satisfied that the costs of delay are real … and the plaintiffs will suffer real harm,” Edmond said.

He said the legal remedy for the protesters would be to seek a judicial review of the city’s decision to sell the property.

“To just show up and camp on somebody else’s property, there isn’t a legal right to do that,” he said.

Until now, city police have declined to intervene in the dispute, saying they would take their cue from the courts.

Edmond ordered that protesters remove all their belongings and “obstructions” from the site in a “peaceful” manner.

“I don’t want to see confrontations,” Edmond said.

The property owners are seeking an order of $10,000 in costs from each of the three defendants who were in court Thursday.

Edmond will rule on that issue after receiving written submissions from the defendants next week.

CBC News Posted: Sep 14, 2017 

[SOURCE]

Barricades Taken Down Outside Caledonia, Ending Occupation

Land defenders blockade outside Caledonia ends

Barricades erected by Six Nations people near Caledonia have been dismantled, marking an end to an occupation that lasted for nearly a month.

An OPP spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday that officers intercepted the development on Monday. A “verbal interaction” occurred between land defenders and OPP officers and they were subsequently instructed to leave, said Rod Leclair. Officials are on-site clearing leftover debris, he added.

The issue is linked to a contentious move by the Six Nations Elected Band Council to place a parcel of land into a federal corporation, ostensibly defaulting on a promise entered into by Ontario and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy in 2006 to stem the Caledonia Standoff, a protest that grew to a fever pitch after Indigenous people occupied a subdivision called the Douglas Creek Estates.

The unelected, hereditary council want the Burtch lands, located near Brantford, to be independent from the Canadian government, citing expropriation concerns. It validates its position through a letter signed by former Ontario premier David Peterson which says the land will return to its original state and status under the Haldimand Proclamation, an official order of 1784 that gave land to the Haudenosaunee people for their military allegiance to the British during the American Revolutionary War.

The blockade was initially located on Argyle St., a thoroughfare outside Caledonia. On Monday, the barricade was transplanted to Highway 6 and Sixth Line Rd., where it was later shut down, said Caledonia councillor Craig Grice.

“As of right now, Argyle St. is clear, Sixth Line is clear,” he said. “We’re just waiting for the reopening of the bypass. It was a small group of protestors that didn’t have the support inside Six Nations and I think that was proved last night.”

The OPP is investigating a fire that was set on Saturday on railroad tracks near the site of the botched occupation. No demonstrators were seen on Monday afternoon in the area, said Leclair, and no arrests have been made.

Grice said he is relieved, that the hope is to move on.

Torstar News Service

[SOURCE]

 

 

Six Nations Activists Move Blockade to Highway 6 and Sixth Line in Caledonia

Members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy protest along a street in Caledonia August 10. (David Ritchie/CBC)

Protesters move: ‘in an effort to apply pressure on Canada to return to the negotiation table’

On Monday afternoon Six Nations protesters moved their demonstration and blockade from Argyle Street South in Caledonia to Highway 6 and Sixth Line in Caledonia.

At approximately 1:30 p.m. Monday afternoon, OPP responded to reports that a group of individuals were blocking Highway 6.

Police say in the interest of public safety, OPP have closed Highway 6 between Argyle Street North and Greens Road, and Sixth Line between Argyle Street South and Oneida Road.

Detour traffic routes are being put in place for Highway 6 traffic

On Monday afternoon, Kanonhstaton Six Nations released a statement about the relocation.

“We the people of Kanonhstaton have successfully removed the barricade on Argyle Street in an effort to unify the people of Six Nations and relieve pressure on our people and the residents of Caledonia.”

“We have also erected a barricade on Highway 6 bypass in an effort to apply pressure on Canada to return to the negotiation table in accordance with the silver covenant chain and two row wampum. We will continue to occupy the road and call on all of our brothers and sisters for support.”

Members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy blocked Argyle Street in Caledonia Aug 10.

OPP monitor the blockade on Argyle street around the clock. They say they are preserving the peace. (Laura Clementson/CBC)

The protestors are dissatisfied with actions taken by the province to turn over former Burtch Correctional Facility land to the Six Nations band council rather than the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the traditional government, activist Doreen Silversmith said in an earlier CBC interview.

The Six Nations group has listed several demands, most aimed at the Ontario government, but one directed at the Six Nations elected band council.

“With that action, Ontario has committed fraud, lied to us, to our people. Ontario is going to be 100 per cent responsible for any actions resulting from their lies,” Silversmith said.

“Ontario’s actions bring much dishonour to the Crown and it’s in violation of the Two Row Wampum, the Silver Covenant Chain, and the William Claus Wampum.”

According to police, Argyle Street South is now open to traffic.

CBC News

Members of Secwepemc Nation to Build ‘Tiny Houses’ on Trans Mountain Pipeline Route

Tiny Houses Arrive for Standing Rock. Photo by Roger Peet

A First Nations group plans to build “Tiny Houses” on route of the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The group is called the Tiny House Warriors.

According to a media release by Greenpeace, members of the Secwepemc Nation are constructing the first of ten tiny houses — based on a design from allies at Standing Rock— next week at an undisclosed location on unceded Secwepemc territory. Greenpeace Canada, is a partner in the build.

InfoTel News reports, from Sept. 5 to Sept. 8 at Neskonlith near Kamloops, volunteers with the Tiny House Warriors will be working to build a home in the path of the pipeline with the intention of rebuilding village sites along the route. In doing this the group hopes to assert its authority over unceded territory.

The unceded Secwepemc territory, is the largest indigenous territory that Kinder Morgan’s controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will cross.

The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline was originally built in 1953 and the $6.8 billion expansion is expected to triple the lines capacity as it runs from Edmonton to Vancouver.

For more on the tiny home protest go here.

Tiny Houses in Standing Rock. Photos by Roger Peet.