At least one person has been arrested at the Trans Mountain construction site on Mission Flats in Kamloops.
Members of the We, the Secwépemc Unity Camp to Stop the Trans Mountain Pipeline walked across Canadian Pacific Railway tracks on Thursday (Oct. 15) and onto the Trans Mountain site. There, at least one protester, a woman, sat on an excavator and called for others opposed to the pipeline expansion project to help stop the work being done.
When Trans Mountain employees told protesters they were violating a B.C. Supreme Court injunction prohibiting the obstruction of access to Trans Mountain’s worksites and that they must leave, a protester responded by saying they would stay.
Kamloops Mounties were called and, at about 2:30 p.m., the arrest — which was aired live on Facebook — took place. One of the protesters at the scene told KTW five people had been arrested, but police at the site would not confirm how many people had been taken into custody.
The arrest video is one in a series of Facebook Live videos posted to the page “We, the Secwépemc: Virtual Unity Camp.”
Protesters can be seen walking up from the beach and into the entrance of the worksite from Mission Flats Road. They can be seen and heard chanting and drumming: “No more pipelines on stolen native land” and “We will fight until we win.”
About 15 protesters can be seen at the scene in one video. At one point, an eviction notice is taped to the fence.
In the videos, protesters cite safety concerns for the river and salmon populations within it. They also argued the pipeline expansion work is being done on unceded Secwépemc territory.
The site where the protests are occurring is where Trans Mountain workers are in the process of drilling under the Thompson River in preparation of dragging the pipeline below the riverbed, from near Kamloops Airport to the Mission Flats area.
The camp was established on Oct. 3 on a beach just west of the Domtar pulp mill, off Mission Flats Road.
The protest camp followed previous public acts opposing the project.
In August on Mission Flats, a Secwépemc man held a vision quest and fast. In early September, a Secwépemc woman affiliated with the encampment protest chained herself to a Trans Mountain worksite near Kamloops Airport. She was charged, released and had to attend court in Vancouver.
On Sept. 30, RCMP arrested a Merritt woman who refused to leave a Trans Mountain worksite near Hope after parking her vehicle in a manner that prevented workers from conducting operations. She was released at the scene, with charges pending.
There are 28 kilometres of pipeline work in Kamloops. The twinned pipeline route through Kamloops will run along the edge of the Lac du Bois Grasslands above Westsyde and Batchelor Heights before crossing Ord Road and Tranquille Road near Kamloops Airport, then crossing under the Thompson River.
Kamloops is part of Trans Mountain’s Interior construction area that begins at Black Pines and runs to the Coquihalla Summit, which includes approximately 185 kilometres of 36-inch pipeline, 18 valve assembly installations and three pump stations. The pipeline begins in Edmonton and ends in Burnaby.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government purchased the pipeline and related infrastructure from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion in 2018.
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