Chanting “No tar sands on stolen native lands,” First Nations women disrupted and shut down a Montreal public hearing on the controversial Energy East pipeline on Wednesday night, the latest in a resistance campaign against the massive project proposed by the Alberta-based TransCanada Corporation.
“What we want TransCanada to understand is that no means no. This is Kanien’ke, this is Mohawk Land, and we are tired of occupation, we are tired of environmental disaster,” declared Amanda Lickers, who hails from the Seneca-Haudenosaunee community, at Wednesday’s hearing. “This is our land and we are going to protect it.”
Four Indigenous women took the stage and hoisted a banner reading, “No consent, no pipelines” as dozens of protesters cheered them on. The action successfully shut down the hearing, and while police were called, no arrests were made.
If approved, Energy East would transport over one million barrels of crude every day from Alberta to Quebec and New Brunswick. Indigenous communities, students, workers, and climate campaigners across Canada have waged sustained resistance to Energy East and other pipelines over concerns that any increase to Canada’s already booming tar sands extraction and shipping industries will bring further harm to waterways, ecosystems, communities, and the climate.
Energy East has already been delayed by concerns over its environmental impact, and on Thursday, environmental group Équiterre handed a petition bearing nearly 90,000 signatures to five federal election campaign managers calling for the future national government to prevent TransCanada from building Energy East.
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