|That's Jean McLaren on the left, holding our banner.|
Yesterday I joined a group of grey-haired ladies and trekked over the Salish Sea to help protest Kinder Morgan's drilling in a conservation area on Burnaby Mountain. They want to run a pipeline through the mountain that will contain dirty oil from the Alberta Tar Sands. No, I'm not writing from prison, as my mother asked when I called her this morning. One of our group - Jean McLaren, an 87-year-old grandmother and veteran activist - did cross the police line and was detained for an hour and then escorted down the mountain with a burly officer on either side of her.
It was not an angry protest, but a passionate and determined one. There were about 200 people there, lots of singing, and a good cross-section of the community - a broad range of ages, gender and ethnicities. I was struck by the good will of the crowd, many thank you's being said, lots of generousity of time and dollars being donated to the people who are camping at the top of the mountain.
It felt like a bizarre ritual being enacted. Twenty RCMP officers in body armour and full gear defending the rights of a huge American corporation against a peaceful group of Canadians in toques. (Fibre note: I did see lots of hand knit hats and scarves.)
|Gathering at the bottom of the hill.|
|Jean in the middle, being introduced and acknowledged for her leadership in the Clayoquat Sound protests that helped change the way forestry is done in B.C.|
|Jean and others after they crossed the line.|
|The muscle, defending an American corporation, funded by Canadian taxpayers.|