While Cherri Foytlin, an indigenous mother of six hailing from South Louisiana, was arrested this morning for effectively halting pipe destined for Keystone XL construction by chaining herself to the entrance of a pipeyard in Winfield, Texas, thousands were gearing up to rally today in British Columbia, Canada in a province-wide day of action.
Today, Defend Our Coast events marked the largest act of non-violent civil disobedience to stop tar sands pipelines and tankers that Canada has ever seen.
Communities across BC linked arms to symbolize the unbroken wall of opposition to tar sands tankers and proposed pipelines, like Enbridge’s Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain, and the danger they pose to the Canadian Pacific Coast’s waterways, livelihoods, and indigenous sovereignty.
And in case you needed yet another reminder that the movement against Big Oil’s pet project in the tar sands is more united and thriving than ever, even in the face of industry and government repression, check out the following message from our friends up North:
*That’s what solidarity looks like, from the Pacific Coast to the Gulf Coast. *
For Canadian First Nations communities on the frontlines of the fight to halt the tar sands whose lives and cultural heritage have been threatened for years by the industry’s extraction sites, today’s actions in BC embody a continued escalation for indigenous sovereignty and human rights. Their struggle is reflected in Cherri’s stand for environmental justice communities along the Gulf Coast who bear the biggest burden of tar sands refining and the other toxic byproducts of our fossil fuel economy.
Today and everyday, we’re called to remember that tar sands development is disastrous at both ends and dirty in between. And we’re also called to celebrate the fact that our cross-border resistance only grows stronger and stronger each day, unbound by coast or creed.