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*** You're invited to sign as an individual or (even better!) on behalf of a group. If you sign as an individual, please consider including some information about yourself in the "Etc" field.
*** Sign AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, if possible by 6AM tomorrow, Tuesday December 22nd ***
UPDATE, 6AM Tuesday December 22nd: Well that deadline is behind us now, but keep signing!
UPDATE, 1PM Tuesday December 22nd: All three activists have been released on bail! It's great news, but keep signing this declaration to show your support! Their struggle is not yet over!
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Version française: http://tinyurl.com/solidaresistligne9
Solidarity with Enbridge Line 9 Resisters
We stand in solidarity with the people who took peaceful action to stop the flow of Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline on the morning of December 21, 2015, on Anishnaabek territory near so-called “Sarnia.” These people, rooted in their communities and committed to environmental advocacy, organic farming, and challenging violence against women, courageously defended their communities, and all of our communities, after all legal avenues to contest the pipeline had been exhausted.
The absence of valid consultation and consent from First Nations and other impacted communities, the impacts of increased tar sands exploitation that are facilitated by the operation of Line 9, the state of this forty-year-old pipeline and the lack of serious measures to ensure its secure operation are some - but not all - of the reasons to denounce the recent increase in capacity and reversal of the flow of Line 9.
As more Canadians should be aware, the Aamjiwnaang First Nation reserve is surrounded by over 60 petroleum refineries and petrochemical facilities that collectively produce 40% of Canada’s annual production of petroleum-based fuels and petrochemicals. Aamjiwnaang is also a crossroads for the North American pipeline system. The health impacts of this concentration of industry on community members living on the reserve are devastating, and include elevated rare cancer rates, elevated miscarriage rates, and a skewed male-to-female birth ratio.
Unfortunately, the Aamjiwnaang community was not adequately consulted, per its Constitutional and treaty rights, regarding the increase in capacity and reversal in the flow of Line 9. This despite the fact that the increased availability of tar sand crude oil has already resulted in the proposal of new refineries in the so-called Chemical Valley surrounding Aamjiwnaang.
It is within this context of environmental racism that Vanessa Gray, Sarah Scanlon, and Stone Stewart chose to take action to shut down the Line 9 pipeline on the morning of December 21st.
Moreover, Aamjiwnaang is not the only place that Line 9 puts people and communities in danger. Line 9 cuts across every major river flowing into Lake Ontario, which millions of Ontarians depend on for their drinking water. The pipeline also crosses numerous tributaries of the Saint Lawrence river, including the Ottawa river and the Rivière des Mille-Îles, putting the drinking water of another three million people at risk. Richard Kuprewicz, an American expert in pipeline security, has predicted that there is a 90% chance of a significant spill in the first five years of Line 9’s operation.(1)
Popular mobilization against Line 9 began years ago. Communities have used all traditional and legal means available to express their dissent, including numerous appeals to elected officials. Yet the governments and government bodies who claim to protect the population have gone ahead with this project. At the federal level, even after making election campaign promises to revise the National Energy Board (NEB) pipeline evaluation process to be more transparent and democratic, the Trudeau government has thus far remained inactive on this issue. The people have the full right to accuse the federal government, the NEB and Enbridge of putting lives in danger, and to take action when these bodies fail to fulfill their responsibilities.
We assert that all those of us who are concerned about the safety and well-being of the land, the water, and all life have the right to defend our communities from this disastrous pipeline project, whose consequences can already be felt in our daily lives. When people decide to undertake direct action at the risk of being criminalized, it is only because a serious situation demands a serious response.
Protecting Mother Earth is not a crime, it is a responsibility.