Four self-proclaimed “geezer gang” who spent 10 days travelling with the Kootenay to Kitimat Caravan this summer are continuing to fight the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.
On September 27, they’re hosting a public event to share their experience on the road and start planning future action to oppose the 1,177 kilometre pipeline that would carry bitumen from Alberta oil sands to the coast of Northern BC to be loaded onto oil tankers.
“Now that we’re connected with a bunch of people up there [in communities along the proposed pipeline route], we can’t let them down,” said Keith Wiley, who travelled in the caravan along with Mike Gilfillan, Tim Nixon and Jim Terral from July 16 to 26.
“We were very clear that we’re in this for the long haul, and we’ll fight this to the end,” Wiley said.
He hopes to have people in Nelson participate in a mass sit-in at the Victoria legislature on October 22 to demonstrate against the pipeline and associated tanker traffic along the coast of BC.
“We’ll be talking to people at the meeting to see what we can do in conjunction with that province-wide effort,” he said.
The caravan crew gained plenty of experience leading rallies during the trip to Kitimat. They held anti-pipeline protests in each of the dozen communities they stopped in along the way, including their send-off in Nelson on July 16.
At each stop they invited local politicians and other pipeline-opposers to speak. In Williams Lake, for example, their rally included speeches from BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix and Kim Slater, a Whistler woman who ran the equivalent of 29 marathons between Jasper and Kitimat (matching the number of kilometres the Enbridge pipeline would cover) to promote clean energy as an alternatives to expanding the oil sands.
“We met so many people who passionately oppose the pipeline,” Wiley said. “There were at least 50 people at every rally, and more the further North we went.”
Their goal with the caravan was to deliver a proclamation of solidarity signed by people in the southern interior to show their support in protesting the pipeline alongside people who live along the proposed route. By the time they reached Kitimat, the proclamation had about 500 signatures.
The group will speak about their trip to Kitimat at Self Design High, located in the Legion Building at 410 Victoria Street, September 27 at 7 p.m. This is a free public event.
They also kept a blog during their trip at dangerousenbridgepipeline.wordpress.com.