Coastal GasLink protesters target Dartmouth RBC to fight pipeline’s completion
Demonstrators protest Royal Bank’s investment in liquefied natural gas project in northern B.C.
November 18, 2022, 5:11 pm ASTLast Updated: November 18, 2022, 5:11 pm
The Coastal GasLink pipeline in B.C. is more than two-thirds complete, but Decolonial Solidarity Dartmouth continues to fight, saying the pipeline should never have started in the first place.
Demonstrators focused their attention on the Dartmouth RBC branch on Portland Street on Wednesday to challenge the bank’s investment in the $6.6-billion pipeline project.
“The more people who begin to understand where their money’s going, and what’s happening with it, the more likely there will be action to move the money to divest from supporting fossil fuels,” said Deborah Luscomb, one of the demonstrators.
Several demonstrators wearing hard hats and safety vests marched into the branch with a handmade pipeline. They taped their pipeline to the floor, saying they did not need consent because the Coastal GasLink project did not have the consent of Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs.
Demonstrators also distributed a letter from Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs calling on investors and stakeholders to divest from the project.
“The more we can shut these things down, the more we can stamp them out,” said Andrew Glencross, one of the organizers, before the protest.
TC Energy began developing the Coastal GasLink pipeline project in 2012. The goal was to deliver natural gas across 670 kilometres of land in northern B.C. for export to global markets.
There was consultation with local communities, environmental experts and Indigenous groups along the pipeline’s route, including the Wet’suwet’en Nation. But the Hereditary Chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation never consented.
Setting a precedent
These threats to Indigenous sovereignty and land use threaten us all, said Thunderbird Swooping Down Woman, a Mi’kmaw elder and water protector.
“We need to learn to stand together as a nation to fight future corporations trying to destroy our lands and our waters, because it’s happening all over Mi’kma’ki,” she said.
Over the past decade, she has stood against Alton Gas’ presence on the Shubenacadie River, and the potential of a ‘man camp’ to support the Goldboro LNG project on the Eastern Shore.
Indigenous women at these ‘man camps’ and in neighbouring communities face higher rates of violence, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
When asked for comment, the climate communications team for RBC shared a statement: “RBC supports energy projects that are developed in an environmentally and socially responsible way and we strive to be the leading financial institution in Canada to work with Indigenous people towards reconciliation.”
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