Water Protectors march on Burnaby Mountain:  Photo by Vik Davidson
What a glorious weekend! As spring sprung on the B.C. coast, thousands upon thousands of coast protectors streamed into Coast Salish Territories/Vancouver on March 10th in support of Kwekwecnewtxw: Indigenous resistance to Kinder Morgan.

The Tsleil Waututh Nation, supported by Indigenous Nations from the Arctic to the St. Lawrence to Standing Rock, erected a “Watch House” on Burnaby Mountain and declared the beginning of a new phase of civil disobedience.  Learn more about Indigenous-led actions:  visit ProtectheInlet.ca.

As Indigenous Nations shift their focus in the wake of the Protect the Inlet calls to action, RAVEN is committed to rolling out and growing the Pull Together campaign in support of the legal strategies to defeat the pipeline and tankers project. ​

What’s wrong with Kinder Morgan?

Just about everybody here knows why we have to fight this project. A carbon corridor to Asia through Vancouver is a climate time bomb that locks us in, financially and policy-wise, with tarsands expansion for the next generation. Indigenous peoples along the pipeline and tankers route are divided in their opposition but the ones who are part of the Pull Together legal fundraising — the Tsleil Waututh, Squamish, Coldwater and Secwepemc Nations — are 100% committed. As Coldwater Chief Lee Spahan says, this is our Standing Rock .

How we’re winning

So far, People have held bake sales, hosted clothing swaps, produced concerts, held poetry readings, sold hot sauce, and walked from Victoria to Burnaby. Organizers have held a series of “Pints not Pipelines” pub nights. 60 Moksha yoga studios held “speak your peace’ events and raised $35,000. Swimmer Rama Delarosa swam 80km around Salt Spring Island, raised $14k and was joined on one leg of her journey by an orca whale. All of these actions gave us powerful stories to share about the lengths people would go to to protect the “national interest”.

We ARE the forces of Yes. We are saying yes to indigenous rights, yes to clean water, yes to future generations and yes to a clean energy transition.

Thank you 

There are some very special people involved in this campaign. These people go beyond this idea of feel good reconciliation. They took personal risks and gave their time and creativity to stand with First Nations: that’s redress. These people had the courage to  reached out through their personal networks by setting up online fundraisers to convince their friends and family that Kinder Morgan is a bad idea, and that First Nations legal challenges are our best chance to kill the project. These people are unstoppable: together we’ve raised $650k and counting for Indigenous justice.

While it’s immediately about raising money, Pull Together is also about building a movement of people working in solidarity : Indigenous people and settlers, people from intersecting patches of the social justice tapestry, and anyone who can see that a healthy economy and bright future is tied to a wind-down of tar sands and fossil fuel extraction and a shift to a renewable energy future.

What’s Next?

Right now, we’re waiting for the ruling from court challenges that were heard last October. We expect that no matter how the judge rules, we’ll be going back to court on appeal. So, we’re still quietly amassing funds for the next round in the fight. Visit pull-together.ca to join in. Hold a bakesale. Have a spring garage sale. Donate a day’s wages. Do what you love to protect what you love.

Pull Together is just one thread in the resistance to Kinder Morgan. Fundraising for legal challenges is one of the important ways you are being called to step up and stand with Indigenous Peoples, and although it can feel overwhelming, we must carry on.  As Linda Black Elk of Catawba Nationspeaking at the Protect the Inlet rally on March 10th said, “We can’t get tired now. We’ve been fighting for generations as Indigenous Peoples. You need to carry on with us, no matter how exhausting it sometimes feels. I was pepper sprayed 13 times at Standing Rock. But I kept getting up the next day. From here, I go to fight. Are you with me?”

Thank you each and every one of you for doing what you love to protect what you love. Together, we can beat Kinder Morgan. Many Paddles: One Canoe.

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