Greenpeace activists scale Olympic Stadium Tower against Trans Mountain pipeline

Days before the federal government is slated to move forward with spending $4.5 billion of public money to buy the Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline, five activists with Greenpeace Canada climbed Montreal’s Olympic Park tower (the world's tallest inclined building) deploying a giant (10 x 25 meter) banner which reads, "Don’t Dirty our Money: Stop Pipelines", sending a powerful message to Prime Minister Trudeau. Photo: Greenpeace

"The majority of Indigenous communities along the pipeline route did not give their free, prior and informed consent."

Five Greenpeace activists scaled a 540 foot-tall tower Thursday at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium in protest to the Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline in Canada -- a controversial pipeline that runs from the Alberta oil sands to the country’s pacific coast. When the activists got situated, they unfurled a 32 x 82 foot banner which read: “Stop Pipelines, Don’t Dirty Our Money”

Greenpeace Canada issued a statement as to the specific reasons for the public display - which ultimately resulted in the activists getting arrested.

Authorities responded to the Greenpeace banner. Those climbing the tower were later arrested. Photo: Greenpeace

“In just a few days, on July 22, the Trudeau government plans to make a final decision on spending $4.5 billion ($3.45 b U.S.) in public money purchasing Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project, if no other buyer can be found.”

“This action follows another in Vancouver on July 3, when seven climbers, assisted by five others, hung for over 36 hours under the Ironworkers Memorial bridge, to create an aerial blockade in the path of a tar sands oil tanker leaving the Trans Mountain pipeline terminal.”

In a tweet, Greenpeace Canada issued a message to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“Our activists are climbing the highest inclined tower in the world at a critical moment to fight climate change to send a bold message to the Canadian PM @JustinTrudeau and banks #stopTMX #stoppipelines

Greenpeace Canada also issued five reasons for why they wished to put an end to the pipeline which included protecting the rights of First Nations people in Canada. Their five reasons are as follows:

Safety
There is no safe way today to transport oil. The spill data is clear: pipeline companies Kinder Morgan, Enbridge and TransCanada have had an average of one spill per week in the United States alone since 2010.

Drinking water
The risks of spills, leaks and increased tar sands production are a serious threat to vital water resources that communities and wildlife depend on.

Climate
Increasing tar sands oil transportation and export capacity means significantly increasing production — but we can’t keep expanding the tar sands if we want a safe, livable climate. The world does not need more oil, it needs more climate leaders.

Indigenous rights
The majority of Indigenous communities along the pipeline route did not give their free, prior and informed consent to this project. These rights are protected under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Threatened species
There are only 75 southern resident killer whales left in the world and they live mainly in the North Pacific. A sevenfold increase in oil tanker traffic to 400 tankers per year in these waters could force them to extinction.

Greenpeace Canada posted much of the activity on social media and delivered another strong message to Trudeau on Twitter, “It’s a beautiful day for an action... We’ve got a little surprise for Justin #Trudeau. Stay tuned, we’ll be back soon... #StopTMX”


Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor and senior correspondent, Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter - @VinceSchilling

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