On Saturday, Rise and Resist will host a 20 kilometre march. The mission is to stop the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline from crossing unceded Secwepemc Territory. The Still No Consent! No Trans mountain! 20 K Indigenous-led March starts at 8 a.m. at Centennial Square with a territorial acknowledgment, speakers and songs. The March ends at 5 p.m. at Island View Beach, Tsawout First Nation territory.
Justin Trudeau announced his decision to approve the 1,150 km Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker expansion Tuesday. This march was planned assuming Trudeau would re-approve the multi-billion dollar project despite the objections of many.
Keith Cherry, a march organizer and media spokesperson for Rise and Resist, says they hope to send a message to potential investors and to federal and provincial government that people around the province do not approve the pipeline. The message can be boiled down a simple statement, says Cherry. “No consent, no pipeline. Not now, not ever.”
Trudeau has distracted Canadians with many other environmental initiatives, says Cherry, but approving the pipeline violates of the sovereignty of Indigenous peoples and of the rights of Canadians.
Kanahus Manuel of the Secwepemc Tiny House Warriors, T’sleil Waututh (Protect the Inlet) leader Will George, and W’SANEC water protector Paul Chiyokten Wagner will lead the march – a route that includes a seven kilometre stretch on the highway. A completed tiny home will be brought along as the protesters make their up the Peninsula. The third, locally-built tiny house will then journey to Secwepemc territory to be deployed on the pipeline route. This tiny house is one of ten to be built locally and sent to Secwepemc territory.
The event is family friendly, pet friendly, and bike friendly, says Cherry. Support vehicles we be available for those with physical limitations and water will be provided. There will be a community feast at the end. There will also be a drum circle, a performance by the Resistance Rising choir and speakers. Public transit back to Victoria will be available.
Effort has been made to ensure that the march is accessible, so the Community Action Bus will be available for anyone who doesn’t want to walk the whole way or who needs equipment brought along, Cherry said.
Attendees are encouraged to bring food, along with their banners, drums, and regalia, says Cherry. He also recommends comfy shoes, sunscreen, band aids for blisters so that attendees can celebrate the community and the environment all day.
Organizers have mapped out alternate routes for commuters who want to avoid the march’s path.