In the aftermath of his grandson's arrest at Burnaby Mountain, environmentalist David Suzuki delivered a scathing speech blasting the RCMP for their treatment of anti-pipeline protesters.
"To the RCMP, I come before you with great respect," Suzuki said in the clip, recorded on Sunday. "But now you are here to enforce the law. That does not mean that you are above the law or that you make your own law."
Activists have been trying to block Kinder Morgan from survey work on Burnaby Mountain as part of plans to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline. Police are enforcing a court injunction that orders protesters to leave the area.
Kinder Morgan's expansion plan, which is awaiting federal environmental approval, would triple the pipeline's capacity to transport oil from Alberta to a terminal in Burnaby. The City of Burnaby has also tried to stop the company's work in the area, so far to no avail.
In his speech, Suzuki also mentioned Thursday's arrest of his grandson, Tamo Campos, 24: "I'm disappointed and it grieves me because of the respect we have for you."
In open letter posted to Facebook, Suzuki wrote about how proud he was of Campos "taking an active role in the struggle for human rights, social justice and environmental protection."
To help activists understand their rights when participating in civil disobedience, environmental advocacy group Dogwood Initiative held a training session Monday morning, reports to The Vancouver Sun.
Suzuki encouraged the protesters to persevere in order to protect the earth.
"If we continue to look at the land and the world around us just in terms of dollars and cents, we are going to destroy the very things that make that land so precious to us — the very things that keep us alive and healthy," he said in his speech. "That's what this battle is about."
With files from The Canadian Press
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